What Is an Interactive Walkthrough?
Interactive walkthroughs are on-screen guides that teach end-users how to use a product or its newly released features through in-app guidance, chatbots, product tours, and tooltips. They are integrated with onboarding and training programs to create a personalized experiential learning experience that accelerates time-to-competency and guides users to their aha moment.
Guided Walkthroughs vs. Product Tours
Interactive walkthroughs and product tours are similar, but they aren’t quite the same. They both guide end-users through processes to increase efficiency, but they have different functions and end goals.
Interactive walkthroughs are used to teach customers and employees alike. For example, when an enterprise company decides to start using a new CRM software, the company will create walkthroughs to teach its employees how to use the new tool efficiently. The end goal of using these interactive guides is faster product adoption of new tools or newly released features.
On the other hand, a product tour is usually used by SaaS products, mobile apps, and web apps during user onboarding to reduce customer time-to-value, drive engagement and retention, and highlight the most valuable features.
It’s also possible to combine the two and create a product tour that then guides users through interactive walkthroughs of core flows and features – as seen below in a Workday HCM example, built using Whatfix’s digital adoption platform.
Benefits of Interactive Walkthroughs
There are a few benefits that make walktthroughs more effective and efficient compared to traditional employee and customer training methods:
- Personalized, Contextual Guidance: Walkthroughs can be personalized based on an end-user’s role, customer segment, or other user types that you may have. That way, training programs that utilize walkthroughs are goal-oriented and help users become more proficient at what they need to do.
- Faster Adoption: New customers and employees can run a walkthrough instead of fumbling to figure things out independently, leaving the application to ask someone else, or sifting through help content to find what they need. With a walkthrough, they can start using a new tool on day one.
- 24/7 Access: Employees can find a walkthrough to guide them through a process or feature that is confusing to them without ever leaving the new application or digital tool. Walkthroughs are available any time your users need help.
- Quick Multiple-Format Content Creation: You can easily and quickly create walkthroughs with zero coding knowledge. After creating a walkthrough, you can export it into a PDF file, video, or other formats you might need.
- Distribution at Scale: Walkthroughs are easily distributable. After all, they live within your digital tool or application.
- Reduced Costs: Walkthrough software is generally cheaper than traditional training methods because it’s easier to create and maintain existing content. Updating an entire video course or creating new content to account for a new feature can take weeks. Updating walkthroughs will take a few days, at most.
- Less Time Spent on Support: Providing effective self-help solutions through interactive help software means fewer people asking your support team for help. If people can find what they need on their own, they would rather do that than waste their time waiting for a representative and having to explain the problem.
What Is Walkthrough Software?
Walkthrough software integrates and overlays on any software platform you use – SaaS products, mobile applications, in-house custom tools – so that you can create and manage guided walkthroughs easily, without any coding knowledge.
These no-code product walkthrough creation tools empower organizations to create contextually guided walkthroughs to help drive the adoption of internal processes and improve employee digital dexterity – as well as drive customer and user adoption of customer centers, web portals, and custom apps.
Below is an example of Whatfix’s no-code editor, allowing non-technical team members to create, manage, and test in-app walkthroughs.
What to Consider When Buying Walkthrough Software
It’s difficult to choose the right digital adoption and walkthrough software for your organization’s goal-based objectives – whether that be improving customer onboarding, creating more effective employee training programs, or building better product experiences for product-led growth.
However, the best digital adoption platforms provide organizations with the tools to create contextual onboarding and on-demand support experiences for any use case, from internal employees, enterprise customers, and mobile app users.
DAPs empower organizations to create software onboarding and continuous learning experiences that overlay right over the app itself, enabling end-users to learn in the flow of work and discover features at the moment of need. You can create a series of walkthroughs and compile them in an onboarding task list for your new hires or users to work through. This showcases the most critical first steps for new software users, and which features and processes are more important than others.
A few examples of this include:
- Product-Centric Walkthroughs: Product teams are able to create interactive walkthroughs that are built into the onboarding stage for new users. These onboarding walkthroughs are centralized in an embedded tasklist that provides new users with generic steps to set up their account and get started. The goal here is to complete onboarding and profile setup, and guide users to their aha moment.
- Customer-Centric Walkthroughs: Customer success teams can work with new customers to understand their goals, objectives, outcomes they want to achieve with their product, allowing them to build personalized i-app walkthroughs that showcase the features most important to their use case. The goal here is to drive customer adoption and education of your platform, based on their needs.
- Employee-Centric Walkthroughs: For HR, L&D, and IT teams to create walkthroughs for enteprise software that are critical to their employees’ success. For example, let’s say your organization uses Salesforce. Your L&D, IT, and sales team can work together to create guided walkthroughs in Salesforce that provide contextual help and support, right inside the application, enabling your Salesforce users to become proficient with the app, quickly.
Features of Guided Walkthrough Software
There are the most common and popular features to look for when researching walkthrough software:
- No-Code Editor: Guided walkthrough software provides organizations with the tools to create branded, customized interactive walkthroughs, without the need for development, engineering, or product support.
- Audience Segmentation: Guided walkthrough software can group users into segments by employee title, customer sign-up date, device type, location, or many other metrics that allow you to personalize your onboarding and training programs for employees, customers, and all end-users, and increase overall wallkthrough relevancy.
- Multi-Device Support: Walkthrough software should support desktop, mobile, and web applications. Some walkthrough software only supports content creation for web apps. Having walkthrough software that supports multiple devices is especially important if your users need mobile application support.
- Analytics: Walkthrough software provides organizations with the tools to capture product analytics that gauge the effectiveness of your in-app content and software adoption. Walkthrough software collects comprehensive user data that provides a glimpse into the effectiveness of user flows, identify friction points, and feature adoption.
- In-App Feedback: DAPs like Whatfix have user feedback features that allow any end-user to provide real-time feedback on any in-app content – such as interactive walkthroughs, guided tours, and tooltips. This helps gauge its effectiveness and identify new areas of help content or user flows that need to be created or modified.
- Automation: While walkthroughs are mostly used for training and automation, it’s great to have walkthrough software that goes one step further and automates processes, so you can reduce errors.
- Integrations: Look for software that can readily integrate with common tools like Salesforce, Slack, and Confluence.
Tips for Creating Interactive Walkthroughs
Creating content for walkthroughs is fast and easy, but building a training program to increase time-to-competency requires a little more thought. Here are some tips on how to build walkthroughs that will help your end users learn faster:
- Stay user-focused: Keep your audience in mind when you’re creating your walkthrough. Don’t skip steps that might confuse your new hires or overexplain concepts that will bore your existing employees. The more useful and engaging your walkthroughs are, the more effective your training program can be.
- Keep it simple but comprehensive: While there are no studies that say shorter walkthroughs are more effective, human attention spans have been getting shorter since the early 2000s. Keep your walkthroughs concise while still going over all the important steps.
- Personalize the experience: DAPs that offer audience segmentation can help you personalize the learning experience by showing your HR manager, growth marketer, and client different walkthroughs based on what is relevant to their user role.
- Encourage engagement with reminders: Use data gathered by your walkthrough software to determine what walkthroughs users have completed. If you find that a certain user needs to go through more walkthroughs to better use your product, give them a nudge through email or an in-application messaging system.
- Don’t overwhelm your users: Use microlearning modules to give your end-user bite-sized pieces of information so that they can absorb your lessons better.
- Build for all processes: No matter how simple the process, build a walkthrough for it. You never know what your users might need, so it’s best to cover all your bases.
Interactive Walkthrough Use Cases
Interactive walkthroughs can be utilized by companies across industries to drive adoption of their digital applications, processes, and web apps. Here are a few examples
SaaS Product Examples
If you’re spending too many hours on customer support, seeing an increase in churn rate, or finding that customers aren’t taking full advantage of your product, you might want to look into interactive help software.
Product walkthroughs increase engagement and usage by showing users exactly how to achieve a certain goal using your piece of software. When users are confused about how to produce a certain outcome, you can redirect questions away from your support team to your self-help solutions.
Here are two walkthrough software use cases that demonstrate how interactive walkthroughs reduce time spent on customer support and training.
1. PlanetHS – A cloud-based software that streamlines middle school and high school athlete registration
PlanetHS created 41 product walkthroughs that helped their users over 320,000 times and eliminated 190,000 support tickets.
2. Corrigo: A computerized maintenance management system that unifies facility management
Corrigo created goal-oriented walkthroughs to provide customers and employees with a personalized self-help solution.
Enterprise Company Examples
If your team is struggling to adapt to a new digital tool, then that tool is hurting more than helping. Interactive walkthroughs can make sure that your employees aren’t spending more time than they need to learn how to use a new tool. Enterprise companies use walkthrough software to train their users at scale and make complicated processes simpler through demonstration and guidance.
Enterprise companies use walkthroughs to reduce training content creation time and solve support issues.
1. Trotec Laser – An industry leader in laser technology
Trotec Laser trained their employees to use Salesforce using walkthroughs and ended up reducing training and content creation time by 60%.
2. Dimensions UK – A non-profit that supports people with complex cognitive and behavioral needs
Dimensions UK conducted iplanit training with walkthroughs, which led to an 84% reduction in time spent creating training content and a more effective way to solve support issues.
Why Whatfix Is the Best Interactive Walkthrough Software
Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that empowers teams with the no-code tools to create branded, interactive walkthroughs. With Whatfix, teams can create in-app guidance such as step-by-step instruction, walkthroughs, product tours, tooltips, task lists, self-help widgets, and more. Whatfix also captures user behavior data to understand how your in-app content is performing, allowing you to create better application experiences.
Whatfix’s customer-centric approach is reflected by its accolades and recognition in the DAP industry.
Whatfix is extremely proud to be the sole 2021 recipient of the Gold Stevie® Award in the customer satisfaction category and a winner of the Silver Stevie® Award for best customer service department of the year.
Whatfix was also named a finalist for the BIG Excellence in Customer Service Award and was recognized as a 2021 Top Rated product by TrustRadius in the Digital Adoption category based on our user reviews.
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Absolutely! You can sign up for a free trial to give Whatfix a test drive here.
Whatfix supports both cloud and on-premise implementations.
For our cloud offering, you just need to install our Whatfix Editor extension on Chrome or Firefox and you are ready to get started. The user experience of our editor is so simple that you can create interactive guides easily, with no technical setup required.
We also offer full support on on-premise setups. Whatfix guides can be exported and deployed on your own web server with our on-premises export version.
Our customers use Whatfix for a variety of use cases, including:
- Supporting change and digital transformation efforts.
- On-demand employee training, onboarding, and performance support across your software applications.
- Building UI elements such as product tours and walkthroughs for better user onboarding experiences.
- Creating self-help portals to provide end-users and customers with on-demand guidance and support.
Our customers range from SMBs, large enterprises, and Fortune 100 companies across verticals, including:
- SaaS companies
- eCommerce marketplaces
- Insurance companies
- Healthcare providers
- Media companies
…and many more – all solving their digital adoption challenges by empowering their employees, customers, and end-users with Whatfix.
Request a demo to see how Whatfix empowers organizations to create interactive walkthroughs, product tours, tooltips, self-help menus, and more.