Onboarding is Dead, Here Comes Noboarding
Let’s talk about App Clips for a minute, and forgive me Android readers, I know you had Instant Apps since 2018, but as product experts, entrepreneurs, or designers, surely you have to agree that Apple simply does it better with marketing, technology, developers, and users – all fall into the right part of the story. So watching iOS14 keynotes (and App Clips) got me thinking about the future of mobile apps. It also reminded me of the early days of our startup Missbeez, and how we used to describe our product as a simple “magic button“. Whenever people asked us what does the product do, we used to say: “It’s just a button. You click on it, and someone comes in and gives you a massage”. Unfortunately, the reality was not that simple: users had to download our button from the App Store (or Google Play), go through a long onboarding process, provide their name, email, address, enter their credit card, and only then could they click the magic button. So much effort for such a tiny button. Now, let’s go back to App Clips and what they mean for mobile apps: In a nutshell: App Clips are small parts of an app that are so small and light, they can be used instantly (that is, download install launch) without going through the usual installation process. Here’s why I think it’s much bigger than what it seems: No installation – you know the horror stories about how hard it is for mobile apps to stand out, how bad are the installation numbers, and how fast are apps being uninstalled. There are too many apps out there, and users are getting tired and lazy. Installing an app is a commitment. It might even take a few minutes. Skipping straight to the action will make users very happy. No onboarding – conversion rate is the name of the game for mobile apps, and when you talk about conversion – you talk about onboarding challenges: eliminating friction, minimizing steps, shortening time to value, preventing drops-offs, etc. If fewer steps mean fewer drop-offs, what about no steps at all? Designed for speed – Mobile users love short interactions: you grab your smartphone, find the app you need, launch it, do something, it’s smart, it’s context-based, it’s quick, and boom, you’re done. What if you could do the same thing without having to launch the app at all? App Clips allow performing the action instantly. Discoverability – Finally, an alternative to the traditional App Store installation process. Still goes through Apple, but the experience is totally different. Users will be able to engage with App Clips through all kinds of channels: digital (websites, blogs, messages, other apps) or physical (NFC, App Clip Codes), allowing some back-door installations, initial footprint, and tons of opportunities for app creators. Yummy. Simply put, App Clips act and feel exactly like native iPhone features. That’s Apple’s brilliant plan to enrich the iPhone experience with just-in-time actions that are all developed by the world. Apple just turned all apps into iOS features (kind of). That’s brilliant… And sick… » Read More
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