Increasingly, the use of digital walkthroughs for onboarding, training and support are becoming incredibly widespread. These offer some unique benefits over traditional streams for customer success such as webinars, chatboxes or customer service in driving adoption and reducing churn. In the following, we detail some tips for customer success and product teams who are just starting to develop digital walkthroughs to help ensure they achieve their end goals of engaging users.
1. Come Up With A Style Guide
Design a style guide for walkthroughs that can be applied across your organisation. Avoid fancy typography or garish colours, unless it fits in with your web application style. It may seem obvious, but we recommend every team start off with a style guide for their walkthroughs.
This could be physical attributes such as colours and fonts or it could be about writing in an active as opposed to passive voice. Teams that are just starting out can get away with a simple version of this but as your library of walkthrough grows and team members who are contributing scale, you will appreciate having something to tie all your walkthroughs together.
2. Identify Your Target Group & End Goals
When starting to draft a walkthrough identify which group of users you are targeting and what is the end goal of building the walkthrough, or group of walkthroughs. These will substantially change the way you design your walkthroughs.
A walkthrough for a newly built feature could work very differently for new users of your platform vs experienced users. Differences across roles in organisations could also change how your walkthroughs are phrased. For example, an invoice and a statement of accounts may be referenced interchangeably in a customer service context but in accounting terms reference very different documents.
It may also be worth it to make notes on each walkthrough for administration purposes. Think of these as the walkthrough version of user stories in Agile development. Teams can easily reference these in the future.
3. Build for the rule, not the exception
Keep your walkthrough focused on the use case for 95% of the population, do not try to account for every exception in your walkthrough. There is an inverse relationship between ease of use and flexibility. Accounting for all exceptions might make your walkthrough overly unwieldy for a significant portion of users.
Bear in mind that walkthroughs are NOT the only avenue for users to learn and obtain support. Exceptions would be dealt with through other channels such as a customer service officer who can offer more complex solutions. Digital walkthroughs should be utilised as part of overall customer experience and not regarded as the only tool.
4. Keep Each Walkthrough Focused On 1 End Goal
Users can lose attention easily if each walkthrough is too long. As a rule of thumb, we don’t recommend building walkthroughs longer than 10 steps though in some circumstances, these longer walkthroughs may be required.
If a number of goals need to be completed to reach 1 ultimate end goal, consider using a group of walkthroughs in a checklist. For example, it may be your overall end goal to have a new user issue an invoice on your software (an Ah-hah moment). This may require 3 parts:
Setting up Chart of Accounts;
Setting up customer information; and
Actually issuing the invoice.
Rather than build this as a single long walkthrough, consider building it in 3 parts. This is easier for users to digest and cognitively also offers an element of gamification to your walkthroughs for small cognitive rewards upon completion of each part.
5. Use Walkthrough Types In The Right Way
Each walkthrough type has different purposes.
Use modals when you want to draw user attention to your instructions. Particularly useful for introductions and endings of walkthroughs.
Use slideouts if you want to introduce a number of elements on a page, or want to give the user some space to explore your application.
Use tooltips if you want to draw attention to specific elements and want to guide users through multiple steps in a process.
We will cover these in more detail in a future post.
6. Keep Instructions Short & Simple
Keep instructions short and to the point for each walkthrough step. Unless you are doing an introduction, keeping your writing short is preferable for users to digest what you are writing. Generally, we recommend not more than 3 sentences on each step of your walkthrough.
7. Measure Performance And Improve
It is critical to set out measurement metrics for how your walkthrough is performing and whether it is aiding users in achieving their end goal. Ultimately the purpose of walkthroughs is to assist customers and they should be evolved and updated in the future to better achieve that. This may mean updating the copywriting, redesigning the steps or in some cases eliminating walkthroughs for overly simple steps that are clear enough in the UX/UI already.
Feedback may be quantitative such as how many percent of users choose to skip the entire walkthrough. Feedback can also be qualitative such as feedback from users that they skip because it had already covered the complex portion that was confusing them and they were confident about the following steps. We strongly recommend walkthrough administrators never to rely solely on the numbers as there may be a variety of reasons why numbers turn out the way they do.
Nothing beats speaking and understanding the needs of users directly.
Armed with this new knowledge on how best to create digital walkthroughs, we are confident that you are now able to design walkthroughs for your users in an effective manner. If you are looking for a platform to help automate and assist you to set up digital walkthroughs without code, do consider our very own digital adoption platform at www.user-tip.com. We assist customer success teams to manage walkthroughs and other digital adoption tools without code so that you can drive adoption and reduce churn.