The technology is evolving.
The needs of the users are changing; everything needs be as efficient and as quick as possible.
This applies especially to a user’s first experience with a product; the onboarding process. User manuals and product walkthrough videos are not doing the job anymore, you need elements that explain and teach your products more efficiently.
And that’s where a guided tour comes into play:
What is a Guided Tour?
A guided tour, also known as a product tour, is a walkthrough of your website, web product, or software that your users go through to learn its functions and how it is used.
It can be a single tour that covers the entirety of the product, or a collection of different tours that focuses on different features of your product. Either way, it goes through the main features of your product to help your users understand how everything works and what value they can get from it.
A guided tour is supposed to push users to their “Aha!” moments where they understand how exactly your product fits in their life.
Why does my Website or Software need a Guided Tour?
First off all, let’s take a look at what the traditional methods of teaching users about your product are:
An online manual is just like a user manual that comes with products such as vacuum cleaners, TVs, or cell phones.
Using a vacuum cleaner is not rocket science so a user manual is more than enough; but is that the deal with your web product? I am sure that your product is much more complex than the functions of a vacuum cleaner, therefore the user manual to your product has to be long and descriptive, never missing a detail.
Yes, the users have to learn the product; and if there is nothing else but a user manual they will have to read it to understand certain parts and solve their pain points. I promise you, it will be a boring process resulting in a disappointing first experience with your product.
Product Walkthrough Videos
Preparing videos that walk users through your product is another way to onboard users which is much more less torturing than user manuals.
You can create a video-series where you explain your product in detail and demonstrate the best uses of your product.
Switching from user manuals to videos is definitely a step-up, but you can do better:
Guided Product Tours
What if I told you your users doesn’t have to leave the product to learn how your product works?
In fact, they can learn your product by using it; completing tasks and realizing its value on their own in a completely automated process. You should use guided tours as your user onboarding with an onboarding checklist and a few tooltips on the sides to offer your audience the most fun and efficient user onboarding.
Which Tool Should I Use to Create a Guided Tour?
Although there are many user onboarding tools that enable you to interact with your users in and beyond your product, I’ll try to suggest you a product with which you can create guided tours.
1- UserGuiding – No-coding
UserGuiding is a third party tool that you can use to create the perfect user onboarding experiences.
You can easily create guided product tours in minutes using the product. Here are the main reasons why you should select UserGuiding as your product tour software:
No coding required
UserGuiding doesn’t require any coding or technical knowledge to create, integrate, or update guided tours or any other onboarding element.
This is important because:
- You won’t be dependant on developers to create your onboarding,
- Everyone in your team can utilize the product from marketing to customer success.
You have probably seen people put emphasis on this before:
One size doesn’t fit all.
Each of your users are trying to accomplish different things with your product; their language, technical background, interests are different from each other.
So why should they go through the same onboarding process?
With UserGuiding, you can create custom user segments and target them with specialized guided tours to provide each user with a unique experience.
Wide Variety of Onboarding Elements
UserGuiding has many features you can use to perfect your user onboarding, such as:
- Interactive Guided Product Tours,
- User Guides,
- Onboarding Checklists,
- Feature Highlights,
- NPS Surveys,
- In-App Messages.
- Self-help centers.
Creating a user onboarding process with many elements such as guided tours is not that demanding, however, perfecting it to see visible results can be difficult.
And since you won’t be able to improve something you can’t measure, UserGuiding’s analytics feature which helps you track the performance of your guided tours step by step gives you a chance to optimize your onboarding.
Compared to its competitors and the high cost of insource solutions, UserGuiding’s pricing is fairly affordable for companies of any size:
- It has a 14-Day Free Trial
- Start-up: $99/month
- Growth: $299/month
- Enterprise: Quotations must be requested
- Bootstrap plan for early stage startups
Shepherd.js – Open Source
If you don’t have any budget to invest in user onboarding and plenty of developer time at your hands, Shepherd.js is your solution. With the help of a developer you can create a guided tour, but it will be limited to that.
Also, customization and the variety of onboarding elements will also be limited while there will be no analytics or user segmentation available.
Guided Tour Example
Now, let’s go through a guided tour example to clear things up, and what to focus on when creating your own guided tour for your website or product.
Evernote is a note taking app that is available on your mobile devices, your browser, and desktop. You can easily create to-do lists, take notes, and establish calendars.
Let’s go over their user onboarding process and how they use a guided tour to explain the functions of their product.
As soon as you first log in to the product, a welcome message appears on the screen; I want to put extra emphasis on the part that it says “let’s find out how we can help you in less than a minute”, because it lets users know what exactly they will go through and how long it will last.
It’s important to be transparent to your users especially in their onboarding.
Remember when we said one size doesn’t fit all?
Evernote is aware of the situation as well, they know that each user logins from a different device and uses the product for different purposes. Below you can see how they personalize the onboarding process by asking a few questions first, then starting a guided tour of a feature based on the answer users provide.
They than go over each function in the editor, walking you through the product:
They avoid pushing all guided tours at once, showing a user all of the product in a single run can bore users.
That’s where an onboarding checklist comes into play. Evernote doesn’t force users to go through the other guides, it gives them the choice of choosing what they want to create and pushes a guided tour that explains that feature.
After all of the guided tours are finished and the onboarding process is over, a congratulations message pops up; but that doesn’t mean the onboarding stops there as your users might need assisting in the future.
That’s why Evernote lets their users know that help is always available in the lower left corner.
A guided tour will help your users understand your product, website, or web app more clearly and quickly.
Adopting a user onboarding tool such as UserGuiding will make life easier when it comes to creating and maintaining guided tours and other onboarding elements.