You’ve created a content concept and you know which Guides you want to build. What’s next?
I. The Userlane 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.
Note: Do you want real examples? Have a look at how we solved it in our own Userlane Dashboard.
I. Guide Effectiveness Checklist
1. Does the Guide have a clear goal?
2. Does the Guide have less / around 12 steps (absolute maximum: 20)?
3. Does it 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 it 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?
Text & Wording
6. What text/information does the user need to achieve the goal of the guide?
Do you want to onboard your users or allow them to achieve the result as fast as possible?
Is the title of your guide clear and actionable?
Does it answer “what” the tour is about, what its goal is?
7. When using a subtitle, does it tell “why” the user should do this tour or "who" this guide is targeted at?
8. Does the First Slide 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 it 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?
15. If appropriate: did you add media elements to improve the user experience?
II. 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. 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 a user to your app or to a feature, but you don’t want him 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 your Guides’ and chapters’ order (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 a 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 additional value.
Keep the user’s attention and motivation.
Add praises, Call-To-Actions, emoji’s, GIF’s, images or whatever keeps the user motivated and whenever the tone is appropriate.
Add some interaction steps now and then, even if the tour mainly explains something. Give some examples, e.g. in an Info box. For some best practices, check out our Dashboard Guides.
Additional Recommendations & Tips
Use a personal tone (if the company culture allows it).
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 Slide and the Last Slide 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 the Assistant 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 a 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 the Assistant accessible and visible in all customer communication channels
Enrich your help documentation with links to the respective Guides.
You can also use Promotions or Announcements to remind your users of your Guides. If you have support tickets, why don’t you link some Guides whenever it is useful?