9 Tips for teaching users to work with web-system
There are lots of innovative applications that are created on daily basis, but the majority of them won’t be financially successful and not get its own target audience. As well as many projects that have already been created and seems like they are significant in the market, but then in a moment they disappear and become less popular of redesign or implementation of the new functions. Initially, they have been added to make an application more convenient and useful, but instead of it, they broke the whole system.
Why do the users prefer one product instead of the other? How it happens that they spend much time using one app and the other one rarely and only for certain purpose?
In this article, I would like to expound how it happens and how to affect the situation. How not to lose your constant users, reduce the outflow of new users, interest them and improve interaction with the system.
This article is not about the particular niche, we would like to focus on the issues such as how to convey your idea to users, how to help them to comprehend the work of the new system or how to get used to the habitual website after the redesign and new features added.
Where did you put my little cart?
We are often faced with the fact, that the users encounter difficulties during familiarization with the “sophisticated” system. They can’t find the necessary functions or simply don’t aware of their existence. Don’t need to panic and remake the entire project because of that. Because you could take into consideration all essential features and the appeared difficulties are not because of bad and vague user experience, but because of an inexperienced user. That’s why it’s needed to teach users how to work with the technologies and below I would like to share the main methods which are based on the typical difficulties and possible solutions.
9 magic pills.
1) An introductory tour will be a good start.
Imagine that your application and project have grown, you have a client base and want to go on and attract the new ones. In this case, your main task is to make newcomers’ first steps extremely simple. From the very beginning inform them about the principal features, which he probably came for, and gradually open the new opportunities.
When you first log into a web or mobile application, it’s worth briefly describing its main functionality. It’s important not to overdo it with the number of screens, do not show everything and immediately, most new users will come to you to solve one particular problem – tell them how to do it, 3-5 blocks at this stage will be the optimal number.
2) Don’t change the main functions.
Your current users are the most valuable thing that you have. They are already familiar with your product and open to you. Try to keep them, follow their feedbacks after updates. Communicate with your target audience as much as you can. They always advise you how to make your product more qualitative.
When you have an intention to redesign the system, it’s always better to ask what functions they use constantly, which ones are a higher priority for them. Examine the current flow and try not to change it. That’s not a good idea to change something that works well. Your current users are the most loyal and the best thing is to keep them with you. It could be done in case they find the habitual things where they always were and the workflow would be as clear for them as before. The only thing that should be done is making the basic features more convenient and easy.
3) Don’t overload the users with too much information from the very beginning.
For you it’s better to be a helper, but not a lecturer. Working on the interaction, teach your customer gradually. Create interactive blocks with text or video prompts, divide them into screens and sections, do not try to describe all your features immediately. Nobody will read all the information so this tutorial will not able to be useful.
4) Don’t ignore video tutorials.
It’s not a secret that the majority of people are more inclined to perceive the information through videos, because it saves time and involves more senses that, for sure, make the process of memorizing the basic things easier. Also, as have already been said, video tutorial saves lots of time for training how to deal with new functions.
Earlier, when I created various web applications from the very beginning, I faced with lots of identical questions about the same functions from different people. This problem was solved when we added video tutorials to the “new products” section. For making these videos you don’t need a big team, you can use only microphone and a program for recording video from the screen. For instance, I use Monosnap.
5) Create your own Wiki.
Creating sophisticated technologies, sooner or later you’ll face a problem of availability an up-to-date documentation on the project. There are several solutions that allow to create your own Wiki with all information about your existing project. Don’t forget to update your text and video instructions when you add new functions, as well as you can notify your users by newsletters, posts on your website etc.
6) Don’t forget about the details.
It’s very important to show your customers why do you collect data. There are some useful tools for making tips. Use the icons “info” or “?” to describe new or difficult elements. Also, there are helpful tooltips on icons and buttons, placeholders and signatures for forms and other types of small tips. They say the devil is in the details.
Remember that not all concepts that you are interested in will be equally helpful for the customers. That’s why you should think of your target audience, their skills, opportunities and preferences. Involve focus group, your friends, and acquaintances to determine problematic spaces of your product. Think how you can help them to understand the whole thing quicker.
Check your hypothesis in different conditions and on different groups, collect feedback about your products. Collect the statistics with the help of WebVisor and other analytic tools, find out the weaknesses of your project and try to reduce the loss of users on this stage.
9) Improve yourself.
Don’t forget that IT-sphere is changing on daily basis, new opportunities and tools appear, and, as an expert, you have to think of your development.
Don’t stop your development, learn how to make your interfaces better. For sure it’s more pleasurable to create something that other people use constantly than just a beautiful picture.
As a conclusion, I would like to thank you for reading this and I hope that you’ve enjoyed the article. Please, write what methods do you use to make your clients’ life easier?
Soon I’m going to share with you some valuable tools for business analysis, which I use, as well as our approaches to redesign websites. Are you interested in these topics? What else would you like to know about?
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