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Snapchat makes onboarding a snap

Snapchat is meant to be fun—so they’ve obviously put some effort into making their onboarding as fun as possible (and not just for UX geeks like us). Snapchat achieves this in two ways: making onboarding easy and adding playful images.

Screenshot of Snapchat's Get Started screen
Image from Snapchat

Both of these tactics are at play on Snapchat’s very first slide. The UX copy clearly tells users what they need to do to set up Snapchat—and they’ve included a fun custom image that showcases their brand’s personality, to boot.

Screenshot Snapchat password screen
Image from Snapchat

Designing an easy app setup isn’t just about making it fast — it’s about making it smart. If users fill in passwords deemed “very common,” they’re prompted to try something a more complex. This keeps users more secure, and Snapchat doesn’t waste users’ time denying their password choice after they hit continue.

Snapchat Find your friends screenshot
Image from Snapchat

Finally, Snapchat gives users the choice to use their contacts to find existing friends on Snapchat, or they can skip the process altogether. Although this feature is fairly common for social apps these days, it’s still instructive to consider why it’s good UX.

Adding friends one by one for each app you use is tedious. By syncing from contact info, Snapchat is able to automate a process that might have previously caused friction for new users and delayed their aha moment. When designing your own onboarding process, it’s important to consider how friction points can be removed or automated to improve user experience.

The skip button is also an overlooked UX improvement. Not everyone wants to share contact data or add their personal rolodex to their new app. Even if you think a step in your onboarding process is incredibly helpful, adding a skip button is never a bad idea if it’s not absolutely necessary. You can always nudge them to go through this process later.

Why this is really good UX:

  • Every screen is well-thought-out, offering users a simple setup process that anticipates and removes friction.
  • Images add a flair of fun to an otherwise fairly utilitarian onboarding process.
  • Lots of white space makes it easy for users to focus on what matters on each screen.