Pendo vs Whatfix which is better for interactive user guides
Which tool is better – Pendo or Whatfix – 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 and walkthroughs are important tools for improving user onboarding and feature adoption.
- There are two types of in-app guides: traditional, linear product tours and interactive walkthroughs with tooltips and real-time guidance.
- The most efficient way of building in-app guides is by using no-code tools. The key features of such no-code interactive user guide tools include: a wide range of UI patterns, customization, segmentation, triggering based on in-app events, and (at least basic!) product usage analytics.
- When it comes to interactive guide tools, some of the most common choices include Pendo, Whatfix and Userpilot.
- Pendo is a digital adoption platform with advanced analytics, in-app feedback, and product adoption features.
- Pendo’s strengths include comprehensive analytics tools, shareable product-planning tool, and compatibility with web and mobile apps.
- Pendo’s weaknesses in turn include its inability to trigger experiences based on in-app events, limited onboarding elements, and very high pricing (with startup plans starting at $7000 per year!)
- Whatfix, a popular Pendo alternative for onboarding, is a top digital adoption platform for creating user flows, knowledge bases, and task lists, as well as providing analytics and user feedback management. The pros of Whatfix are i.a. its easy-to-use interface, user segmentation, and in-app guidance. But it’s very complicated to use, requires a lot of technical setups and is also punishingly expensive!
- There is an alternative to both Pendo and Walkme for building interactive user guides though: Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform for creating personalized, contextually relevant in-app experiences without writing a line of code. It provides a broad range of UI patterns, advanced in-app checklists, interactive walkthroughs, a self-service in-app resource center, and user feedback tools. Userpilot’s advantages include its no-code builder, multiple UI patterns, engaging walkthroughs, in-app help, experimentation capabilities, powerful feedback options, advanced analytics, event tracking, and several integrations with popular analytics tools. What’s also great about it is its excellent value for money: Userpilot’s pricing is based on the number of Monthly Active Users (MAUs) and ranges from $249 per month for up to 2,500 users to $1,000+ per month for large-scale businesses.
- There are some downsides of using it of course too: it doesn’t support native iOS/Android mobile apps at the moment, employee onboarding, it’s missing some integrations (e.g. with Salesforce), and can potentially be too expensive for small startups on a tight budget.
- Consider Userpilot as a better alternative to both Pendo and Whatfix if you need a user-friendly no-code builder with advanced analytics and event tracking features. However, if you need employee onboarding or certain integrations, or have a limited budget, you may want to explore other options.
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 time to value and reduce friction in 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 back bone of a successful onboardingstrategy 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 building 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.
Pendo for interactive user guides
Pendo is a comprehensive digital adoption platform with impressive analytics, in-app feedback, and product adoption features
It caters primarily to enterprise users and probably has the most advanced analytics of all tools we’re covering in this article. But it all comes at a price.
Pendo is a robust product adoption platform with user engagement features, impressive analytics and in-app feedback.
It caters mainly to the enterprise sector and as of the end of 2022, has the most advanced analytics of of all product adoption tools on the market. Here’s how Pendo can help you improve product adoption: When it comes to product adoption, Pendo offers both the analytics features to track the adoption of features as well as guides for building in-app guidance that improves feature adoption both on web and mobile apps.
Here’s what to expect from Pendo’s product adoption features:
- Pendo’s analytics allow you to evaluate each feature usage and which features deliver the most value.
- You can see which features are underused for different user segments.
- You can then build guides to improve the adoption of these features.
- You can use Pendo’s free version to create guides, but you’ll only get access to limited features and basic analytics.
Pros of Pendo?
Despite the price and its steep learning curve, Pendo does have a few pros compared to its competitors.
- Pendo is known for its good and easy-to-use analytics tools like Paths, Retention, and Funnels. (As of Q1 2023, Userpilot will have the same analytics features, with more robust functionality).
- Pendo has a shareable product-planning tool to organize customer feedback and prioritize high-value features. It helps keep teams aligned with the shared feature-planning guide.
- It works on web apps and mobile apps so if you need both, this might be a good choice for you.
Cons of Pendo?
Surprisingly for a product engagement tool that claims to be “all in one” you can’t act directly on the user analytics from Pendo in Pendo.
That’s because Pendo doesn’t allow you to target users segmented by in-app events with the in-app guides you’ve built with it.
Here’s a short list of Pendo’s cons:
- It doesn’t allow you to trigger experiences based on in-app events either. This is probably because of tech debt – but makes Pendo’s analytics pretty much NOT actionable.
- Pendo offers limited onboarding elements, which means you can’t always create the best experience for your users. If you want checklists these can only be accessed from the Resource Center which defeats the purpose of having them in the first place.
- Pendo’s pricing is only available to you if you ask for a quote. The company doesn’t list pricing on its site for the higher tiers. However, some reviews say they have prices starting at $20,000-$25,000 per year for a single product, and around $50,000 per year for the mid-tier package. This might be Pendo’s biggest downside.
If you’re looking for a tool that shows you user analytics in real-time and allows you to trigger in-app experiences based on in-app events and user behavior in real-time – Userpilot offers these features (and at a lower price tag too).
What users say about Pendo?
Users appreciate Pendo’s analytics but find it complex for building in-app guidance using the guides feature.
As soon as it has been integrated, Pendo is easy to use and manage without the need for developers. I also like that usage is captured retrospectively and the dashboard views or ability to segment users/accounts based on different criteria is really powerful. The guides are great and multi-functional making it really simple for Product Managers to help users navigate with walkthroughs, or post announcements or poll users; they allow Product Managers to get creative with how they engage and interact with users directly in the product. – Parita P.
The best feature about Pendo has been the constant collection of User clicks without the need to set up trackers via code. This enables us to tag the usage directly from the tool and start monitoring historic data without having to involve development teams.- Joseph E.
Most users complain about the lack of granularity in analyzing data and the price.
Not much to dislike here, the general product is fantastic but there are some niggles. I think the track event feature, manual sending of tracking events, is the tool’s weakest link. It is not as developed as the rest of the suit and exploiting that data can be very cumbersome.- Joseph E.
And there’s more:
While reports are thorough, a little more granularity would be welcomed. I don’t like that Feedback is a separate cost, as it is a very powerful tool to find out what users want to see in future releases.- Rob S.
And there’s more:
Need to be able to drill more into the Dashboard widgets. For example, using the Stickiness Metrics widget of WAU vs MAU is valuable but I should be able to click into these widgets to figure out which specific Clients these are referring to by different segments. This would be helpful information to hand over to other teams like Customer Success. It would also be helpful to be able to see which Clients are not using certain features when using the Behavior section to create reports. For example, if a CSM has 30 accounts and we can see that 14 are using a specific feature, having a quick list of the 16 not using the fea -Computer Software Admin.
Is Pendo the right fit for your business?
Pendo shines when it comes to analytics, but that’s kind of its main superpower. Here are the top three reasons why you should be looking for an alternative.
- If you only need analytics, there are more affordable tools out there with better functionality too.
- If you want to build more than simple in-app guides and trigger them contextually, Pendo is not the best tool due to its basic guides functionality.
- Not convinced? The price in itself should be the main reason why Pendo is not the best solution.
Pendo’s pricing is only available to you if you ask for a quote. The company doesn’t list pricing on its site for the higher tiers. However, some reviews say they have prices starting at $20,000-$25,000 per year for a single product, and around $50,000 per year for the mid-tier package.
The tricky part when it comes to Pendo’s pricing is that you get to pay separately for different modules:
- Pendo Free: up to 500 MAU, single-app, and basic functionality and analytics.
- Pendo Starter $7000/year: 2,000 MAU limit, multi-app, and access to premium features like NPS but it doesn’t include advanced analytics or integrations
- Pendo Growth: Custom MAU, single-app, NPS and PES, resource center, and access to support compared to lower plans
- Pendo Portfolio: Custom MAU, multi-app, cross-journey reports, experimentation, and 1 free integration included.
- Pendo Premium: Custom MAU, multi-app, everything in other plans plus custom roles and permissions and advanced security
- Pendo Feedback: collecting feature requests is a separate module with custom pricing.
- Pendo Adopt: employee onboarding is a separate module with custom pricing
There is a better tool for your SaaS than Pendo!
Whatfix for interactive user guides
Whatfix is one of the top digital adoption platforms around and a driver of innovation in this space.
Whatfix offers a well-made product that allows you to create user flows, knowledge bases, and task lists to get new users engaged and learning. On top of this, their analytics platform is easy to understand and helps you keep track of behavior analytics, guidance analytics, and user feedback all in one place.
To drive product and user adoption, you need to provide continuous value to your users and provide contextual help across all stages of the customer journey.
Whatfix helps your enterprise company achieve that by unlocking the full potential of user segmentation and in-app guidance.
Here is what you will get with Whatfix product adoption functionality.
- Create contextual in-app guides to make users get the maximum value of your product.
- Provide omnichannel support without skyrocketing your customer support goals.
- Powerful analytics to try new ideas based on real-time data and find ways to optimize the customer experience.
Pros of Whatfix
There are many advantages when it comes to choosing Whatfix. Here are its pros.
- Easy to create flows, even for non-technical team members.
- Allows you to develop knowledge bases for self-help solutions.
- Ideal for both customer and employee onboarding.
Cons of Whatfix
But at the same time, Whatfix has some cons so it’s better to get an overview if you’re thinking of buying it:
- User experience issues, including bugs and sometimes spotty customer service.
- Fewer analytical features and views than you might like.
- Lacks in-depth style customizations.
- It’s difficult to integrate some of the scripted code in the admin integration sections without the help of a Whatfix support team member.
- No free trial option despite it being stated on the homepage.
- It’s targeted at enterprise accounts so small companies might get ignored.
What users say about Whatfix?
Overall, Whatfix is a good tool and customers are happy with the product. Here is what their customers say about the product.
Our Whatfix Customer Success Manager Kritika has been amazingly responsive to our questions and creative in finding solutions.
Their team really helped us during a project we were doing, and I think they would be great for any company looking for help. This is a must to onboard customers and drive retention.
Though Whatfix is considered a solid tool in the market some people have complaints. Mostly they are related to complications for non-technical people and instability.
Here is what they say:
We were promised a lot of features that weren’t as easy to use as they made it seem when we signed up.
The tool itself is challenging for the less technical people to use the tool, as you need to know the css classes to show flows and steps.
unexpected issues and roadblocks in implementation that can cause delay or a need for an alternate approach
Is Whatfix the right fit for your business?
Though Whatfix is a good tool for user/employee onboarding and it’s used by many companies, there are still some logical reasons why you might look for an alternative:
- It’s designed for enterprise companies and the pricing reportedly starts from $1200/per month. So it’s not something you’ll be delighted to buy if on budget.
- Whatfix doesn’t support NPS surveys so you can’t collect user feedback and measure customer loyalty
- Though you can create onboarding flows, tooltips, and beacons with Whatfix, there are many cost-efficient tools in the SaaS market that provide the same or even more functionality with customization options at a much lower cost.
Whatfix doesn’t have any pricing plans on its website. Instead, you’ll need to speak with one of their team members to get a custom quote tailored to your needs and organization.
Otherwise, you can request a free trial to see if Whatfix works for you.
There is a better tool for your SaaS than Whatfix!
Is there a better alternative for interactive user guides?
Pendo and Whatfix 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 Pendo and Whatfix. 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.