Onboard help is tough but so important. First-Time Use (FTU) is the most important part of app adoption. And so is a smooth flow.
40-60% of users log in to apps one time. So get the User to love your app before signing up. A good example of this is the Flipboard App. It gets users engaged before signing up. It's visually appealing and easy. And once a user tells you what they want, they have already invested into your App.
I like these ideas:
1. Never ask for registration before offering something cool.
2. No need to force email confirmation at first.
3. Avoid making the First-Time User jump through hoops. I so hate that.
Provide the Bare Minimum of features at first. Just get them to that Aha! Moment when they understand your App.
The dev lead for growth at Twitter, Joshj Elman found Twitter's Aha! Moment. Just get them engaged. Provide suggestions.
So how do you guide users to your Aha? You need a positive User Flow. Design your on boarding for when there is nothing to see. That is where you get the users up to speed. Get them from the onramp to the freeway fast. Your App should never start with a bunch of blank pages. If there is nothing to see yet, tell them why. What is this? What can I do now?
1. Ask for little work from FTU. You want them engaged first.
2. Give them a path to your Aha! Moment
3. Gather analytics to improve your flow
4. Take advantage of empty states. Get them on the freeway.