Appcues vs Apty: Which Is Better for Interactive User Guides?
Is Appcues or Apty the best tool for interactive user guides? And is there a better in-app onboarding software that would better fit your needs?
With so many alternatives on review sites, it’s a bit tricky to really choose one.
You need to consider your priorities and what functionality you’ll need from the tool to get the job done. Then there’s also the price that needs to match your budget. Right?
In this post, we’ll discuss exactly that – what the perfect tool for interactive user guides should deliver and which will be the best choice for your company’s needs.
Let’s dive in!
- Interactive user guides are a set of different UI patterns that help customers get acquainted with the product and learn more about its use cases.
- Interactive user guides improve user onboarding and drive product adoption by engaging users with interactive content relevant to them. They also shorten the time to value and reduce support and customer success cost.
- Using a tool for creating interactive guides decreases the technical barrier, so anyone can quickly create an interactive tour. You can trigger them more contextually to deliver personalized experiences and targeted support.
- Moreover, customer adoption tools make it easy to see which version of an interactive user guide performs more effectively with A/B testing.
- Must-have features for building no-code interactive user guides include a good range of UI patterns, customization and segmentation options, and minimum product usage analytics.
- Appcues is a no-code user onboarding platform that helps non-technical teams track and analyze product usage. You can publish in-app onboarding tours, announcements, and launch surveys.
- When it comes to interactive user guides, Appcues offers various UI elements such as modals, tooltips, slideouts, and hotspots to build onboarding flows. However, it’s pretty limited in its Essential plan. For example, you can’t build a step-by-step interactive guide on the Essential plan.
- Apty is a robust tool for your employee onboarding and adoption needs. However, it’s not meant for implementing interactive user guides for SaaS. It lacks some important UI patterns such as modals, hotspots, banners, and slideouts.
- Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that enables you to quickly build personalized and contextual in-app experiences targeted to different user experiences without writing a line of code. Book a demo to learn more.
Looking for the best tool for interactive user guides? Search no more!
What are interactive user guides?
An interactive user guide is a set of UI patterns designed to work together and help customers understand how to use your product.
There are two main types of user guides: full product tours (which tend to be more detailed and time-consuming), and interactive manuals (using tooltips and real-time guidance to provide more contextual help to your customers).
Interactive user manuals are an excellent way of engaging and educating your users, helping them to get the most out of your product, and improving user onboarding and feature adoption.
Why should you care about interactive user guides?
All product managers want to delight and engage their customers. A big part of that is making sure your users know how to get the most from your application (and in the modern world, that means more than creating a support documentation page).
Fail in that mission, and you risk damaging customer loyalty. Here’s why building interactive user guides is important:
- Interactive user guides improve user onboarding and drive product adoption. How? By helping real users get value from your product through engaging with interactive content relevant to them.
- Contextual and personalized interactive guides will shorten the time to value and reduce friction in the adoption of your product.
- In-app guides are part of a self-serve onboarding strategy and they reduce support and customer success cost while increasing customer satisfaction. Users just get access to help, when they need it.
All in all, interactive user guides are the backbone of a successful onboarding strategy and should be a must for your user experience.
Why do you need tools for building interactive user guides?
Wondering why you even need a tool to create interactive user guides? There are several reasons why you may need one:
For most software companies, creating interactive manuals from scratch is the wrong approach. Why?
Rather than reinventing the wheel, your developers should prioritize their efforts around enhancing your software – making it faster or more visually appealing – and regularly shipping updates that delight your customers.
Here’s how using a tool can help:
- With the low technical barrier to entry, anyone -from operations to customer success managers – can quickly create an interactive tour, which means you can reduce reliance on software developers.
- Rather than a “one size fits all” approach, you can trigger user guides contextually – so based on the specific actions the customer has taken, targeted support is triggered to help them navigate and use the product more effectively.
- There are dozens of variables you might want to adjust, from small changes to copy to tweaking the design. In a custom-built tool, this represents a significant amount of work – in a no-code tool, it’s incredibly simple.
- Customer adoption tools make it easy to see which version of an interactive user guide performs more effectively with A/B testing (and adapt your approach accordingly).
You shouldn’t question the necessity for a tool to build interactive user guides, but you need to understand what functionality you should look for in a tool and which tools are the best.
Must-have features for building no-code interactive user guides
Not all tools are built the same. Some offer different advantages over others while some will simply get you basic functionality but at a low price. It depends on your budget and needs which will be the best tool to build interactive user guides.
Here’s what to look for as the main functionalities when picking a tool to build in-app guides:
- Good range of UI patterns to use for making your guides.
- Ability to customize each interactive guide to fit your brand and style.
- Segmentation so you could trigger the guides to the right audience at the right time. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t bring you the desired results.
- The ability to trigger the user guides when specific in-app events happen is nice to have and will help you build more contextual in-app experiences.
- Minimum product usage analytics, to be able to track how users engage with the product, and where they get stuck so you can build relevant user guides to help them.
The above list is not exhaustive but it’s a starting point. Depending on your product, you might also need automated localization, A/B testing capabilities, advanced analytics or security, and more.
Appcues for interactive user guides
Appcues is a no-code user onboarding platform that helps non-technical teams track and analyze product usage. You can publish in-app onboarding tours, announcements, and launch surveys.
Unlike Userpilot, the functionality is limited if you are using the basic plans.
When it comes to creating interactive user guides, Appcues offers the main functionality as its competitors but highly restricts it when using its lower plan. This makes it quite pricey if you need checklists for example, which are quite an essential tool to implement a step-by-step, interactive guide.
Here’s how Appcues can help you create interactive user guides:
- Building an interactive product tour in Appcues is relatively easy. You can choose from a range of UI patterns and use a friendly Chrome extension builder. If you want to style the modals or tooltips in your interactive guides to match your native UI, you might need to resort to CSS.
- Welcome screens are an integral part of Appcues product tour templates. You can mostly customize them as you please by adding or removing elements, micro surveys, etc.
- The flows option offers 4 main onboarding elements (modal group, tooltip group, slideout group, and hotspot group) and only 1 action – navigating to a different page.
- You can get access to building checklists but only on the more expensive plans.
- Unlike its alternatives, Appcues doesn’t offer the possibility of building an in-app resource center.
Pros of Appcues
Let’s look at some key advantages of Appcues:
- It makes it easy to build product tours with a user-friendly UI and predefined templates that can save you time.
- Can be used on web apps and mobile apps too.
- It integrates with most user analytics tools: Heap, Segment, Amplitude, and Mixpanel. This compensates a bit for the lack of in-depth analytics but means you need multiple subscriptions.
- You can use predefined flows or build your own using a good range of UI patterns.
- Allows basic segmentation and event-based flow triggering.
- It’s easy to build in-app surveys using modals or the integrated NPS tool.
Cons of Appcues
But as any tool, Appcues is not without its flaws – and at this price point, we think you may really want to consider some options that offer the same or more advanced functionality, but at a lower price tag:
- Appcues lacks certain transition actions like driven actions, scroll position, or page change, which would make product tours more interactive.
- It heavily limits the functionality available in the lowest (Essentials) plan. If you need checklists, more than 10 events, or more than 5 user segments, you’ll need to upgrade to the Growth plan (starting at $879/mo payable annually, which means you need to fork out more than $10,500 to start using Appcues for more use cases.
- Appcues doesn’t have a resource center feature, meaning you can’t use it to offer self-service support to your users.
What users say about Appcues
What do Appcues users share about their experience? Overall users feel positive about Appcues.
Here’s an example summarizing some key points about its features and the value it offers. You can find more reviews on G2 or Capterra.
The chrome extension works pretty well to create and build flows. Generating these experiences with the benefit of seeing what the look and feel will be like on-the-fly is immensely helpful.
Further, targeting elements is pretty simple, so you won’t have to open up a code editor and dig in to deliver a great experience. It’s a great tool for a number of reasons, but I love the fact that you can deliver specific communication to a specific audience in your application when you need to, without having to leverage a development department. – Verified User
However, there are some points that could be improved:
• Can’t invalidate NPS responses.
• NPS Score not available in Heap integration.
• Can’t see survey results in the app
• Make you pay for localization – Verified User
Is Appcues the right fit for your business?
There are good and bad when it comes to using Appcues but to sum it up, here’s why you might need an alternative:
- You need to build complex user flows and target them to specific user segments. In this case, you will need more than basic segmentation.
- You want to track product usage properly and don’t want to be limited by Appcues’s event explorer.
- You want to take full advantage of all onboarding functionalities (like a checklist) without paying a premium crazy price for them.
All things considered, Appcues does not offer the best value for money compared to some Appcues alternatives – at $249 per month. If your product has 2,500 active users, the costs for different plans are:
- Essentials: $249/month (Up to 3 user licenses)
- Growth: $879/month (Up to 10 user licenses)
- Enterprise: Custom (Unlimited user licenses)
There is a better tool for your SaaS than Appcues!
Apty for interactive user guides
Apty’s digital adoption platform aims to make employee adoption a snap with engaging onboarding flows and product tours. It does this with a mix of on-screen guidance, interactive walkthroughs, and in-app messaging.
This platform is great for engaging your employees on your platform to increase product adoption, feature adoption, and improve the experience.
Here’s how Apty can help with implementing interactive user guides for employee onboarding:
- Apty allows you to create interactive walkthroughs, onboarding flows and product tours to help new employees discover new features and adopt your platform.
- Apty allows you to use tooltips to engage users directly in-app.
Pros of Apty
Apty is a robust tool for your employee onboarding and adoption needs. Here are the main pros to consider if you’re still deciding:
- Apty is excellent for employee adoption, training, and onboarding. The tool makes it easy to develop in-app guidance for your new starters.
- You can either build different user segments inside the product, or you can integrate your Apty account with other tools and import your data.
Cons of Apty
While Apty is a great tool, the main downsides are the cost and restrictions you get with it. Here are the main cons of the tool:
- Apty offers tooltips and checklists for building product experience flows, but unlike other similar tools, it lacks some important UI patterns such as modals, hotspots, banners, and slideouts.
- One of the biggest disadvantages of Apty is the absence of in-app customer feedback collection. You are kind of limited to embedding surveys built using other tools.
- Doesn’t offer self-service support like a help center where users can access multiple guides and tutorials or contact support. It does provide guides that are similar but more restricted.
What users say about Apty?
Overall, users feel positive about Apty– here’s an example summarizing some key points about its features and the value it offers:
Our Apty Representative, Joe Fimiani, is one of the main reasons we love working with Apty. Joe works hard to establish a trusting relationship with his customers. Joe goes above and beyond to ensure we are satisfied and happy with our Apty product by doing regular check-ins.One thing that is a little frustrating is getting past the Apty pop-up widgets. Sometimes the pop-up widgets are in the way of tabs that need to be selected. As a result, the tabs are harder to select. However, this may not be an Apty issue, rather a Clarity issue 🙂 –
Apty is incredibly helpful for new employees to get familiar with processes in our project management software. The work flows and tooltips have been essential for our workforce.The only downside to Apty was the learning curve of first building out the application to work with our project management tool. Apty had a great support system to help through those challenges. – Jennifer T
Most complaints are about the missing features, integrations and the steep learning curve.
It’s tricky to make the most of it, particularly in the early stages of adoption. The support team are great, but it can be challenging to know what support can be asked for if we’re unaware of what’s possible.- Administrator in Business Supplies and Equipment
With each new release of the software, there is a bit of uncertainty in the stability of new features. Requires more attention than preferable with each new switch. Also, our tools are more complex than your standard website and that requires more work and work-arounds than expected when first acquiring a third-party onboarding tool.- Administrator in Computer Software
UX experience when it comes to testing is cumbersome; a lot of back and forth.
Below are critical tools that are missing or need improvement. I would like to see these additions and enhancements as current features are limiting our options for solutions: Auto triggers (Related to Rule Engine, i.e. Specific page load, removing the reliance on triggers such as: Launchers, Menu Widget, and Announcement Button),IDP for standardized User Identifier,eLearning for content creators (Builder Certifications),Surveys,Chatbot etc- Paolo T.
Is Apty the right fit for your business?
Apty is a great tool that accelerates the adoption of technologies into employees’ daily workflows, not for user onboarding. On top of that, it has limited usability. Here are three main reasons why you might consider an alternative for your SaaS business:
- To get access to all the needed tools for proper onboarding and adoption you need to pay for the higher plans that can get quite expensive.
- Apty doesn’t offer user feedback surveys, which are a very effective way to collect user sentiment at scale and improve employee onboarding. So if you are aiming to be more user-centric, you may need to choose another tool.
- Although Apty offers some segmentation options for more personalized training, in Userpilot you can group users on many more attributes and create more advanced segments.
Apty offers a free trial and custom quotes based on business needs.
- Free trial: Up to 45 days, includes 2-3 flows, works on a single domain.
- Custom pricing: Intelligent analytics, complex flow creation, multilingual support, available on multiple domains.
There is a better tool for your SaaS than Apty!
Is there a better alternative for interactive user guides?
Appcues and Apty are good tools for interactive user guides. We’ve seen how they compare to each other and what you can achieve with them. Call us biased, but if you’re looking for something better, Userpilot offers more value for your money than these tools.
Userpilot for interactive user guides
Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that enables you to quickly build personalized, flexible, contextually relevant in-app experiences targeted to different user segments – all without writing a line of code.
Product adoption describes the process of getting users to the point where they are experiencing value from your product.
Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that enables you to quickly build personalized and contextual in-app experiences targeted to different user experiences – all without writing a line of code.
It’s a great option for enterprise users too since it’s SOC 2 Type II certified and offers robust features for large-scale usage.
Here are some of Userpilot’s product adoption features that you may find helpful:
- A broad range of UI patterns to build fully customizable, contextual, and interactive in-app flows: modals, slideouts, tooltips, hotspots, driven actions, banners, and more. And – most importantly – you are not limited by plan when it comes to how many UI patterns or designs you can build.
- Advanced in-app checklists with built-in gamification elements like progress bars or ”automatically marked complete” tasks: checklists also come with analytics so you can track who is interacting with them and how.
- Fully interactive walkthroughs walk users through engaging and adopting specific features of your app.
- The self-service in-app resource center lets users search your knowledge base directly inside the app, access chat, and support but also launch guides and tutorials when they get stuck.
- User feedback tools allow you to collect insights to improve the product and the user experience, thus leading to a higher product adoption rate. You can also collect NPS data and tag responses to uncover patterns into what makes users stick, or build micro surveys for more granular data. Then you can use all the feedback collected to build user segments based on the answers and personalize the path to higher product adoption for each segment.
Want to see Userpilot in action? Get a demo and improve product adoption with contextual and personalized in-app flows that actually help users.
Pros of Userpilot
Userpilot has a number of advantages, especially for mid-market SaaS companies looking for a robust but at the same time very easy-to-use, no-code tool for user onboarding, product adoption, and simplified product analytics. Let’s have a look at the pros of using Userpilot:
- No-code builder – Userpilot comes with an easy-to-use Chrome Extension builder.
- Multiple UI patterns – choose from a range of options to build customized flows: modals, slideouts, banners, tooltips, hotspots, and checklists are all at your disposal
- UI patterns are not limited by plan – you get access to all of them on every single plan, meaning you get value even with the Traction plan (this is the entry-level one).
- Engaging walkthroughs and onboarding flows- build interactive walkthroughs targeted to distinct user segments.
- In-app help – build a resource center offering self-service support to your users, customize it with your branding, and select from a range of help options to boost user satisfaction (i.e. videos, in-app flows, chat, and more).
- Experimentation – built-in A/B testing for flows lets you explore and quickly iterate based on direct user behavior.
- Powerful feedback options- integrated NPS surveys with analytics and response tagging unlock insight into how your users feel.
- Advanced analytics and segmentation- analyze product usage and in-app flow engagement and build user segments using the data.
- Event tracking and feature tags- tag UI engagement (clicks, form fills, hovers) and group them into one custom event to track what really matters.
- More value with integrations- unlock value faster with built-in integrations with popular tools like Segment, Amplitude, Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Intercom, Heap, and more.
Cons of Userpilot
There are, however, some downsides to Userpilot as well:
- Browser/web app only – Userpilot won’t run on mobile devices/applications.
- Doesn’t support employee onboarding- The tool is better suited for customer onboarding than for employee onboarding as you can’t build in-app guides on third-party tools.
- Missing integrations – doesn’t have built-in integrations with some tools, but it has webhooks, and Hubspot and Zapier are coming soon.
- Not appropriate for small startups on a shoestring budget (<$100)- Userpilot is a powerful, mid-market to enterprise-level tool. So $249 a month might be too expensive for really small startups.
What users say about Userpilot
Let’s check what real users like about Userpilot.
Userpilot is an incredible, user-friendly software that allows us to create unforgettable experiences for our clients! From basic to complex experiences, we have been able to do them all with ease! I would highly recommend this software to anyone who wants to provide their clients or users with the best product tour experience. The possibilities of what you can create are endless! – Tayla G.
Userpilot is simple to set up, use, and does not require any dev – which means instant publishing. This is critical for us as a SaaS company that releases new features frequently; we need the ability to inform our customers of changes quickly, and doing this in our platform through Userpilot allows us to reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place. There have been many awesome extra features we’ve discovered since coming on board, and it’s been great to see new features released frequently. The tool itself is intuitive and reliable. Having used similar products previously that were clunky and buggy this has really made us happy with our decision to move to Userpilot. – Melina K.
Get more value for your money with Userpilot!
Userpilot offers great value for money compared to other similar tools on the market. Even its entry-level plan (Traction) provides all the necessary features without any usage limit.
The price-to-feature ratio is the best for Userpilot. Other cheaper tools in the market would definitely not fulfill your needs, and others like Pendo would be out of budget. Userpilot sits in that sweet spot. – Saurav S.
The pricing differentiation happens mostly on the service level (e.g. custom domain hosting, dedicated Customer Success Manager, SLA) and is based on the number of Monthly Active Users (MAUs) your company has.
Here’s the detailed Userpilot pricing:
- Traction: For up to 2500 users, this plan is $249/ mo.
- Growth: For up to 10,000 users, this plan is $499/ mo.
- Enterprise: For large-scale businesses, these plans begin from $1000/ mo.
There you have it.
It should be easier now to make an informed decision between Appcues and Apty. Both tools come with advantages and disadvantages so there isn’t one that is the best. It will depend on your product and current needs.If you want the best value for money, going with the alternative option would be our recommendation. Want to see how Userpilot can help with interactive user guides? Book a demo below.