October 17, 2023

Importance of a User-Friendly First Screen in Mobile App: Increase User Retention

Discover how a user-friendly first screen can skyrocket both user engagement and user retention in your mobile app.

Ananya Vairavarajan

The success of a mobile app largely depends on its ability to retain users. In a competitive market, where new apps are constantly vying for attention, it is crucial to make a positive first impression.

The first screen of your app sets the tone for the user experience and can make or break your retention rates. In this article, we will explore the strategies for boosting user retention in mobile apps by focusing on the importance of a user-friendly first screen.

Boosting user retention in mobile apps

When users download a new app, they are often excited to explore its features and functionality. However, if the first screen of the app is cluttered, confusing, or slow to load, users may quickly lose interest and abandon it. Therefore, it is essential to create a user-friendly first screen that engages users from the moment they launch your app.

One way to ensure user engagement and retention is to focus on the design and functionality of the app's first screen. This includes

  • Optimizing the layout
  • Minimizing loading times
  • Providing clear instructions on how to navigate the app.

By creating a visually appealing and intuitive interface, users are more likely to stay and explore further.

Strategies for keeping users engaged with a user-friendly first screen

1. Let users test drive the app

One effective strategy for increasing user retention is to provide users with a chance to test drive your app before committing to any actions. By offering a guided tour or a demo version, you can allow users to explore the app's features without feeling overwhelmed or pressured.

During the guided tour, it is important to highlight the key features and benefits of your app. This can be done through interactive demos, informative tooltips, or even mini-games that showcase the app's capabilities.

For instance, Slack immediately presents its features upon app launch through four walkthrough screens. This exemplifies value-driven onboarding, establishing app context, and showcasing advantages.

slack's onboarding

2. Guiding users to a positive first experience

By designing an intuitive onboarding process that guides users through the app's core features and benefits, you can ensure a positive first experience. This can include interactive tutorials, tooltips, or even personalized recommendations based on the user's interests or preferences.

Additionally, quick wins in onboarding boost user motivation. For example, Candy Crush taps into our innate desire to win quickly and experience the satisfaction of mastering a skill. This habit-forming thrill can also be applied to user onboarding and training by creating an easy and rewarding "beginner's level."

Candy Crush gives users quick wins

3. Delaying registration

By delaying the registration prompt until users have had a chance to explore the app and understand its value, you can reduce friction and increase the likelihood of conversion.

For example, MasterClass app allows new users to freely explore available courses without signing up, offering them the freedom to discover the platform's full potential.

Masterclass: Explore before signing up

4. Opting out of registration

Not every user wants to go through the registration process, especially when they are first trying out your app. By offering an option to skip registration or proceed as a guest, you can cater to users who prefer a faster and more seamless experience.

For example, DoorDash’s initial signup page has the regular email, google signup options, but it also includes an option for continuing as a guest.

This is brilliant because DoorDash can let users explore its value - browse restaurants in their location and even add items to cart - without signing up. Only when you need to place your order are you asked to fill in your address and other details.

DoorDash's signup page

Power of first encounters

We don't need to tell you that the average mobile app sees almost 80% of new users drop off after the first 3 days. So, how can you ensure that your app's first screen captures users' attention and encourages them to explore further?

To sum up,

  1. Prioritize user-friendliness
  2. Make the first screen engaging
  3. Implement strategies such as guided tours
  4. Practice intuitive onboarding
  5. Adopt delayed registration
  6. Offer seamless opt-out sign-in option

Build your own insane onboarding experience that leaves a lasting impression with Plotline

Plotline enables you to build best-in-class onboarding experiences with in-app messages, without engineering effort that creates a lasting impression and improves your in-app retention metrics.

With Plotline, product and growth teams can effortlessly create and publish targeted in-app messages, such as tooltips, coachmarks, in-app videos, animations and more.

If you'd like to explore further, start your free trial with us.

Sign up for our newsletter
Sign up for our newsletter

Improve funnel metrics with Plotline

Join companies like ShareChat, Meesho, Jupiter, Jar, Khatabook and others that use Plotline to run in-app engagement and boost activation, retention and monetization.

Thanks for your faith in us! We will reach out to you shortly :D
Oops! Something went wrong. Would you mind trying again?