Appcues vs WalkMe: Which Is Better for Interactive User Guides?
Is Appcues or WalkMe 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.
- WalkMe is one of the pioneers in the market of adoption tools. It is a cloud-based software that allows you to create product tours and in-app experiences to drive adoption faster. However, WalkMe is best for enterprise companies as they are focused on employee onboarding rather than user onboarding.
- 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).
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).
- 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
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)
Looking for the best tool for interactive user guides? Search no more!
WalkMe for interactive user guides
WalkMe is one of the pioneers in the market of adoption tools. It is a cloud-based software that allows you to create product tours and in-app experiences to drive adoption faster.
WalkMe is best for enterprise companies as they are focused on employee onboarding rather than user onboarding.
WalkMe allows you to accelerate your employee onboarding with personalized training flows
In terms of creating interactive user guides, here is what WalkMe’s employee onboarding platform can offer you:
- Create interactive walkthroughs with triggered steps to guide new employees in engaging with 3rd party tools via features called Smart Walk-Thrus.
- Implement a step-by-step interactive guide to prompt users to perform key actions with Onboarding tasks
- You can also use WalkMe’s activation rules and ensure tasks are triggered in a specific order without cluttering the product’s interface.
Although you can build different UI patterns for your interactive user guides, WalkMe is not the best tool for the job and it never will be, since it’s not their priority. But if you are in need of a tool that allows you to drive employee onboarding across your tool stack and product adoption of your tool, then this will be a good option for you.
Pros of WalkMe?
WalkMe has its fair share of advantages that make it a solid tool. So what are WalkMe’s pros?
Here are our top three:
- Offers a high level of customization and works on both your own tool and 3rd party tools.
- Allows you to create in-app quizzes to test user or employee knowledge after completing a flow.
- Get access to a vast list of integrations that simply enhance your data collection or allow you to connect multiple tools in your stack.
Cons of WalkMe?
WalkMe is an established tool on the market but it does have its own share of cons too.
Here are the main ones you should consider:
- There’s a steep learning curve and a fair amount of technical knowledge required to create WalkMe user guides and get them implemented the way they’re intended.
- WalkMe is designed for enterprise organizations, and its pricing reflects that.
- You could end up spending anything from $9000 to $50000 a year on WalkMe. That’s a lot of money for startups and SMEs.
What users say about WalkMe?
Users are mostly happy with WalkMe’s features: on-screen guidance, interactive walkthroughs, customizable UI patterns, and journey segmentation are highly used and appreciated by customers.
Here are some reviews from real users.
“The most valuable thing WalkMe provides is time. WalkMe provides the user with on-screen guidance to get them to where they need to be without weighing down support teams on training for every function. The automated steps can remove multiple clicks and quickly send the user to what they need to see. The ability to view user activity and search terms allows mapping new build requirements properly.”
“WalkMe is very user-friendly and easy to learn! There are so many different features of WalkMe to provide a customizable and creative experience for all of our users. I love creating smart walkthroughs and building flows charts, which is the most fun part of my day-to-day tasks!”
But WalkMe is not a perfect solution, most complaints are about hard implementation and annual contract pricing.
Here are some words from real WalkMe users:
We never had time to implement the product. It takes a huge time investment and isn’t designed for the full documentation. Rather than maintain two sets of documentation, we removed WalkMe from our product. This company is as bad as AOL or TimeWarner: they will not let you out of your multi-year contract no matter how unhappy you are with the product.
The tool is not very intuitive and has countless challenges using and technical difficulties.
Is WalkMe the right fit for your business?
Is WalkMe all you need or are there better alternatives that can provide more value at a much lower price? Here are the main reasons you should look for an alternative:
- WalkMe offers only yearly pricing contracts which start at $9000 so if you want to onboard new customers or provide in-app guidance then there are better solutions that won’t lock you in.
- WalkMe is known for its hard implementation so it’s not recommended for non-technical people. Generally, it can take weeks or even months. For better comparison, Userpilot can be set up in just a few minutes as it’s completely code-free.
- Bad and outdated UX design is another thing that might disappoint you and make you search for alternatives.
WalkMe works on a custom pricing plan that requires you to request a quote from their sales team (could be spending from $9000 to $50000 a year).
Their main two plans are:
- WalkMe for employee onboarding experience: engagement tools and analytics.
- WalkMe for customer experience: engagement tools and analytics.
- Add-ons: Session Streams, TeachMe, AI analytics through UI intelligence.
There is a better tool for your SaaS than WalkMe!
Is there a better alternative for interactive user guides?
Appcues and WalkMe 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 the 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 mainly 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 WalkMe. 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.