Product Design | Onboarding Re-design

Product Design | Onboarding Re-design

Product Design | Onboarding Re-design

Minimizing user churn rate for Avaz by 20%

Minimizing user churn rate for Avaz by 20%


Avaz is a Picture-based Communication & Learning App for people with special needs such as Autism, Cerebral palsy etc. Avaz empowers people to communicate their thoughts, emotions, ideas, needs and wants and also assists them in language understanding and learning.

Since its inception in 2010, Avaz has rapidly evolved from a niche picture-based communication app to a global app in 50+ countries with 15 languages for individuals with diverse communication challenges.


Adoption of Avaz was low and users often abandoned the Avaz after downloading or before completing the onboarding.

The idea was to improve the overall user experience of Avaz's onboarding. Prior research from the team at Avaz showed that there was a 15% drop-off rate between downloading the app and buying the subscription.

Existing UI - Onboarding and Home Grid

Choke points in the current onboarding process

Flash screen

Enter Phone number

Provide name | email | company's information

Verify Phone number

First drop-off of customers because of the need of creating account without exploring the app

Second drop-off of customers because of the complexity and confusion

Give additional information

Create more profiles


To guide non-expert and novice users to successfully complete their onboarding and help them build foundational understanding to use the app.

Solution overview

Helping in foundation building

We narrowed down the scope of the problem and worked on helping the user with introduction and foundation building by focusing on three subareas:

Increasing user knowledge and context building: Helping users identify an introductory interface, showing users the potential outcomes of the model and how it could help them.

Creating Focus & Progressive disclosure: Segmenting the onboarding process with revelations of complexity in steps.

Indicating progress:  Feedback and validation - Providing progress indicators and phase status.

User Research

Understanding the user

We tested the existing Avaz app with 10 new user participants from across the globe.

Our goal was to understand

  1. The challenges users faced and the workarounds they employed.

  2. 80% of them tend to seek support from the Avaz customer support team to understand the basics of the app and start using the app.


We understood how

  1. The current onboarding experience wasn't appropriate for users who are not professionals.

  2. Certain features were also not helpful for some user groups.

  3. There is a moment of hesitation and lack of trust before signing up without trial.

  1. Long process and insufficient knowledge base

1.System status not visible:

The onboarding process was long and there was no clear indication of progress between each step and sub-step.
Sometimes the steps/ information asked were not understandable to the new users.
This at times resulted in drop-offs before creating the account.

2. Easily overlooked information

2. Overlooked information:

Users often overlooked the options that were present on some screens.
Similarly, while creating the account, some features did not cater to different user groups.

  1. Confusing navigation

Users were unable to identify the characteristics of available grids and features easily.
The available information was just in the long demo videos - which were embedded in FAQs.

  1. Selecting pay plan before looking at the app

Users were unable to identify the characteristics of available grids and features. The available information was just in the long demo videos - which were embedded in FAQs.

Deeper Insights

Most of the onboardings require additional coordination effort

Digging into the data revealed almost all the new onboarding involved some extra coordination effort such as a phone call to clarify the settings or customizations. This data showed that the experience was hardly simple and intuitive.

Poorly formed foundation structure on onboarding cause upstream usage and support load.

“ might we help Users form a better foundation structure plan?”

This led us to the question, how might we help users form a better foundation structure plan? We proposed to help users with a base structure for the users to correctly start the usage of the app.

Three primary questions informed my design strategy:

  1. How do you design for everyone, everywhere?

  2. What’s the perfect foundation structure?

  3. How can we ensure the user understands the foundation structure?

  4. How can we indicate the user's progress?

Choke points in the onboarding process

Choke points in the onboarding process

Our Solution

#1 Designing for everyone everywhere - No one-size-fits-all

To design an onboarding experience is to build an orientation. We should not treat it as a single event. Neither should it be one-size-fits-all because each user is different. We tried to give multiple entry points to a feature and various discovery paths. Avaz caters differently to different user groups

#Creating context

A first time user, explores what Avaz is about through the brief support materials during onboarding. They can also see potential outcomes of the various customization Avaz can bring to them.

#Flexibility and Customization

Sometimes your usage of the app requires precise customization for different use cases. Avaz gives you complete control when and where you need it.



#Relieving the user from selecting the subscription plan right away,

Some AAC apps and the current Avaz model require selection of a subscription plan right away and they often forget to cancel the subscriptions post-trial. These bad experiences make users even more reluctant to try new products. We decided to give them access to the full basic app for a month.

Identifying outcomes and impact

We evaluated our designs through usability testing and surveys.

Users were asked to perform tasks pertaining to onboarding:

  1. Create an Avaz account.

  2. Onboard to Avaz using your backup grids.

  3. Create accounts for 2 varied levels of vocabulary.

  4. Take a tour of the app.

  5. Take virtual assistants help to navigate changes in the grids.



Increase in customer retention


Reduction in the support calls.


People satisfied with the redesign.


If I could take another go at this project

  • Improve the visual language.

  • A/B Test different elements.

  • Work on more iterations of onboarding

  • Test the design with larger sample size

Reflection and learning outcome

  • Tackling functional complexity and depth within assistive technology software.

  • Working on a new domain and gaining expertise.

  • Communicating with others: A lot of the work I had worked on involved ambiguity, justifying the need for a redesign of the older, existing product. This challenged me to learn to break down complex ideas into easily understandable concepts and adapt my storytelling based on my audience.

Curated and designed with love, caffeine and berries.

Monika, 2024 🌼