Improving Intellect App’s Onboarding to Reduce Churn

6 min readJan 6, 2022


What do people use the Intellect app for?

Imagine you’re going through a rough patch, feeling anxious, depressed, low, overwhelmed, or just not 100%. Instead of wasting your precious time overthinking or waiting to talk to the right person, you open the Intellect app and look for a relevant learning path which can be anything from reacting in conflicts, regulating emotions — to beating procrastination.

The session is a real human voice note that breaks down heavy concepts into tiny workable chunks. It helps structure your state of mind and think clearly. Next, you answer some basic but thoughtful questions which help you understand yourself and your emotions.

So, in three simple steps, you’ve controlled your state of mind using the intellect app. That’s it. That is how people use the Intellect app. To get hold of mentally draining situations.

What is the problem?

The problem is that when a person is looking for emotional & mental help online, they’re not sure what they’re looking for. They’re anxious and impatient. They would go ahead with whatever makes them feel good in the least time possible.

They would possibly do one of the 2 things:

  1. Search for the Intellect app if they’ve heard of it somewhere.
  2. Go through a dozen websites and apps, and maybe land at Intellect at some point.

Intellect currently requires the user to go through an un-skippable, in-depth questionnaire-cum-onboarding flow which helps them understand the user. But the state of mind of the user doesn’t make it really helpful for the app’s retention rates.

60% of users feel they are occasionally, frequently, or always slowed down or blocked from accessing services online? 43% of users simply abandon an onboarding process due to the friction related to proving the identity and/ or verifying their phone number, and that’s before they even start using the service.

Intellect wanted us to design an onboarding experience that better communicates the value of the product while keeping it engaging. They were also looking to increase the proportion of users who stick with us either on the same day or later after the onboarding experience is complete.

What was the process like?

Before I could start ‘rethinking’ the onboarding experience for the Intellect app, it was essential for me to thoroughly understand how it currently works. So I installed the app and started exploring all the existing user flows and screens. Some things that I wanted to understand were,

  • How do users search for sessions?
  • How do users get onboarded on the app?
  • How does personalization work? How does the app respond to the data being asked?

Competitor Analysis

After understanding Intellect, I looked for other mental wellness apps that offered similar services users. It seemed to me like a good idea to see how other apps are doing things that I am trying to achieve. It gave me a different perspective on things and helped me to think in multiple directions. Some of the apps that I referred to were, Calm, Headspace, BetterMe and InnerHour.

Understanding Users

In order to be able to decide what onboarding experience to provide the users with, it was important to understand what would make them trust the app and continue using it. To find that out, I did some googling and came across a lot of information. Some things I got to know were:

  • The faster the user can find out that this is where they can find a path to a better version of themselves, the faster they integrate your product into their lives.
  • For someone seeking emotional/mental help, a well-timed pat on the back can simply feel good to receive, especially when it’s for a meaningful accomplishment. Hope.
  • Stressed/anxious people go through short attention spans. If how the app helps users isn’t explicitly clear right out of the gate, we are at a high risk losing them. 25% of users abandon an app after just one use.
  • People have a better chance of returning if the value of the app is relayed faster to them.

Current Screens

How did I solve the problem?

Find below the screens I designed along with the design decisions I made. Do keep in mind that we are solving for optimizing retention rates & lowering churn. This is just the onboarding of the app so the changes will be minute and super subtle.

Wireframes: #2 Rejected because the SKIP button was not perfectly accessible. #3 Rejected because too many options


The background of the app helps the user break free of their current thoughts before entering into the app.

Sign Up Flows

There shouldn’t be much time and/or education required for your new users to get to the magical “aha moment” with your product. Mandatory Sign Up flows add to the friction.

Personalization Questionnaire

The user values questionnaires when they’re guaranteed that their information & time will

  1. Be kept safe
  2. Make their experience better

Progress Bars

They are a powerful and effective way to boost engagement simply because they motivate us to complete a given task or goal and also convey a sense of accomplishment.

Why they are so powerful is because as humans, we are driven to have goals and then accomplish them.

Home Screen & Loading Screens

  • Home screen does not change even after answering the questionnaire. There is no difference in the home screen if skip everything and jump directly. Again, makes the user feel like they’ve wasted their time
  • The app should not give the feeling of not being heard to the user. If they’re making effort to give some data on the app, make sure it is of value


Minute changes make a lot of difference to the onboarding & retention rates of apps.

With a plethora of mental wellness available, the one with the better user experience is bound to perform better. User onboarding is all about the user.

The product & business goals can be aligned later in the meat of the app because a great early impression & quick Aha moment is all that it takes 🙂

References: | Apps’ Onboarding Sucks. Not Really. | by Sara Sánchez | Bootcamp | Mobile-App Onboarding: An Analysis of Components and Techniques | Material Design | Choosing the right user onboarding UX pattern | 5 Onboarding Mistakes You Might Not Even Know You’ve Made | Apptimize | Mobile App Onboarding: The Do’s and the Don’ts — Shopify App Development | Mobile App Onboarding: How to Keep Users Engaged Through All. Those. Screens. | by Raoul Boström | The Startup | Medium | Good Questions, Bad Asks: The UX Of Questions In User Onboarding the Headout app as a content-first platform — UI/UX Case Study




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