Get started tutorials

8 Jun 2009 - 12:46am
5 years ago
3 replies
425 reads
Ted Kilian

I am looking for good examples of get started tutorials - by which I mean
the optional tooltips that guide you through an online application for the
first time. I have seen this most often in games, but I know I have run
across it in websites as well. We are proposing to replace existing video
tutorials with this approach and I am looking for examples, studies or
opinions that support or refute this decision.

My sense is that the future of help for new users is to provide these sorts
of optional, in-context tools rather than create and maintain a separate
training video or tutorial. Rather than leave the functional flow to learn
how to use something, this approach walks users through the process so that
they are using while they are learning. It also means if the application is
changed, all that is required is the additional in-context elements, rather
than redesigning and producing a new video, which can become relatively
expensive and complex.

This is a mass consumer travel website, so it is not radically new
functionality, just the usual booking, check in, and payment sort of flows.

Any examples and opinions welcome.


8 Jun 2009 - 6:10am

Can't offer any examples, Ted, but I'd also like to voice interest in contextual tutorials. Far more integrated than screencast or tutorial vids and, as I imagine it would be text based, much easier to localize.

I'd be curious if there's modular system - something you can tack on to your site and add or remove tooltip elements with minimum intervention in the codebase, a CMS for in-line help. That would rock.

Hoping someone else can shed some light on current non-MS paperclip deployments.

8 Jun 2009 - 9:34am
Joshua Porter

Hi Ted,

Check out:

Facebook (embedded tooltips)
Hunch (initial questionnaire)
iLike (initial questionnaire)
Tumblr (getting started sequence)

Each of these sites has excellent embedded getting started materials.

(You may have to kill your cookies to see the full experience)



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8 Jun 2009 - 9:50am
Phillip Hunter

A friend of mine who does this sort of work in the
corporate/industrial video production business
( was impressed with the videos on this

Which is sort of a two-fer, since the product helps produce video
from on-screen activity.


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