Best Ways (and Software) to Create Interactive User Guides in 2022

Insufficient user education is costing your business a ton of new revenue.

According to Wyzowl, 55% of people refund a product just because they didn’t understand how to use it.

user education manuals
(Users when the product doesn’t have educational material 👆)

I know that you don’t want your product to share the same fate – that’s why you’re here.

And I want to help you.

In this article, I’ll go over:

I’m sure by the end of this article, you’ll realize why you should steer away from outdated user education methods, and see the benefit of having UserGuiding by your side as you step into the future of user education.

Create interactive user manuals from scratch, without any coding:

New call-to-action

So, let’s start by taking an honest look at the traditional methods.

Help Wikis, FAQs, or Online Manuals = Big Mistakes

I’ve been on both sides of these user education methods: creating my own traditional online documents for software, and also trying to make sense of Wiki articles to find my way around a new product.

For me, the traditional methods of user education are unacceptable, especially when we have better methods at our disposal.

Help Wikis, FAQs, and all sorts of online documents are not the best path to choose for many reasons, both from the user’s and your own point of view.

To see why let’s take a look at each perspective separately:

Your View

Converting guidelines for your product into online user guides and manuals can be a torturous process.

It can take days of work to craft a document that discusses a 5-minute process in your product and believe me, you don’t have time for this. Imagine all the time you could spend improving your product or your marketing efforts.

creating interactive user manuals

But let’s say you like to be in pain and went ahead with creating online documents – the torture doesn’t end there! With every update and change that occurs on your UI and UX, you have to then update the document.

Do you really want to invest hours of work after software updates, to re-writing an article?

I would guess (and hope) not.

interactive user manuals from users' perspectives

User’s View

Now think about the challenges your real users face, the user experience.

First, they will have to switch views between the product and the website that hosts the document, multiple times.

This is not just bad UX; it’s intentionally tormenting your users and murdering your product adoption rates in cold blood. 🔪

And second, they won’t enjoy these documents; nobody does. They are long and boring, and your users will want to do anything but read them.

So I’m here to offer you a better method, which allows you to craft quick, fun, interactive, and efficient experiences with more visual content:

Interactive User Guides: The Present and Future of Onboarding

According to research, 93% of marketers think that interactive content is a more effective way of educating users.

So why not turn your user onboarding, the part of the user’s journey where they learn the value of your product, into an interactive experience?

I’ll tell you why you should:

  • The users will learn the product, in the product, while having fun.
  • Depending on the tool you use, creating these guides will be effortless since you won’t need to code.
  • You will be able to update interactive manuals in minutes.

Adopting interactive user guides will not only save you time, but it will vastly improve your users’ experience – and these improvements will lead to increased revenue.

What Is an Interactive User Guide?

An interactive user guide is a UX pattern that consists of multiple on-screen components aimed at showing the user what your software product does and how it does it. Especially used in web apps and websites, these helpful guides can be created through in-source development or by using a third-party tool that removes coding from the equation.

interactive user guide in action
Interactive user manuals are better for educating users.

Creating Interactive Manuals

Going in-source with your interactive user manuals can provide you with a few advantages such as improved customization and data safety.

But, the downside to going the insource route is that the time you spend in development could instead be spent on improving and stabilizing the product.

So I’d suggest you take a third-party user onboarding tool and create interactive user manuals without a single line of code:

How to (easily) Create Interactive Guides with UserGuiding

It all comes down to the product you use.

We’ve designed UserGuiding with the passion to help businesses improve their product adoption by educating users in a fun way.

UserGuiding is an all-in-one user onboarding software that can be used to create interactive user manuals and many other in-app UX elements. The product is a true no-code platform, which means anyone can sign up for the product and start putting together next-level user onboarding materials.

With UserGuiding, you can create an interactive user manual in four easy steps:

  1. Sign up for UserGuiding: Create your UserGuiding account, it shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds since the product has Google One-Tap signup.
  2. Download UserGuiding Chrome extension: UserGuiding’s Google Chrome extension allows you to create guides, tooltips, and hotspots right inside your product or any other web app; plus, you can preview your content to see if everything works as intended.
  3. Create your guide: Go to your product or website and launch the UserGuiding Chrome extension. From there, you will be able to create your custom interactive guides and more, without any coding.
  4. Set your content live: Go back to your UserGuiding dashboard and copy your UserGuiding code then paste it into your app’s code. This installation is required only once, and takes less than 5 minutes regardless of your technical knowledge.

But, you might be asking, among all other methods and tools, why UserGuiding?

Why UserGuiding?

There are many reasons to choose UserGuiding for creating interactive manuals, so let’s dig deeper into it.

And I just wanted to mention, that you can try UserGuiding for FREE with access to everything below:

No-Code. I Mean It!

The no-code revolution has begun.

Day after day, I see a new product that takes developers out of the equation, and I like love it.

Developers’ time is precious, and should only be spent on creating beautiful products that we fall in love with.

That’s why UserGuiding is one of the best onboarding solutions – it requires absolutely no coding. Anyone on your team, even those without any technical background, can use the product to create amazing experiences.

It’s as simple as dragging and dropping with your mouse. Here’s what I’ve created on Youtube in just a few minutes:

userguiding on youtube with interactive user manual
UserGuiding’s Interactive User Guide on YouTube

That means your first guide will be up and running in a matter of minutes, without the need for any developer assistance.

Numerous Features to Perfect Onboarding

Online documents are one thing, and user onboarding experiences that delight every user are another. It’s a combination of many onboarding elements put together for you to push your user to the aha moment you have defined.

And that’s just what UserGuiding offers. The main features of the product are:

Interactive User Guides

This is why you’re here, right?

As I’ve mentioned above, an interactive user guide is the best way to educate users.

In UserGuiding, you can create step-by-step instructions and publish them immediately. These guides can be personalized and tailored to the needs of specific customer profiles so that each user can achieve the maximum value of your platform.

interactive user manual welcome modal
UserGuiding’s Personalized User Manuals

But UserGuiding will help you create much more than a user manual:

In-App Messages

Beautifully designed in-app messages that you can send to your users during their experience can increase engagement and vastly improve your feature adoption.

With UserGuiding, you can display different messages to various groups of users, which are triggered by custom events. Customization is limitless to help you reach the right user at the right time.

interactive user manual tooltip
UserGuiding’s tooltip in action

Onboarding Checklists

During their training and onboarding, users need a sense of progression.

User onboarding checklists that will be displayed to your users during their onboarding process can help you do just that.

In their onboarding, your users will check the tasks they have completed and go through a gamified experience. With UserGuiding, you can create custom checklists that trigger different guides, which will then lead users to different features.

interactive user manual checklists
UserGuiding’s code-free Checklists

The Resource Center

The newest feature of UserGuiding also happens to be my favorite.

Imagine that you’ve used UserGuiding to convert all your educational materials into interactive guides. Shouldn’t there be a database for these guides that users can access on-demand?

And that’s what the Resource Center feature is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not truly a database – it’s a widget that works right inside your product, so your users don’t have to leave the platform.

interactive user manual resource centers
Creating a Resource Center in UserGuiding

The best part is, that you can also add external links to your Resource Center, which can be anything from CTAs and additional resources to your marketing materials and support articles.

Also, if you insist on keeping your existing knowledge base, you can connect it to UserGuiding’s resource center, turning it into a gathering point for your all educational content.

Being there for your users whenever they need it, not just during a specific point in their journey, is crucial to establishing strong relationships with them.

Analytics

Chances are, your first interactive manual won’t be anywhere close to perfect.

And that’s okay because you can improve as long as you know what to improve.

With UserGuiding’s in-depth analytics feature, you can track the performance of every step of every guide and see what your users like. The dashboard is straightforward and insightful:

interactive user manual analytics
UserGuiding’s In-depth Analytics

Segmentation and Targeting

Regardless of your industry, product, or audience…

Personalization sells.

Don’t believe me? Believe the numbers:

According to Epsilon, 80% of users are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.

Your users are looking for an experience that is tailored to their needs, so provide it to them! With UserGuiding, you can create group users into different segments and target custom segments with personalized guides:

interactive user manual segmentation
Creating a custom segment in UserGuiding

The end results for successfully implementing personalization to your product will surely make your jaw drop.

Start Today

UserGuiding is completely free to try, and since it’s easy to adopt, you’ll get started in minutes and master every feature of UserGuiding in just a matter of hours.

Getting started with interactive user manuals is just a click away.

Create interactive user manuals from scratch, without any coding:

New call-to-action

Conclusion

Yes, your users can learn from an online document if they have to. But they won’t hesitate to switch to a competitor if they’re offered a better experience. 👋

To avoid this, adopt interactive user guides as your main method of user education.

A third-party tool such as UserGuiding can help you create interactive experiences that delight users. Don’t miss out!


Frequently Asked Questions


What is an interactive guide?

An Interactive Guide is a product walkthrough where you teach a customer what every feature does by making them engage with your product.


How can an interactive user manual help my company?

They help drive customers to their “Aha!” moments which increase your conversion and activation rates at first, then your retention.


How long does it take to create an interactive user manual?

It takes only 5 minutes if you select a 3rd-party user manual creation software such as UserGuiding and many hours if you want to create it in-source.


How can I make my content more interactive?

For educational content like an instruction manual, adopting a 3rd party digital adoption solution can help turn your content into interactive guides that users enjoy going through.


How can you create a user manual for a website?

You have three options when it comes to creating a user manual for a website:

  1. You can create online articles with exact guidelines and visuals to help users get value from your product,
  2. You can shoot walkthrough videos where you show what your product does and how it does it,
  3. You can create interactive user guides through in-house development or using third-party user onboarding tools for maximum engagement.

What is UserGuiding?

UserGuiding is an all-in-one user onboarding software that can be used to create interactive guides and educational UX elements without any coding. The product is completely free to try for 14 days.

best user manual interactive software

Join 9,000+ teams creating better experiences

14-Day Free Trial, with an extra 30-Day Money Back Guarantee!

best user manual interactive software

Share this article:

Selman Gokce

Selman Gokce is the Senior Inbound Marketer of UserGuiding. He is highly invested in user onboarding and digital adoption, especially for SaaS, and he writes on these topics for the UserGuiding blog. When he's not writing, you can find him either listening to LOTR soundtracks while cooking or getting angry because he lost in a video game.

Copy link