How to build successful Guides

The following guideline will make your Guides effective and successful. 

You’ve created a segmentation concept and you know which Guides you want to build. What’s next?

I. The Guide Effectiveness Checklist that will make your existing Guides successful
. Make sure that you don’t miss anything when building and reviewing your Guides.

II. Things you should consider in general to create Guides that reach your goals. Find more useful information accompanying the checklist.

  • If you already have a Userlane account and you are based in Europe  ⇨ Start this Guide to see how we solved this.
  • If you already have a Userlane account and you are based in the US  ⇨ Start this Guide to see how we solved this. 

Userlane Effectiveness Checklist


1. Does the Guide have a clear goal?

2. Does the Guide have less / around 12 steps (absolute maximum: 20)?

3. Does the Guide work on every page (starting point) where it is visible in the Assistant? If not, use context-based segmentation to only show it on the right pages.

4. Does the Guide work for every user group (users with different features, limitations, etc.)? If not, segment it to the right users.

5. Stability: Is the Guide safe from breaking accidentally by clicking somewhere outside the Guide?

Text & Wording

6. Is the title of your GUide clear and actionable? Does it answer “what” the tour is about, what its goal is? 

7. If you have a subtitle, does it tell “why” the user should do this tour?

8. Does the first slide of the Guide tell the user about the content they’ll experience? Is it motivating? Tell your users why they should do this tour.

9. Does the last slide wrap up what your users have achieved? Does it praise the user for what they have done? 

10. Does the Guide have a friendly and clear tone that fits your company style?

11. Look at your texts: Are there any sentences/parts that don’t contain relevant information? Delete/shorten any sentences that don’t add value.


12. Are your Guides as interactive as possible?

13. Is the Welcome Slide enabled? Does it explain Userlane and where users can access it?

14. Are your Guides integrated into and accessible through multiple channels (help docs, emails, support, etc.)? For example, use link boxes, trigger commands, and the promotion feature.

15. If appropriate: did you add media elements to improve the user experience?

How To Create Guides To Reach Your Goals

Perspective, Goal, Context

There are three approaches you should consider at all times: 

Dedicate a Guide to a clear and specific purpose to avoid confusion

  • Make the title actionable and match the title to the goal of the content.  The title should answer the “what” to expect in this Guide. Example title: “Create a Lead”

  • Based on your use case and your goals with Userlane, you can define the amount of possible interaction of your users.

    A) If you want to introduce users to your app or to a feature, but you don’t want them to run into any confusion, reduce the amount of interaction. Use explanation steps with prevented interaction for showing the user around. Use the “Specific Value” option in a step to make sure that the user only creates a test object. We recommend this also for the first Guide(s).

    B) If you want to support your users in their performance of doing a process, increase interaction. Allow the interaction in some steps so that the users can follow their own choices. Use the “Any Value” option to allow your users to decide what they want to type into an input field. We recommend this if you target advanced users.

Keep it simple: as little as possible, as much as necessary

Only have user-relevant information in your Guide. Ask yourself for every step and every word that you add: 

  • Does this step or text add value for the user?

  • Is this information necessary for the goal of the tour and the user at this moment?

  • Does this information help the user to achieve the goal of this tour? 

Amount of steps: ~12 per tour, max 20. Reason: The user stays motivated and doesn’t get bored. Avoid long overview tours, but reduce it to the relevant basics.

Amount of information: Only add text that adds value. If you have more background knowledge you want to communicate, link external resources like a help document. It is ok if a content text box is empty in some steps. Users will learn out of texts that are not valuable for them at the moment and won’t read the step texts anymore. Therefore, make sure that every word is useful for your users. Example: The user already knows what action is required to proceed to the next step, you don’t need to tell him again. Instead of the step title “Click here” you can tell the user “Open the settings section”.

Avoid cognitive overload. Stick to a clear and consistent top-down structure in the order of your Guides and chapters  (from general to specific information). Whenever possible, only write one piece of information into one step box. Use info boxes to highlight specific information. Use clear and simple wording and try to stick to the same specific phrases that you use in your product. Don’t repeat steps or texts without adding value.

Keep the user’s attention and motivation. Add praises, Call-To-Actions, emojis, GIFs, images, or whatever keeps the user motivated and whenever the tone is appropriate. Make the Guides as playful as possible. Add some interaction steps now and then, even if the tour mainly explains something. Give some examples, e.g. in an info box.
⇨ Start this Guide to see some examples of best practices.

Additional recommendations & tips

Use a personal tone (if company culture allows it) 

You are not a robot or a paper manual - so don’t talk like it in your Guides! Be creative and address your users with a nice and personal tone. Don’t be shy, e.g. let them know that they are doing a good job whenever they finish a Guide or a chapter.

Use a human or help-related Assistant image 

We recommend using a friendly face that your users can identify with - e.g. from your CEO or one of your Customer Success Managers. Alternatively, you can also think about using a mascot or a company help logo - but always make sure that your users will like it and be triggered to use it. 

Use the first and last slides effectively

Mix between interactive and explanative steps

Use media elements

Enrich your processes with images, short videos, GIFs, or links to further content or support. The more different media you use, the more will the user remember from this tour. Find some examples and learn how it works in this Guide.

Use the Welcome Slide

Use change management and expectation management approaches to push the new tools among your users. Welcome your users when they recognize Userlane for the first time. Introduce this new Assistant and show them the value and benefits for them. Here is an example:

Target your users with a useful segmentation

By applying context- and user-based segmentation, you can ensure that your users will only see currently relevant content. Find out more in this article: Best Practice: create a solid segmentation concept.

Make Userlane accessible and visible in all customer communication channels

Enrich your help documentation with links to the respective Guides. Activate one or two promotions to remind some less active users to have a look at this Guide. If you have support tickets, why don’t you link some Guides whenever it is useful?

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