Top 10 Instructional Design Software For Creating Customer Training Programs

top 10 instructional design sofware

On the hunt for the best instructional design software to create course content and engage learners?

In this article, we cover:

  • How SaaS companies can use instructional design software to increase product adoption.
  • What to look for in the right instructional design tool.
  • The top ten instructional design tools on the market.

Ready? Let’s go!


  • Instructional design software helps you create custom eLearning courses and training material. They usually feature engaging elements like responsive content, interactive surveys, and the option to create quizzes.
  • There’s a difference between an instructional design software tool (or eLearning authoring tools) and digital adoption platforms. Instructional design software should be used to educate people on a general topic – like corporate training, product training, or academics. Digital adoption platforms are specifically meant for user onboarding and customer training – showing new users how to use software applications.
  • SaaS companies need instructional design software tools because they make it easier and cheaper to create eLearning resources.
  • Instructional design software should have an intuitive user interface, easy customization, content localization, user segmentation, analytics, feedback collection, and gamification.
  • Userpilot is instructional design software that specializes in training content for software applications. You can build contextual in-app experiences without needing to code.
  • Other top instructional design software tools include Articulate Storyline 360, Adobe Captivate, Apty, EdApp, iSpring Suite, TalentLMS, Whatfix, ProProfs LMS, and Brainshark.

What is instructional design software?

Instructional design software is a tool that enables authors of any level to build interactive and compelling eLearning content.

With instructional design software, you can create training courses, tutorials, or any other form of guidance for others in a structured manner.

Instructional design tools vs digital adoption platforms

When should I use an instructional design tool (eLearning authoring package) vs a digital adoption platform?

eLearning authoring tools and digital adoption platforms are used for different purposes.

Digital adoption platforms are intended to help guide users on how to use software – either for the first time or when new features are launched.

Authoring tools are designed to educate people on a general topic with eLearning courses.

For example, if you have a social media platform, you would turn to a digital adoption platform to teach users how to use your platform.

You would use an authoring tool to design a course on social media best practices.

Why do you need instructional design software for your SaaS?

Instructional design software is helpful for SaaS teams since you don’t need technical knowledge to build learning material that helps increase product adoption.

SaaS teams can create this content without leaning on advanced designers to help them.

Aside from being easy to use, these tools make the learning process engaging, memorable, interactive, and motivational for the end user. Happy customers = more revenue for you.

Key features and capabilities of a good instructional design software

When you’re on the hunt for the right instructional design software, look out for these key features:

  • Intuitive easy-to-use interface
  • Customization
  • Content localization
  • User segmentation
  • Dashboards and analytics to track learning and engagement
  • Feedback collection
  • Gamification

10 Best instructional design software tools for SaaS

Here are our top 10 picks for the best instructional design software tools for SaaS.

Userpilot – best instructional design software for creating in-app training programs

Userpilot is instructional design software that allows you to build personalized and contextual in-app experiences for different user segments without having to code.

Pros of Userpilot

Userpilot offers the most robust functionality for user adoption. It’s a great option for enterprises since it’s SOC 2 Type II certified and offers robust features for enterprise needs.

Here are some of Userpilot’s top pros:

  • Comes with an easy-to-use Chrome Extension builder
  • Multiple UI patterns for building flows: modals, slide-outs, banners, tooltips, hotspots, checklists
userpilot onboarding product adoption instructional design software
Building flows in Userpilot.
  • UI patterns are not limited by plan, you get access to all of them on all plans
  • Supports building branched interactive walkthroughs
  • Resource center for offering self-service support for your users – you can customize it to match your branding.
  • Offers different help guide styles (videos, in-app flows triggers, chat, feedback, etc.)
  • Built-in A/B testing for flows you build
  • Integrated NPS surveys with analytics and response tagging
  • Advanced analytics and user segmentation capabilities
userpilot segmentation instructional design software
Segment users and personalize in-app training with Userpilot.
userpilot integrations instructional design software
Userpilot integrations.

Cons of Userpilot

Here are some cons to consider with Userpilot:

  • Non-mobile courses – only web apps
  • Doesn’t work for employee training
  • Some integrations are still in progress: HubSpot and Zapier coming soon
  • It’s not affordable for really small startups: if $249 per month which might be a small fortune for some companies

What users say about Userpilot

Customers say Userpilot is easy to use with a variety of helpful features and a great customer support experience.

“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 review instructional design software
Userpilot review on G2.

“We put helpful hotspots here and there on our site around trickier features as well. Support is almost always very quick and helpful – much better than the average SaaS I would say.” – Brandon M.


We like how it is easy to integrate and start creating content to bring an in-app onboarding experience. It helps us solve key expectations like in-app communications of all sorts, and all this without coding. The fact that the design possibilities make it part of our product is great.” – Raphael A.


Userpilot pricing

Userpilot’s transparent pricing ranges from $249/month on the entry-level end to an Enterprise tier for larger companies.

Furthermore, Userpilot’s entry-level plan includes access to all UI patterns and should include everything that most mid-market SaaS businesses need to get started.

userpilot pricing new april 2024
Userpilot has three paid plans to choose from:

  • Starter: The entry-level Starter plan starts at $249/month and includes features like segmentation, product analytics, reporting, user engagement, NPS feedback, and customization.
  • Growth: The Growth plan starts at $749/month and includes features like resource centers, advanced event-based triggers, unlimited feature tagging, AI-powered content localization, EU hosting options, and a dedicated customer success manager.
  • Enterprise: The Enterprise plan uses custom pricing and includes all the features from Starter + Growth plus custom roles/permissions, access to premium integrations, priority support, custom contract, SLA, SAML SSO, activity logs, security audit, and compliance (SOC 2/GDPR).

Articulate Storyline 360

Articulate Storyline 360 is an e-learning course authoring tool. It’s part of a larger lineup of Articulate 360 products, including Rise 360, Content Library 360, and Review 360.

articulate storyline 360 instructional design software
Articulate Storyline 360.

Let’s look at the common pros and cons that Articulate Storyline 360 users complain about:


  • Responsive to every mobile device
  • Lots of templates to choose from
  • More than 9 million assets to use – characters, videos, icons, and stock photos
  • Great feedback features to get stakeholder approval
  • Training videos on their website to help you build courses


  • Steep learning curve – harder to use than Rise 360
  • No self-hosting options – you must already have an LMS
  • Only compatible with Windows – not Mac OS


On the positive side, customers say Articulate 360 is user-friendly and more engaging than creating simple PowerPoint presentations.

articulate 360 review instructional design software
Articulate 360 reviews on G2.

However, customers also complain about the high cost, lack of polling features, and limited functionality.

articulate 360 review instructional design software
Articulate 360 review on G2.


Articulate 360 has one subscription plan that covers all of its tools. They have two plan types:

Personal – $1,099 per user annually

Teams – $1,399 per user annually

articulate 360 pricing instructional design software
Articulate 360 pricing.

Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate is an HTML-based authoring tool that creates mobile-friendly eLearning courses. It stands out from other authoring tools on the market because of its multimedia functionality, like its ability to add video, VR, and software simulations.

adobe captivate instructional design software
Adobe Captivate


  • Multimedia content capabilities – video, VR, software simulations
  • Converts PowerPoint presentations into mobile-friendly courses
  • Integrates with LMS systems
  • Compatible with Mac OS


  • Limited animation options
  • Confusing and bland UI
  • Can be overly complicated


Customers praise its easy-to-use interface for non-technical people, while also having more advanced customization options for programmers.

adobe captivate review instructional design software
Adobe Captivate review on G2.

On the other hand, some users complain about its lack of mobile responsiveness and its outdated UI.

adobe captivate review 2 instructional design software
Adobe Captivate review on G2.


Adobe has individual, team, and enterprise licenses available.

For individuals, Adobe Captivate costs $33.99/month.

Adobe Captivate pricing.


Apty is a digital adoption platform that specializes in enterprise software. With Apty, you can create in-app product training sequences that help onboard new users and show them around a product.

apty instructional design software


  • Helpful customer support team
  • Easy-to-use application
  • Can set and track goals


  • Limited customization
  • Complex UI
  • Lacks in-app surveys


There aren’t too many reviews available for Apty just yet, so there’s a limited variety of feedback.

On the positive side, users praise its simple editor and Apty’s excellent customer service that goes above and beyond.

apty review instructional design software
Apty review on G2.

On the negative side, they complain about Apty’s lack of self-service support content, like help articles.

apty review 2 instructional design software
Apty review on G2.


Apty has a free trial that gets you 2-3 flows for up to 45 days. After that, you have to upgrade to a paid plan. Pricing isn’t available publicly – you need to request a quote.

apty pricing instructional design software
Apty pricing.


EdApp is a learning management system (LMS) that specializes in micro-learning content for corporate and retail workplace training. It features an authoring tool, analytics and rewards.

edapp instructional design software


  • Excellent customer support team with quick response times
  • Easy-to-use and beautifully designed UI
  • Lots of templates are available
  • Has gamification elements to encourage better learning retention


  • The video upload limit is capped at 10 MB
  • Bill per active user – must commit to a minimum of 20 users for the paid plans


Again, EdApp doesn’t have too many reviews available yet, so it’s hard to know exactly what users love or hate about the tool.

That being said, so far they appreciate the fast customer support response times, the beautiful in-app design, and the variety of templates to choose from.

edapp review instructional design software
EdApp review on G2.

They complain about the limited video file upload limit and the lack of depth in user analytics.

edapp review instructional design software
EdApp review on G2.


EdApp has three plan types: Free, Growth, and Plus. They come with a 30-day free trial.

Growth plan – $1.95 per active user/month.

Plus plan – $2.95 per active user/month.

edapp pricing instructional design software
EdApp pricing

iSpring Suite

iSpring Suite is instructional design software that lets you create courses, quizzes, role-play simulations, videos, and e-books in PowerPoint.

ispring suite instructional design software


  • More affordable than many other eLearning content tools
  • SCORM-compliant
  • 100% compatible with any LMS
  • User-friendly – no coding needed


  • No shared drive and auto-sync
  • Mac users are limited to the web app builder


Customers say it’s easy and fast to use, but they complain about its lack of Apple functionality.

ispringsuite review instructional design software
iSpring Suite review on G2.
ispring suite review 2 instructional design software
iSpring Suite review on G2.


iSpring Suite has two plan types with volume pricing.

iSpring Suite – $770 per author/year.

iSpring Suite Max – $970 per author/year.

ispring suite pricing instructional design software
iSpring Suite pricing

If you’re in the academic or non-profit industry, you save $200-300 per author.


TalentLMS is a cloud-based authoring tool and learning management system that makes it easy to create online training courses – for work training, customers or students.

talentlms instructional design software


  • Can whitelabel courses
  • API access
  • Great collaboration features
  • Assessment features with quizzes, progress tracking, and certifications


  • More expensive than many LMS platforms
  • The UI looks outdated
  • Limited templates
  • Limited analytics


Customers praise TalentLMS’ affordable price and rich features.

talentlms review instructional design software
TalentLMS review on G2.

On the bad side, they complain about the buggy, broken, and outdated interface.

talentlms review 2 instructional design software
TalentLMS review on G2.


TalentLMS has many plan types to choose from. They have both standard and active plans. Standard plans start at $69/mo. They limit system usage based on the number of users. Active plans are unlimited and pricing’s based on the number of users that log in monthly. Those plans start at $149/mo.

They also have a limited free plan that can be used for up to 5 users and up to 10 courses.

talentlms pricing instructional design software
TalentLMS pricing


Whatfix is a popular digital adoption platform where you can build interactive walkthroughs for your software. It specializes in both customer and employee training.

whatfix instructional design software


  • Multi-language options
  • Tons of training available
  • User segmentation
  • Great customer service with fast response times
  • Frequent feature updates and releases
  • Easy to use without coding knowledge


  • Translation features are difficult to work with
  • Clunky and outdated dashboard
  • No survey features
  • Limited analytics
  • Prone to bugs


Customers love how Whatfix improves their user’s experience, while also being easy and fast to use.

whatfix review instructional design software
Whatfix review on G2.

Others disagree and say that Whatfix isn’t as easy to use and has some complicated features.

whatfix review 2 instructional design software
Whatfix review on G2.

At this time, there aren’t many reviews for Whatfix so it’s hard to tell what the consensus is just yet.


Whatfix doesn’t make its pricing public. You have to contact their sales team to get a custom price quote.

whatfix pricing instructional design software
Whatfix pricing.

ProProfs LMS

ProProfs LMS is another web-based learning management system that makes it easy to create online training courses with tests, polls and surveys.

proprofs lms instructional design software
ProProfs LMS

Pros of ProProfs

  • Custom branding and security options
  • Compatible with most browsers and devices
  • User-friendly – no coding knowledge is needed
  • Excellent support team
  • Reasonably priced compared to other LMS platforms

Cons of ProProfs

  • Limited customization
  • Limited templates
  • Outdated UI
  • Limited integrations with other tools


Users love how ProProfs does the heavy lifting for their training needs. They feel that it’s also secure.

proprofs lms review instructional design software
ProProfs LMS review on G2.

As for the negatives, they say that the virtual classroom can be too basic with limited live streaming options.

proprofs lms review 2 instructional design software
ProProfs LMS review on G2.


ProProfs LMS has three plans available. They’re all billed by the number of learners you have.

Essentials – $1/learner per month

Premium -$1.50/learner per month

Business – $1.97/learner per month

proprofs lms pricing instructional design software
ProProfs pricing.


Brainshark is a sales training and readiness platform that trains client-facing teams on how to perform better.

brainshark instructional design software

Pros of Brainshark

  • Specializes in sales and marketing
  • Flexible and easy to use after the initial learning curve
  • Excellent reporting capabilities
  • Has a built-in LMS

Cons of Brainshark

  • Complex system that’s difficult to navigate at first
  • Sometimes buggy and glitchy interface
  • Outdated UI


Customer rave about Brainshark’s collaboration and analytics features. They say the tool is great for organizational learning and coaching.

brainshark review instructional design software
Brainshark review on G2.

On the other hand, the most common complaints are about its sometimes buggy interface and its retro, outdated appearance.

brainshark review instructional design software
Brainshark review on G2.


Brainshark has two pricing plans: Pro and Premier. They’re priced as annual subscriptions and are charged on a per-use basis. You have to contact Sales directly to get a price quote.

brainshark pricing instructional design software
Brainshark pricing.


There you have it!

We hope you found the right instructional design tool in this article that fits your needs.

Want to get started with creating engaging learning material in multiple formats? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can improve product adoption with in-app experiences, code-free.

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