We often receive the question: "How do I build the perfect userlane?". As you can imagine, this is a tough one. There is no single answer to this question. Different situations call for different solutions. 

Since we want you to be successful, here are some best practices to keep in mind while building your userlanes.

In this article we will cover the ten golden rules that our UX experts follow when they work their magic and create userlanes:

1) Aim for an average of 12 steps per Userlane

We humans have a limited attention span. We've found that after 12 steps the completion rate of a userlane drops. If you are describing a long process, look out for breaks in the progress that you can use to split up the userlane. 

2) Give your users some context 

Context will help your users understand information better. Give them some context before they start a userlane, connect it to previous information. They will understand the bigger picture and remember information faster. 

3) Motivate your users

When was the last time you received a pat on your back from someone? I bet that you can still remember it because it is such a nice feeling. And this is the feeling your users should have every time they finish a userlane. So, be creative and tell your users after every guide how proud you are. You can also use little rewards, like a nice image or a funny GIF in the last slide of the userlane.

4) Give your users a break 

Everyone likes breaks, so this is why you should also give your users some. 

Whenever it is possible, squeeze an explanatory step between two interactive ones. Of course, this shouldn't interrupt the flow of the userlane but a good rule of thumb is to have a "break" every 4 to 5 steps. 

Also, don’t overdo it with the amount of text 😉

5) Introduce your application  

The first userlane that a new user goes through should be like a good trailer of an even better movie. It should excite the user and spark their interest in the upcoming onboarding process. And, at the same time, it should give a brief overview of the core features so the user is able to orientate himself.  

6) Make your users feel welcome 

Imagine you go to a new restaurant and you're really excited about trying it out. But once you arrive, the waiters ignore you and no one offers you a place to sit. Would you still consider eating there? Most likely not. 

So, give your users a warm welcome and introduce the virtual assistant in a personal way by using an inviting Welcome Slide. 

7) Use infoboxes (but don't overdo it) 

Infoboxes are a great way to give your users even more guidance at a particular step. You can make them aware of important information or things they should consider. But don't overdo it. If you put an infobox on every step the effect will wear off.

8) Link external content

Sometimes, your users need additional information in order to fully understand the process. At these key moments, you can link external content, like FAQs or a help desk article using the a link box. You can also include short videos or pictures in a step to give even more context to your users!

9) Talk to your users like a human

Surprise! This sounds like a rather redundant best practice but it is not. We've noticed that the language in help content doesn’t seem to be coming from humans but rather from robots.  Somehow we talk differently in the virtual space than in real life. 

In your userlanes you shouldn't make this difference. Talk to your users as you would to a good friend. If you bear this in mind, the completion rates of your userlanes will soar. 

10) Use an avatar your users can relate to

The avatar you use as the personal assistant should be carefully selected. It doesn't matter if it is a human or an animal, male or female, blue or green, choose someone that appeals to your users. 

Are you still a small company? Why not use a photo of your CEO. Do you have an awesome customer success team? Why not take your Customer Success Manager. Do you have a company dog? There are so many possibilities...

  

Now you know (some of) the secrets of our UX experts. Of course, we will keep you up-to-date about new best practices that come up. If you cannot wait for more or if you have a particular question feel free to contact us via support@userlane.com

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