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WALKTHROUGH SOFTWARE: HOW INTERACTIVE WALKTHROUGHS HELP USERS

Walkthrough

Walkthrough software is an essential tool for companies implementing a new enterprise application in their organization or for SaaS companies looking to improve their product.

Onboarding and supporting users of any software is a challenging task. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and if users find your software challenging to use, they might not come back.

If you're a large company implementing new software, failed onboarding could lead to poor adoption and a loss of productivity - not to mention the wasted money on your software and training.

If you're a SaaS product when users bail after a poor onboarding experience, you've lost a paying customer. If people can't figure out how to use your software, they're not going to keep paying for it.

Using a walkthrough software to build an interactive walkthrough can solve product adoption challenges and improve your user onboarding experience.

In this post, we're going to examine the most frequently asked questions about walkthrough software to discover the best ways to implement interactive walkthroughs in your application. We will cover:

What is an Interactive Walkthrough?

An interactive walkthrough helps users adjust to a new program or process with on-screen guidance. Pop-up balloons to show users where to click and give instructions on what to do next. Interactive workflows are frequently used as a part of user training and onboarding.

Common types include:

  • Product tours to show new users how to navigate the application,
  • Process flows to help users finish tasks correctly, or
  • Feature introduction to show existing users how a new feature works.

How do software walkthroughs help users?

Interactive walkthroughs can significantly improve user onboarding and adoption by making your application easier to use. The software tour is like having an experienced guide sit next to the new user and show them how to use the application.

How-do-software-walkthroughs-help-users

Even the best-designed software can be difficult to master at first. A good product tour can help novice users feel like experts. Think about tax preparation software. Most people who use TurboTax or other do-it-yourself tax preparation services are not accountants. They’re not tax experts.

So how do tax novices end up completing their taxes without the help of a professional? The software makes it easy by asking a series of questions and guiding users through the process. This approach makes tax preparation simple and faster.

Essentially, the entire program is an interactive walkthrough for your taxes. While the tasks your users are completing may not be as complicated as taxes, they still reap the benefits of making their jobs easier with on-screen guidance.

What is Walkthrough Software?

Walkthrough software allows you to create interactive walkthroughs without having to code and program them yourself. They work as a layer that sits on top of any web-based application.

Walkthrough software typically delivers content in one of three ways:

  • Loading a javascript in the header of your application,
  • Through a browser extension, or
  • Via an API.

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Why do I need walkthrough software?

So, if you want to help users with on-screen guidance, you may wonder why you need to buy walkthrough software? SaaS companies often think they could just make it a part of their products. Large organizations think their IT teams can make custom guided workflows.

Why-do-I-need-walkthrough-software

Yes, you can create on-screen guidance content without walkthrough software. But should you?

Creating and maintaining guided workflows from scratch is time-consuming. A Walkthrough software enables you to design and publish content quickly - without having to deal with any limits on your internal development team.

What types of walkthrough software are available?

Most on-screen guidance solutions are a part of a growing category of SaaS providers called Digital Adoption Solutions or Digital Adoption Platforms.

What-types-of-walkthrough-software-are-available

These solutions are designed to help users navigate and adopt digital technology like a new HCM or ERP system or a new CRM like Salesforce. They're also deployed by SaaS companies to improve their user experience and adoption.

Digital adoption solutions vary significantly in their features and functions. Low-end products are best suited for simple guided tours as they tend to focus only on adding pop-up bubbles. Enterprise-grade applications will include robust analytics and automation.

Find-out-why

What features should I look for in a walkthrough software?

Since there are so many Digital Adoption applications on the market, it's crucial to select one that best meets all your needs. Use these checklists to ensure you're making a wise choice:

What-features-should-I-look-for-in-a-walkthrough-software

Essential Walkthrough Software Features Needed in a Digital Adoption Platform

Features

Description

Audience Segmentation

Make sure the platform lets you customize your workflows, based on roles or user groups.

Multi-Language Support

Make sure you can deliver support content in all the languages you support.

Mobile Support

Some lower-end applications only allow you to create guided workflows for desktop applications. If your user base accesses your application in a mobile browser or app, make sure you can develop content for them too.

If you’re looking for enterprise-class digital adoption tools, consider evaluating your vendors to see if their platform has these features:

 

Enterprise Features in Digital Adoption Platforms

Feature

Description

Cross-Application Support

If you want to use guided workflows to help users complete a business process, make sure your walkthrough software works with every application users will need, to complete the process. For example, a user might need to input a deal in their CRM and then create an invoice in their accounting system. An advanced DAP would create a workflow that guides the user through both applications.

Automation

Automation takes your interactive walkthroughs a step further. If it's a repetitive process, can you leverage automation to complete some or all of it? Advanced Digital Adoption Platforms will include an option for you to automate some or all of the process, so you can eliminate time-consuming steps in your workflows.

Advanced Analytics

An enterprise-grade solution should allow you to understand how people are engaging with your application and your workflows.

Read More:- Top 5 Features to Look For While Choosing a Digital Adoption Platform

How easy is it to create an interactive walkthrough?

The ease of creating product tours and guided workflows will vary depending on the platform you choose. To get the maximum value out of your walkthrough software, you should prioritize ease of use for content creators.

How-easy-is-it-to-create-an-interactive-walkthrough

If it's too challenging or time-consuming to create a guided workflow, then you'll generate less content and not deliver the best experience for your users.

Look for software that includes a code-free editor that allows you to create and publish content quickly. Apty's editor is one of the easiest to use in the market.

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How do I know what workflows to create?

Knowing what workflows to create is one of the toughest challenges. Many people know how an application is designed to work, but don't always know how it's being used by ordinary users.

How-do-I-know-what-workflows-to-create

With a traditional or legacy digital adoption solution, you just have to guess what workflows to create. You then get analytics on how users interacted with those.

Legacy-DAP

Legacy Digital Adoption Solution Cycle

‘Guess and check’ is clearly not the most efficient way to create support content. Modern Digital Adoption platforms, like Apty, follow the DAP Cycle, which helps you first identify what workflows are needed before creating the content.

The cycle has four parts:

  1. Setup tracking to determine how users are interacting with your application
  2. Analyze your usage to provide actionable insights on how and where to introduce workflows
  3. Create and deploy your guided workflows
  4. Continuously analyze and optimize your workflows to better meet users' needs

DAP

By following the DAP cycle, you don't waste time or money creating content users don't need. The DAP cycle helps you quickly identify where on-screen guidance is necessary and how to best support your users.

Read More:- Digital Adoption Done the Right Way: What You Need to Know About the DAP Cycle

What best practices should I follow when creating interactive walkthroughs?

What-best-practices-should-I-follow-when-creating-interactive-walkthroughs

When building your interactive product tour and on-screen guidance consider adopting these best practices:

  1. Learn your users’ behaviors and identify their needs
    As discussed above, you shouldn't go crazy, creating tons of interactive walkthroughs without first figuring out how your users are interacting with the program, so you can build workflows best suited to their needs.
  2. Make the Aha! moment obvious
    When users start to understand the value of your application, they've' reached the 'Aha moment.' Leverage interactive walkthroughs to create an onboarding experience that seamlessly guides them and allows them to discover the value of what your platform does. Remember, onboarding isn't about telling someone why they'll love your new application, it's about showing them. You'll know your product tour is a success if users think, "Wow, this is going to save me so much time," or "this is so much easier.”
  3. Customize each user’s experience
    Not every user has the same needs - which is why it’s good to have walkthrough software that allows for user segmentation. Don’t waste someone’s time with a workflow on a feature or process they’ll never use. Create unique onboarding experiences that include product tours custom-tailored by your different user types.
  4. Establish and track metrics to measure your success
    It's essential to measure how users are interacting with your product tours and on-screen guidance. One key metric to look at is utilization and completion. How many people initiate a workflow, and how many people complete it? If ‘not that many people’ are launching the workflow, it could mean it wasn't needed, or the process for starting the guided tour isn't apparent and If ‘not that many people’ are completing it, you need to identify why they're dropping off. Is the content not relevant? Are they abandoning the process?
  5. Remind people when they haven’t finished onboarding
    If you're using guided product tours as a part of your onboarding, hopefully, your walkthrough software allows you to track who has and has not completed the flow. Leverage that data to remind people to finish the process. Setup automated alerts that nudge people to finish their onboarding.
  6. Break up workflows and processes into bite-sized chunks
    If your workflows are 20 steps long, you should probably revisit them and your process, in general. The more straightforward and simple a process and the resulting workflows , the more likely users will complete them.
  7. Test and revamp your on-screen guidance content as needed
    Before you publish a workflow, it's a good idea to have a small group of users test it out. You'll also need to monitor your workflows and continue to optimize them as you learn more about your user behavior.
  8. Onboard existing users to new features
    Onboarding is for more than just new users. When you roll out new features and updates, you should create new workflows to onboard your existing users to the new features. Make sure your interactive walkthrough illustrates the value of how the new feature makes a task easier or saves them time.

Read More:- User Onboarding Best Practices Infographic

How can SaaS products use interactive walkthroughs?

Interactive walkthroughs are great for SaaS products looking to improve onboarding, product adoption, and feature utilization.

How-can-SaaS-products-use-interactive-walkthroughs

Benefits of Using Interactive Walkthroughs for SaaS Products

Faster Onboarding

Product tours can quickly introduce new customers to the application so they can start using it immediately.

Better Adoption

Product adoption is one of the highest priorities for SaaS products. If people aren’t using your application, they won’t renew their subscription. Guided product tours make your application easier to use and more “sticky” for users.  

Improved Feature Utilization

SaaS companies don’t want to waste time and money developing features that never get utilized. Create an interactive walkthrough to make sure that every feature gets utilized by your users.

Decreased Support Costs

On-screen guidance can also help your support teams. Workflows enable users to figure things out on their own and decrease the number of support tickets your team has to field.

How can companies use walkthrough software with enterprise applications?

Software tours and on-screen guidance are excellent tools for companies that are implementing a new enterprise software solution or looking to improve their utilization of existing platforms.

How-can-companies-use-walkthrough-software-with-enterprise-applications

Guided workflows make software easier to use and improve your overall user experience and productivity. Typical uses of on-screen guidance include:

  • Training
  • Onboarding, and
  • End-user support.

Read More:- New Employee Training Checklist for Enterprise Application Training and Onboarding

Benefits of Using Interactive Walkthroughs with Enterprise Applications

Faster Product Adoption

Guided workflows make applications easier to use, so employees familiarize themselves with the platform faster. Apty clients report they can fully adopt new software 2-3 times faster using Apty's interactive walkthroughs.

Decreased Training and Support Costs

On-screen guidance reduces training and support costs. Users are less likely to open a support ticket when they can use the workflows to show them where to click and what to do.

Accelerated User Onboarding

Product tours and on-screen guidance quickly onboard new employees to your applications. With guidance from a workflow, new employees can start using your software on their first day, with no additional training.

Another benefit of using workflows as a part of your training program is that many interactive walkthrough software applications allow you to export your workflows into multiple formats.

For example, after creating a workflow in Apty, you can export it into these formats:

  • Webpage
  • SCORM object to use in a learning management system (LMS)
  • PDF with screenshots
  • PowerPoint
  • Video

Exporting an Apty workflow saves the Learning and Development Teams countless hours as they can create the content once and export into all the formats they need.

Read More:- How to Create Training and LMS Content Using the COPE Method

Conclusion: Why You Need Interactive Walkthrough Software

Interactive walkthroughs improve your user experience, production adoption, and onboarding. If you're looking for the most productive and cost-efficient way to implement on-screen guidance, remember creating workflows from scratch is time-intensive and requires a specialized skillset.

Walkthrough software enables anyone to quickly build and deploy custom product tours with no coding knowledge. By utilizing walkthrough software, your developers and IT professionals are free to focus on other product improvements while you create an engaging and customized experience for your on-screen guidance.

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FAQs on Walkthrough Software

1. What is an Interactive product tour?

Like in-app walkthroughs or application walkthroughs, interactive product tours help users get step-by-step guidance on how to use a software by giving them instructions on where to click next/ what action to take next, etc.

2. What is the best walkthrough software?

Depending on your specific business requirements, you can choose an on-screen walkthrough software that best caters to your needs. Apty is an inclusive DAP that has two distinct suites tailor-made for Enterprises and SaaS – aptly called Enterprises ROI Maximizer and SaaS Growth Catalyst.

3. Is Apty a free Walkthrough Software?

You can get access to Apty’s Product Tour Software for free by signing up for a Free Trial. Get Started Now!.

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Nathan Altadonna
Written by Nathan Altadonna

A former journalist and product manager, Nathan is a proud tech geek who blogs about digital transformation, employee productivity, and enterprise software. In addition to his work with Apty, Nathan runs his own consulting company, Innate Digital, helping companies develop content and get the most out of their marketing tech stack.

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