Is 'Mid'-Boarding a Thing?

over 4 years ago from , Principal Designer, Amplitude Inc.

I heard someone say 'midboarding' today to refer to onboarding that happens after a user has already started to use your app. Just like onboarding guides will show people what things can do or guide them to learn something, midboarding does that but for existing users. Make sense.

Are you using this term at your workplace?


  • Philip A, over 4 years ago

    If "Onboarding" is being defined as helping a user learn about how to use your product and make them feel comfortable with the product, then "onboarding" should never stop.

    9 points
  • Max Quinn, over 4 years ago

    On-boarding seems to be used in so many different ways, but the way I use it aligns with product goals and user lifecycle. Very simply...

    Awareness = Top funnel marketing

    Onboarding = Not 'registration' as some seem to think, but until a user has achieved a specific goal that makes them valuable to the company. Maybe filling out a profile and talking to friends (for a social network), maybe signing up to a subscription (for a subscription service that offers no free plan)

    Upselling = Making on-boarded users more valuable. Particularly useful where the 'goal' of on-boarding is usage of a free plan, but really you want them to upgrade to a paid plan

    Retention = Retaining the onboarded/upsold users

    Maybe 'upselling' aligns with 'mid boarding', or maybe this model requires 'on-boarding' to align with my 'registration' and then 'mid-boarding' to be 'registration' -> goal achieved.

    Or maybe this model is talking about 'on-boarding' as purely educational tools, which I simply don't align with. For me, products should be thought about in terms of business value and customer goals/lifecycle. Education is something that should happen everywhere through good design.

    2 points
    • Emil Edeholt, over 4 years ago

      I guess it makes a big difference in what field you work. If you are in the market/sell part of the product or in the product part. In my work onboarding is teaching already paying and trial users how our product works while using the product.

      1 point
  • Tristan HarwardTristan Harward, over 4 years ago

    I've never heard the actual term 'midboarding' -- but I like it. We've been talking about the stages of the user lifecycle in a slightly more fine-grained way in our models (see https://www.appcues.com/product-led-growth-flywheel), starting with trying out, moving to learning, then continuous use, moving into the ideal positive advocate state.

    Things that happen in that 3rd stage (users we've been calling Regulars) feel like they fit into that mid-boarding concept. Announcing updates or changes, teaching them appropriately, cueing users toward things they may not be using or adopting, gathering information periodically. Those all feel right as people use an often shifting and changing SaaS product over the long term.

    1 point
  • Johan JonssonJohan Jonsson, over 4 years ago

    Years ago I went to a workshop with Josh Clark and he mentioned three levels of user on boarding, comparing the experience to how games usually onboard new gamers. Coaching, Levelling up and Power ups.

    In short this means with Coaching: show don't tell, people don't read instructions. Levelling up: Show additional features while user use the app/experience/site and make sure users can perform the wanted action. Power ups: Additional actions for experienced users. Usually shortcuts to actions that can be performed in another way.

    0 points
  • Dan BDan B, over 4 years ago

    First time I hear that, but I like the term midboarding… except that it reinforces the mental of "onboarding" being just "from before signup" to "a bit after signup". Onboarding is actually a long process that can span over a long period of time. Regardless, interesting term—as long as people have a common understanding of its meaning ;-) .

    0 points
  • Chris KeithChris Keith, over 4 years ago

    Sounds made up. The better way to think about it might be stages of onboarding.

    0 points
  • Jan SemlerJan Semler, over 4 years ago

    What you describe i would consider it as a part if a progressive onboarding.

    0 points
  • Matthew O'ConnorMatthew O'Connor, over 4 years ago

    Can you give more context to its use?

    I get the concept, but feel it's redundant as Onboarding still works. I.E. If I've already onboarded on an app, then they release a new feature that has new stuff to learn, then I'm still onboarding that new feature.

    0 points
  • Alf SalibAlf Salib, over 4 years ago

    Have not heard the term before but can absolutely get behind the idea. One thing that comes to mind that I love is how Notion gives you these little visual preview when adding a new content block.

    Totally not in-your-face or invasive, but effectively shows you what the content block you're about to add will look like. It's onboarding that feels like it's part of the product.

    Notion Visual Cues

    0 points