User Onboarding

5 Instruqt Alternatives to Create Hands-on Tutorials and Demos

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    Home / User Onboarding / 5 Instruqt Alternatives to Create Hands-on Tutorials and Demos

    Mistakes are a part of learning.

    Whatever task, goal, or in our case, a hands-on experience with complicated software we are dealing with, there'll be moments we pause and think or mess it up and spam CTRL + Z.

    Instruqt is the kind of tool that makes sure such mistakes don't have consequences.

    An IT lab and the best of its kind, Instruqt provides users with a sandbox experience they can use to guide customers in demo calls or workshops.

    Now, if we are talking in the context of onboarding, my question is: is it really necessary?

    Let's take a look at:

    • What Instruqt is, its pricing and reviews,
    • Why you need an alternative to Instruqt,
    • What those alternatives and our experience with each,
    • The alternatives' pricing and reviews,
    • Use cases for each alternative

    What is Instruqt?

    Instruqt is a hands-on virtual IT lab that was designed to make self-paced training, pre-sales demos, and large-scale product workshops a smoother experience using cloud-based sandbox environments.

    what is Instruqt

    It is basically the playground you give your customers for product adoption, your new employees when they are learning new skills, and if you are an instructor, what you give your students to learn, test, and get hands-on experience. 

    The platform is browser-based and uses clouds like Google Cloud Platform, so all you need to do is get online and use cool features like ready-to-use templates, API calls, and sandbox management.

    Instruqt Pricing

    Instruqt has a usage-based pricing system, which means users pay as they go. There is currently no public pricing list, however, potential customers can book a demo or call with a specialist.

    Instruqt Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    “At the end, this enable us to define with great detail the practice experience we want our customers and prospects to get with our product.”

    👎 Cons:

    “The infra that support our labs relies on GCP, so in this sense our labs depends on GCP status. If there is an outage or the level of service that Google Cloud provides is degraded, our labs might be affected. It would be nice to have more alternatives on this aspect, not just for the cloud accounts feature (that is great!)."

    Why you need a Instruqt Alternative

    As you can tell, Instruqt is a wonderful platform. Unless what you want to do with it is user onboarding.

    Let's admit it, demos are a dying art.

    So here's why you should reconsider going with Instruqt if you need a digital adoption solution.

    1- Designed for enterprises

    Instruqt was designed for enterprises, and it doesn't take a genius to realize this.

    It is in fact, woven into the product narrative, and being enterprise-ready is among the features.

    Even when smaller businesses use Instruqt, it is for workshops with big groups of people. Otherwise, it is hard to see the real value of the tool and how much it is worth the money.

    2- Users want free trials, not demos

    More and more companies every day realize one hard truth: customers don't want to get in touch.

    However good your demo might be, it can get tiring, boring, or straight-up annoying. And I'm thankful we are slowly but surely realizing that.

    Now, when the situation is like this and people are flooding into interactive user guide solutions, is it a good call to go to Instruqt for user onboarding use cases?

    Top Instruqt Alternatives

    Let me remind you once again, Instruqt is perfect at what it does.

    But because customer onboarding is among the solutions they offer, we gotta make sure to see all the alternatives before running that direction.

    Alternatives that can do onboarding without the need for a representative or an instructor, without going into a sandbox and right inside the actual product.

    The future of tech adoption is interactive onboarding, and if the reason you are considering buying Instruqt is for a quick, painless customer journey, you need to see some alternatives first.

    Here are the top 5 alternatives to Instruqt for user onboarding use cases:

    1. CloudShare
    2. UserGuiding
    3. Intercom
    4. YesElf
    5. Shepherd.js

    I'll go over each tool, compare it to Instruqt, and talk about which cases they should be preferred. So, without further ado, let’s start with our first product:

    1- CloudShare

    CloudShare is another IT lab tool that makes use of hands-on labs to train users with bite-sized challenges, various external sources, and custom plugins.

    what is Instruqt

    Supporting AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, Cloudshare is a very close alternative to Instruqt.

    Although CloudShare lacks some of the features Instruqt provides, like Kubernetes support out of the box, preloaded environments, and instant feedback for product adoption, it is a more established platform than Instruqt and is known for its ease of use.

    CloudShare Pricing

    CloudShare also has a buy-as-you-go approach, but just like many other tools of this type, a public pricing list seems to be violating their privacy policy 🤷‍♀️

    CloudShare Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    “I have over 30 years experience with systems and virtual machines. I have my own environments, but CloudShare gave me the chance to access the environments in a very easy manner and have always a very good performance. I use different environments to show our software solutions with very critical components.”

    👎 Cons:

    “Some of the desktop sharing between students and instructor take a bit of discovery to understand. They could be a bit more intuitive.”

    2 - UserGuiding – No-code Interactive User Onboarding

    UserGuiding is a no-code user onboarding solution that helps businesses train users, employees, and customers with interactive guides and more.

    UserGuiding alternative to Instruqt

    Now, while UserGuiding or some other tools on the list are not necessarily IT lab software, they are great tools for smaller companies who don't need to use virtual machines or for other sizes of companies that would rather train users in a real environment. 

    With UserGuiding, users can onboard users and even enhance product-led growth using:

    • Interactive guides and product tours,
    • Onboarding checklists,
    • Resource centers,
    • NPS surveys and feedback collection,
    • Powerful analytics,
    • Segmentation and targeting, and
    • Customization and personalization

    This is the future of tech adoption that requires no user environments and can train users the right way, where they are in an actual environment. 

    What makes UserGuiding better than Instruqt?

    • UserGuiding is a fully user onboarding-focused tool while Instruqt's main use case is a sandbox for complex user training. In case of user onboarding that doesn't require a demo experience, UserGuiding takes the lead with better training feautres.
    • Instruqt has an almost half-baked UX and UI while UserGuiding makes use of a clean dashboard and easy-to-follow UI.
    • For a user, employee, or customer training case, as long as the software to be taught does not lack a proper user interface, UserGuiding is an easier to use, more affordable, and in the end even money-saving solution.

    UserGuiding Pricing

    • 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
    • Basic Plan: $89/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU
    • Professional Plan: $389/month when billed annually for up to 20000 MAU with unlimited guides
    • Custom Quotation Available for Larger Companies

    UserGuiding Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    "As a product manager, this tool is a great way to build out different onboarding flows and test them with my team long before I push something live."

    👎 Cons:

    “I had a problem and in a few minutes they solved it for me, and they did it in Spanish.”

    UserGuiding vs Instruqt

    UserGuiding Instruqt
    Advanced features ✅
    Advanced features ✅
    No technical knowledge required ✅
    Technical knowledge required for both ends ❌
    Easy to set up and use ✅
    Setup and use can be cumbersome ❌
    Affordable for all sizes of business ✅
    Not fit for smaller businesses ❌

    3- Intercom

    Intercom is a user experience tool that makes it possible for companies to support and engage with users while also marketing the product.

    Intercom alternative to Instruqt

    The reason why it is a good alternative to Instruqt is that Intercom has the most established built-in help system, live chat solutions, in the digital adoption market. Though it is not the very same use case with Instruqt, it is possible to train users via other different tools like:

    • Fully-fledged knowledge bases,
    • Advanced chat options,
    • Onboarding flow creation,
    • Appointment management, and more.

    So, my point is, instead of using Instruqt for demos and training sessions with customers or employees, Intercom might serve as a better alternative with its user training options and the best user communication out there.

    Intercom Pricing

    Intercom has three plans for Support, Customer Engagement, and Marketing that they don't have fixed pricing for.

    However, they have a small business plan that starts from $74/month and add-ons like product tours can be added for $199/month.

    Intercom Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    "I liked how easy Intercom was to install, without needing Engineering help beyond the time it took to insert the widget. I can update the user experience to A/B test all through the application."

    👎 Cons:

    "Customer service is terrible and they just don't give two hoots about their customers. Constantly introducing new features but not actually fixing the main feature that someone would need."

    4- YesElf

    YesElf is an AI-powered adoption platform that makes employee onboarding its main goal to achieve.

    YesElf alternative to Instruqt

    Similar to UserGuiding, YesElf is a tool that can be used to create onboarding flows, and thus operates on an actual environment. But in the case that the reason why you want Instruqt is to train your users, it can help greatly with its features specialized in employee training.

    YesElf is especially good for training use cases since it is powered by AI and has features like confusion detection and auto-triggered help options.

    YesElf Pricing

    • YesElf for Office 365 (1000) - $793,00/month
    • YesElf for Office 365 (10000) - $1.525,00/month
    • YesElf Monthly Subscription (1000) - $1.586,00/month
    • YesElf Monthly Subscription (10000) - $3.050,00/month

    YesElf Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    “We integrated YesElf into our application, so we didn't need to train employees personally and they didn't need to search for any external materials on how to use the software application. Thanks to YesElf, we are now able to identify differences in software adoption across multiple countries and support specifically countries with the lowest adoption rates.”

    👎 Cons:

    “We should have setup the policies in the AD differently but that is not application related.”

    5- Shepherd.js

    Shepherd.js is an open-source, free-to-use library for people who want to code their own digital adoption flow.

    Shepherd.js alternative to Instruqt

    While Shepherd's use case seems very far from Instruqt, it can actually be a great employee training or customer onboarding tool for small businesses on a budget. 

    Moreover, because Shepherd is an open-source library that requires a developer to take matters into their hands and work on the flow, it is way a way more secure option than the other tools on this list, including Instruqt.

    But it is important to also add that Shepherd can be hard to work with unless you have a developer on the case.

    Shepherd.js Pricing

    Shepherd.js is absolutely free, and support is also available in the GitHub community.


    In conclusion, Instruqt is a really cool tool.

    There aren't many good tools out there that let you offer your users a sandbox environment and do it that easily.

    However, on some conditions, and especially if it's onboarding/digital adoption, you might want to check some alternatives. These conditions would be:

    1. CloudShare, for when you want an IT lab really similar to Instruqt but you want a more established, more experienced solution.
    2. UserGuiding, for when you want to onboard employees, users, our customers and you know no-touch interactive onboarding with better onboarding features is much more preferred now.
    3. Intercom, for when you want a solution you can set up knowledge bases for later and pay a reasonable price.
    4. YesElf, for when you need a dedicated employee onboarding solution that can also make use of AI-powered features.
    5. Shepherd.js, for when you need a free option and have someone who can work on the project to help your users adopt the software.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Who should use Instruqt?

    Enterprises with a number of employees that they can’t train one on one but also cannot make the training very general with an interactive onboarding flow can use IT labs like Instruqt.

    How much does Instruqt cost?

    Instruqt does not share a public pricing list. However, being a platform mostly working with enterprises, it can be speculated that it is more expensive than the average training solution.

    What are the top alternatives to Instruqt?

    While similar hands-on IT labs that make use of sandbox experiences like CloudShare and KAtoCoda can be mentioned, other digital adoption solutions like UserGuiding, Intercom, and YesElf can be considered good alternatives to Instruqt for the use case of onboarding users and customers via in-app guides.

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