User Onboarding

How to Create Software Walkthroughs That Users Love in 2024

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    Home / User Onboarding / How to Create Software Walkthroughs That Users Love in 2024

    Last month, I had a one-sided problem with my favorite food delivery application just when I needed to order fast (my friends were hella hungry).

    BUT I had a mishap with my payment method, and I couldn’t place the order as easily as I thought I would.

    This could all have been prevented had I known where the section that I needed to visit was.

    That’s why I’ll be spilling the beans on software walkthrough in this article.


    👉 Software walkthroughs are onboarding processes that include the most optimal route of actions that display the key features of your product.

    👉 Training through product tours and walkthroughs helps users understand your product value and generate massive end-user adoption.

    👉 Used by many digital adoption platforms, software walkthroughs can also include custom events triggered by certain user behavior, which would help your business to easily create a user journey map based on user segmentation.

    👉 A great software walkthrough should include multiple items in order to improve customer retention. Starting from the top:

    ➡️ It should be a short and prescriptive walkthrough so that users can engage with the content without feeling burdened.

    ➡️ The more interactive, the better. Users can resonate better with the product when they can interact with it in real time as a part of the walkthrough.

    ➡️ The process should include all the features that your audience would actively use to solve their pain points, yet it shouldn’t be a complex procedure that might disengage them. So, it’s better to leave the advanced features out of it, especially for the sake of first-time users.

    ➡️ Don’t forget that skip buttons are life savers when it comes to fast learners. You should definitely make it an indispensable item of your walkthroughs for a better ROI.

    👉 During the design process, you should keep some points in mind. These include:

    ➡️ App walkthrough elements are your friends. You should utilize them in order to gauge interest to the item you wish them to check out.

    ➡️ While going through the main features of your product, you might also want to help users discover some features on their own, which would keep the walkthrough short as well. For this step, you can place elements that get triggered when users take specific actions.

    ➡️ Let users interact with your product so that they can see the real value of your product on their own.

    ➡️ Keep in mind that some users might prefer skipping the actions because they aren’t going to use them, or they’re already familiar with them, OR they are fast learners. This is the sole reason you should add a skip button to your software walkthroughs.

    👉 There are several walkthrough software out there—I added my favorite no-code tool as an example towards the end of the article in order to help you out 😌😌😌

    What makes a software walkthrough great?

    A software walkthrough is supposed to provide your user base with contextual guidance through a series of items.

    Similar to product tours, software walkthroughs are here to improve the overall user experience by showing valuable features throughout the onboarding process.

    To create a good software walkthrough, here are the items you should keep in mind:

    1- Keep it short and clear ⏰

    For each user persona to really get the value behind the app walkthrough you put out, they need to be there from beginning to end.

    In short, they need to be engaged with the walkthrough til it ends—which would be only possible if you design it to be precise and concise.

    2- Interaction is a must 👆

    One thing most businesses forget is that interaction is the key step of user engagement.

    Every onboarding walkthrough should include interactivity as a part of the onboarding flow in order to maintain end-user engagement.

    If you can check this item off of your list, then you’re one step closer to creating that exceptional interactive guide ✨

    3- Add more ways to help users out 🤖

    When product walkthroughs include complex steps, users might need to take some time to understand better.

    That’s the reason why you should always have one method available for users to get help quickly.

    Alas, think of the times you needed assistance using an application and how it’d enhance your own onboarding experience to actually get that support.

    4- Don’t forget to add a skip button ⏭️

    As all good things come to an end, so should your app guide.

    Sometimes faster than expected ’cause some users might be faster learners who wish to skip to the next item on the list.

    Any walkthrough should give them the option to speak since moving on with the process might become a frustration when all they want to do is skip.

    How to create a good software walkthrough (with examples)

    Well, every business has a different take on software walkthrough.

    While complex products implement step-by-step guides, some names opt in for app onboarding elements like modals, hotspots, and videos.

    Let’s start:

    1- Keep fast learners in mind, too.

    No matter how impressive your product is, it’s the first impression that counts.

    During this short yet impactful session, you should keep user engagement goals in mind and act accordingly.

    Let’s see how HR-Assistant did so during the interactive product tour process:

    HR-Assistant software walkthrough example

    With UserGuiding, HR-Assistant created an onboarding sequence for users to follow without any hassle, increasing the overall retention rate.

    It contains several short steps that display what users can achieve in the product BUT what matters the most here is that it’s totally skippable.

    Thanks to the “close this segment” button on the right corner of the tooltip, users are able to move forward without completing the software walkthrough.

    2- Make use of app walkthrough elements.

    Creating a software walkthrough requires a wide variety of elements that support user education through an interactive experience.

    For example, interactive product walkthroughs should have:

    • onboarding checklists,
    • modals,
    • hotspots,
    • and tooltips.
    Slack's software walkthrough example

    During the user onboarding experience Slack offers, there is an app walkthrough element that showcases a key feature.

    On the user interface, there is a messaging section where you get to communicate with your team members—which comes with a tooltip for first-time users. This step of the user journey is crucial as the main aim of this digital tool is to be a bridge between colleagues who share messages in multiple formats.

    3- Put importance on feature discovery.

    The initial app walkthrough is the first impression you make on your users—in which YOU decide on every key event.You should keep this sequence short and concise to enable user retention, just like Spotify.

    Spotify's software walkthrough element

    This is one of the patterns for app walkthroughs that work like a charm on users since you get to hit two birds with one stone.

    Because the product tour features app guidance and presents a feature adoption experience along the way.

    Spotify does this better than anyone in the game since active users get notified about valuable features whether they are part of the initial app walkthrough OR have just been launched.

    4- Make sure that users are able to interact.

    Businesses tend to utilize user onboarding checklists during onboarding experiences because they are the key items for user activation.

    Let’s check how benefits from this element during its software walkthrough:'s spftware walkthrough onboarding checklist

    Making checklists a part of the product experience, monday succeeds at creating interactive walkthroughs.

    Thanks to this interaction, new users can see the value the platform offers by going through some introductory and informative steps.

    This step-by-step guide also urges users to take the initiative to create a board, which happens to be a great factor in activation rates❗


    Software walkthroughs are necessary for any modern product adoption SINCE they can make or break your product.

    To have a successful attempt, you should put importance on several items when designing a software walkthrough—from customer retention to customer satisfaction.

    There are tons more KPIs and metrics to consider during the selection process but let me be clear: Unless you keep it short and make it both interactive and skippable, nothing will matter.

    Don’t forget that you can use a third-party tool (like UserGuiding) to help you with creating a software walkthrough.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What does walkthrough mean in application?

    Walkthrough in application refers to a process that guides users by pinpointing the main features of the product and showing them how to utilize them. This process has to include some key traits in order to help improve product usage, such as app guidance elements, skip buttons, interactive items, and short copies.

    What is a system walkthrough?

    System walkthroughs include a full course of actions that put out the real value of your product in order to help users perceive the benefits your product offers. It’s like a product journey that you can direct for users to follow the most optimal route, which also includes providing the most personalized experience out there for each user segment.

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