Device onboarding - Individual processes need individual solutions

Thanh Ly

Thanh Ly – UX-Designer

Successful onboarding of IoT devices - why first impressions count

In the world of IoT, device onboarding is crucial. This refers to the initial process of connecting a device to the cloud or to a local network. Be it smart lights, heating thermostats or other connected devices - the first interaction between user and product usually takes place via a companion app. This first contact can be decisive for customer satisfaction and ultimately for the success of the product. It is therefore essential that onboarding is seamless, intuitive and user-friendly. After all, as everyone knows, there is rarely a second chance to make a first impression.

The importance of contemporary onboarding

At grandcentrix, we deal with the topic of “onboarding” on a daily basis and already wrote a blog article about it some time ago. Now the (technology) world is constantly changing. Technologies such as “Matter” and “NFC” are becoming increasingly popular in modern onboarding and the requirements of our customers and their end customers are also changing, creating new usage scenarios that need to be met.

At the same time, it is not necessary to keep on reinventing the wheel. Certain steps are essential for onboarding in particular and are repeated in the same or similar form for every product. The requirement to make explanations understandable using simple words and images (UX writing) has also always been important and often enables the reuse of text modules that have already been developed. It usually becomes more complex due to different conditions, such as the size of the product, the place of use, security standards, the target group’s affinity for technology (etc.).

We regularly explore new technologies in order to expand and improve possible onboarding scenarios. For this purpose, we meet when necessary in interdisciplinary groups to discuss and test new approaches. This was also the case at our last “HCI Day”, where a team consisting of developers, POs and UX experts joined together for a day to scrutinize our own onboarding blueprint and check the status quo.

The building blocks of onboarding

We developed our onboarding building blocks through such discussions and our many years of experience with IoT. We quickly agreed that there is no single solution, but that individual building blocks based on the user journey make more sense, as they can be moved around and adapted to a specific usage scenario. This also allows you to react much more quickly to changes. For example, a new technology module such as “Pairing with Matter” can be added easily without having to rethink the entire onboarding process.

The building blocks focus on the following touchpoints within a user journey.

  • Unboxing/app download: The start of the user journey with all relevant steps up to the point at which the user has downloaded the app and, if applicable, registered.

  • Pairing: The technology with which the device is to be connected to the network, via cable or wirelessly, e.g. via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy).

  • Device Assignment: Method of ensuring that the correct device is paired. The state of the art is currently still a QR code - but if this is not easily accessible, other solutions should possibly be used.

  • Network Connection: The various ways to connect to the right network, by pressing a button or by entering a WIFI password.

  • Completion of the device onboarding, with the transition to the actual commissioning of the product.

As you can see, there are decisions to be made at every step and each one has an impact on the overall experience and therefore the success of the product. The onboarding building blocks help you not to lose track and to build a customized solution for your challenge.


Successful onboarding is more than just a technical necessity - it’s an opportunity to make a strong first impression that lays the foundation for a lasting customer relationship. At grandcentrix, we understand the importance of this moment and are constantly working to optimize the onboarding experience for our clients and their end customers.

Michael Bischof

Do you have any questions or would you like to start a project with us?

Michael Bischof – Competence Manager HCI

Hi, I'm Michael. Do you have questions about customized and user-friendly onboarding? Feel free to contact me by e-mail.