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Our target users don't have much experience with mobile apps and are familiar with Whatsapp or couple more apps at max. So, I've been thinking of showing 'how to use app' video(gif) during the splash screen. A non-audio based gif playing repeatedly when the app starts until the user taps on Get started.

What are your thoughts on this?

And is anyone already using something like this? I've seen videos(/gifs) at start but they're not the same... They don't explain what the app is about and how it actually works.

Note: I'm planning to introduce a 10-12 sec gif. More than that would be too much I guess...

  • As a matter of personal opinion (that's why this is a comment rather than an answer) I hate onboarding videos: They never move at the speed I want them to - They're either too fast so I miss key interactions or too so so I get bored and lose interest. For references on how other people onboard you could check out useronboard.com - The guy there critiques loads of onbaording processes from different sites and apps. – Andrew Martin Apr 11 '16 at 7:30
  • Hey Thanks! Have seen Useronboard. And yes, the pace of video is hard to get right but our product allows a bit flexibility with that (atleast what we think, rest will be confirmed by testing only). Will keep in mind. – Harshit Choudhary Apr 12 '16 at 4:44
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It could work, however the traditional onboarding technique that acts as an "overlay" on top of the current page should accomplish the same thing. There's nothing like helping users learn the interface by making them actually click around. Users who are beginners should be able to understand a good onboarding lesson.

  • "Users who are beginners should be able to understand a good onboarding lesson" You have anything to support this? Because this exactly what I'm worried about... – Harshit Choudhary Apr 12 '16 at 5:12
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Generally, users tend to respond better to "just in time" education when getting accustomed to something. App start screens, whether they're onboarding or otherwise, tend to cause drop-offs.

Authors like Luke Wroblewski and Josh Clark write about this from time to time. There's a great example in this post.

A couple quick quotes:

Most people (sometimes over 90%) skip over intro tours as quickly as possible and those that don’t rarely remember what they were supposed to learn. Both these issues stem from that fact that introductory tours show up before you ever get a chance to use an application.

Some mobile apps aim to get around this by overlaying their tour on top of the actual interface design but even with a picture of the interface present, people lack the experience to know which actions will be useful to them and when. And over time they’re likely to forget which interactions are possible in any given app as they switch between them regularly.

It's certainly much harder to design this way than it is to make a quick video or overlay tutorial and stick it at the beginning, but it's far more rewarding for users.

This isn't to say that you shouldn't use tips and messaging to show users how to do things, especially if they're not familiar with the interactions you're presenting to them. It's just to say that the beginning (or in a video) is often not the best place to do it. The goal for which we should strive is always to present what the user needs to know right when they need to know it.

  • "The goal for which we should strive is always to present what the user needs to know right when they need to know it." This alone helped me remember what the goal should be. – Harshit Choudhary Apr 12 '16 at 4:45

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