Onboarding in Sports Betting Apps – Best Practices that Can Improve the UX

Onboarding in Sports Betting Apps – Best Practices that Can Improve the UX

As you open a mobile app for the first time, the introductory screens sometimes show up. They explain how the product works. When you see them, how often do you tap Skip?

If that’s your standard reaction, you’re not alone. Such an introduction is called onboarding, and users tend to ignore it. They don’t know if it would bring them any value, so they don’t want to waste time.

However, onboarding can come in handy in the case of mobile sports betting apps. Usually, they are quite complex. It can be problematic to learn how to use them on one’s own.

Find out how to prepare the onboarding process that encourages people to use your product.

What is mobile app onboarding?

Just like with the onboarding of the new employee, onboarding in mobile apps means introducing someone to a new environment. In this case – the interface.

Such onboarding involves all steps that users must take before they get to the core features of the app.

Types of app onboarding

The process of introducing someone to the app can take up many forms. It all depends on the goal you want to achieve. There are three main types of onboarding:

  • Beneficial – it explains to users what main profits they will get thanks to the app.

Biedronka app onboarding

Source: Biedronka app

  • Functional – it presents the most important features.

Figma - introduction

Source: Figma – prototype mirror share  app

  • Progressive – this one doesn’t rely on static views; it often uses bubbles to walk users step by step through the tasks or explain the meanings of the buttons.

Source: Adobe Lightroom: Edytor zdjęć

There’s no need to limit yourself to just one type of mobile onboarding. You can mix them together to make it clear to users what they are dealing with.

To wrap this up, a good onboarding flow prepares people to use the app and presents its key features.

Is onboarding useful in mobile sports betting apps?

Onboarding is a helpful communication tool. Nevertheless, more and more designers abandon this solution. Why? The mobile apps often look alike. They offer similar features and certain elements behave almost identically. And that’s not surprising. This way, users can easily learn how to manage the new interface.

So, the question is whether onboarding is needed in the case of your sports betting app. Or is it something you add because the competition has it?

Examine what elements of your product might be new or hard to understand for people. Maybe you’ve added some new features and want users to focus on them? If that’s so, the app onboarding might be a good idea.

Main benefits of app onboarding

The app onboarding process has a huge impact on user experience. It tells app users what the product has to offer. If it’s complex and people must figure out how to use it on their own, they would probably feel annoyed. As a consequence, they will abandon the app and uninstall it from their mobile devices. If you’re lucky, the existing users might get back to your web platform. But not everyone would be interested in giving you a second chance.

Keep in mind that when the app onboarding flow is too detailed or has little value, it won’t please anyone. So, if you believe that half-polished onboarding is better than nothing, you’d better think twice. Its development will take a lot of time and money, but it won’t help you gain new loyal users.

Good practices

Onboarding is a visiting card you give to your users. It must concisely present the essential features and facilitate using the product. Keep the tips below in mind when designing this process for your sports betting app. This way, you’ll increase your chances of achieving the desired result.

1.  Keeping the balance

The goal is to find the golden mean between the quantity of graphical and textual content. Does your onboarding look more like a photo gallery than an introduction to the app? Make sure the main message is easy to understand.

On the other hand, when there’s much more text than graphics, it doesn’t encourage users to read it. On the contrary, it makes them want to skip the entire section. In both cases, people aren’t focused on the information you need to convey.

The lack of balance is a common problem. So is the overload of information. Brevity is vital. The less text you display, the more likely people will be to read it.

2. Simple message

Even though it’s tempting to tell everyone about all the benefits of your app, you should reduce the information to the necessary minimum.

Users’ attention span lasts between 3 to 5 seconds. The entire onboarding must take no more than a minute. So, you’d better get straight to the point and focus on the elements that interest people the most.

In the case of beneficial onboarding, show users how the app makes life easier. In functional onboarding, tell them more about the key features of the software.

Most people have experience in using mobile apps, so there’s no need to explain basic functionalities. Instead, focus on the unique features of your sportsbook app. Draw the user’s attention to aspects that make it different from other products on the market.

3.  The transparent navigation

Keep people updated about the stage of onboarding they are at. It’s best to use the progress bar (for example, dots). It shows how many steps there are left to complete the process. This way, you treat users as the owners of their own time. It makes them feel more confident. You also increase the probability that they will finish the onboarding. After all, they would be able to estimate how much time is needed to complete this process.

You must also enable omitting the onboarding. Maybe some users have already tried a similar sports betting app before or they prefer to explore it on their own. For such people, you should add the Skip button.

The team working on the Vevo streaming app had a chance to find out how important this is. Initially, there was no way of skipping the onboarding in this product. When this option appeared, the team noticed a 10% of growth in the number of logins to the app and a 6% of growth in user registrations. All thanks to offering people a choice.

4. Data safety

Data security is always an important aspect of software development. Especially, for users of sports betting apps. For this reason, you should emphasize your responsible approach to collecting data. When the app asks for permission to use the location or send notifications, explain to users why it is important for you to have this information.

5.  Rewarding users for their effort

Reward users for completing the entire onboarding. For that purpose, you can just describe a selected benefit that comes with registering an account. You can present it as a gratification offered in exchange for completing the introduction process. The goal is to show users that their effort has been noticed and appreciated.

If you don’t intend to offer such benefits, try to celebrate finishing this process with users or simply thank them for it.

6. Testing

There’s a common belief among the product teams that they represent the target group. This means they know what users need (mostly in terms of features and intuitiveness of the app) without even asking the potential users. The reality verifies their assumptions but then, it’s too late.

That’s the reason why it’s best to run usability tests – even before the implementation of the onboarding. They will show you what is hard to understand for users. Based on that, you can identify what parts of the app you should focus on when designing the introduction. Tests will also tell you if onboarding is necessary in the first place. They should help you create solutions that increase user retention and build positive UX.

7. Unusual formats

Who said that onboarding must consist of several static welcome screens with an image and some text? It’s a popular solution but not the only one.

Sometimes, all it takes is to display one introductory screen. Other things are easier to explain with a short video that presents selected features. There’s no need to show additional instructions with static views. In certain cases, the best way is to let the introductory tips appear when users sign in, so they could see them as the elements of the interface.


Onboarding makes it easier to understand the app but it has to be designed well. The elementary rule is to select the most important information and present it concisely. You’re not sure how to plan your process? Contact us and tell us about your ideas.

Jan UI Designer

Jan Kosek

UX/UI Designer

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