Usability has become a focus in web design over the last decade. With the explosion of Web at large, advances in mobile technology and rise of social networking, we as users are faced with having to process more information every day. An average person now processes more information in a day, than our middle age ancestors did throughout their entire life.
This is why there is little time to spare on learning yet another interface, even if the product helps you get a task done. As Steve Krug puts it in his aptly named book Don’t Make Me Think:
“…people don’t like to puzzle over how to do things. The fact that the people who built the site didn’t care enough to make things obvious and easy – can erode our confidence in the site and its publishers.”
Designing a product for quick intuitive use is now a major factor in its market success. To quote Steve Krug again: “Nothing important should ever be more than two clicks away”
That said, many web applications offer such rich feature suites, which bring added value to the customer, that certain tasks require more than a couple clicks. Good examples are trading platforms, CRM and ERP systems, process automation and analysis tools. In these cases guided tours and tutorials come to help the user get on board.
Advantages of a tutorial include:
- Step-by-step walkthrough of the process
- Ability to learn right in the application with its actual tools
- Learning on user terms (launch at need, study as long as you need, replay)
- Covers most FAQs before they arise
- Fewer queries with Customer Support
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