Walk through options compared

Walk through/ tutorials/ step by steps

They are called by different names, but they all serve a general purpose, to guide a user through a series of steps in order to complete a task or introduce them to an interface.

PROS

  • Highly featured enterprise app
  • Segmentation for users
  • Walkme player tool for creating walk-throughs
  • Editor tool for updating walk-throughs
  • Looks relatively easy to use
  • Analytics
  • Call back functions?
  • jQuery integration

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Do we need multiple languages?
  • Do we need segmentation?
  • Many pop-ups could become frustrating for users
  • Clarience example is not compelling, good UX does that without ballons everywhere. If you have to explain all of your interface, it is not a good interface.
  • Our tasks are more complicated, involving many steps in different apps. Is this the most effective way to train?

JoyRide

  • PROS
  • Free
  • Build by Zurb, who created Foundation and Foundation press, both of which we use for templates and emails.
  • Simple HTML list based walk-throughs
  • Customizable
  • Responsive
  • Cookie Support
  • Simple API

CONS

  • Does not appear to be multi-page capable
  • Not fully featured
  • Does not appear to have callback functionality

jQuery PowerTour

http://www.jquerypowertour.com/index.html

PROS

  • $55 commercial license
  • Multi-page tours
  • Multiple tours per page
  • Callback functions
  • API
  • Custom Styling in SASS/ LESS
  • Builder tool

CONS

  • Does offer much more than free solutions
  • Builder tool is not very useful

Bootstrap Tour

http://bootstraptour.com/

PROS

  • Free
  • Build by Bootstrap, the framework we use for the Builder
  • Bootstrap is most used HTML framework in the world, high usage
  • JSON based steps
  • Multi-page
  • Easy to use API
  • Customizable
  • Cookie support
  • Callbacks

CONS

  • No builder (player) GUI

http://linkedin.github.io/hopscotch/

PROS

  • Free
  • JSON based steps
  • Multi-page walk-throughs
  • Easy to use API
  • Customizable
  • Callback functions
  • Multilingual
  • Lightweight callouts
  • Cookie support

CONS

  • No builder GUI

Conclusion

There are many options for walk-throughs. If we have no need for the advanced features of WalkMe, there is little advantage it has over free options. Good UX eliminates the need for lots of pop-up bubbles. Walk-throughs are good for short introductions or quick tips on processes (3 steps is a great median to aim for). With many of our complex processes, bubbles are not adequate or optimal for explaining. I suggest a mixture of tutorial videos and walk-throughs. I believe that walk-throughs are helpful but over-use will lead to user frustration. For free solutions, Hopscotch is the best featured and Bootstrap works natively with our theme framework.

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