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  1. #1
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    Hi,


    I am thinking about creating tool for websites to make fast and easy user interface guiders (arrows and text which could over time dynamically describe how interface works).

    Example of such guider is here
    Thanks to such guiders visitors who come first time to given website can really fast understand what is going on and how to use this website.

    What do you think? Do you like this idea?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Surprised no comments on this yet.

    Here's my take... Bad idea.

    If you have to create "guilders" to help visitors figure out the website in the first place, probably way over thought the site design to begin with.

    There is a normal an expected flow of how almost every website functions, yeah there are differences, but not so much that you need to add something to show people how to use the site.

    If you make a site so difficult to navigate, you should rethink the design, not add a new layer to show people how to use the site.

    How do you know when your design is driving people away ? Log files.

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I never saw this thread. That's my excuse.

    If I need to wait for an arrow to tell me how something works and I can't figure it out myself, I'm gone. The demo looks pretty, but is functionally useless.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    I'd say it would depend on what you're doing. If you can, as WZ suggested, make the site act in a way that is familiar. However, if we're talking about a more powerful web app with its own interface, something like this couldn't hurt.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  6. #5
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    I didn't go to the link of the site that was posted, but I've seen similar ideas posted over the years... Short of a flash animation on a highly technical site showing parts integration, I've not seen a useful implementation of this... Normally they last about as long as a site can afford hosting... Then they just go away.

  7. #6
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    I wrote the "tour" in the OP's link. Happy to share what we've learned. Also I am interested in the feedback here.

    In principle, I agree that good design requires no explanation. Open the box, start playing.

    This is particularly true if your app delivers most of its value immediately. Eg. pandora or spotify: don't give me a tour, start playing tunes right away.

    If your app delivers its value over time, eg. in our case, you upload videos, select a style, review 1st cuts, get a final cut, then it makes sense to experiment with ways to keep the user engaged, ways to give them a feel for the flow. Tour, tooltips, screencasts,... you gotta try things beyond UI design.

    No doubt a tour won't fix a busy/confusing UI. It's independent. You need an intuitive UI no matter what. We are constantly reworking the UI to improve it.

    Now, if you are going to build a "tour/guide", I would advise that it be 1) minimally intrusive, 2) easy to escape, 3) shown only once, 4) super short and concise (and with respects to that, i realize our own tour can be improved)

    Last, a tour is easy to make, easy to test. Also it was fun plaing with canvas. Happy to open source our code if there's interest.

  8. #7
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Interesting analysis, Thomas.

    What I'd be more interested in is if you did any A/B or multivariate testing to see what works and what doesn't that way. Even a simple A/B (tour vs. no tour) would be interesting to see how many people converted each way.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  9. #8
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    @TheGame, right, we should get some data. We haven't tested beyond anecdotes, but I'll share back here when we do.


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