User guides are in-app resources that help customers get acquainted with the product or its features and assists them throughout their journey.
They can include interactive walkthroughs, product tours or different formats of UI patterns such as tooltips, checklists, banners, checklists, hotspots to educate customers on the product, drive engagement and product adoption.
Why are User Guides important?
The goal of product managers is to delight their customers and engage them. But it won’t be possible if customers are not sure of what features the tool has or how to utilize them.This is why you need to implement user guides to make sure your users know how to get the most from your application.
Here is why providing user guides is important.
User guides improve the onboarding process and help customers adopt new products hassle-free.
They also shorten the time to value and reduce friction when using the product.
User guides are also part of self-service platform so they reduce the workload from customer support team and improve customer experience as users can access the help center whenever they need it.
As you can see, user guides are the backbone of a successful onboarding strategy.
Do you need tools for User Guides?
Wondering why you even need a tool to create user guides? There are several reasons why you may need one:
For most SaaS companies, creating manual guides from scratch is time consuming and is not worth the effort. That’s where a tool comes handy.
Here’s how using a tool can help:
- You can create user guides in just a few clicks without needing to rely on developers help.
- You can trigger user guides contextually based on the specific pre-defoned actions the customer has taken. This will help them navigate and use the product more effectively.
- You can add different UI patterns such as tooltips, hotspots, checklists, modals to craft compelling user guides that are completely code-free.
- Additionally, you can run A/B tests to compare different user guides and see which one is performing better.
What are the best tools for User Guides?
There are many good tools for creating user guides, but we have created a short list for you. Here are the top 5 tools you should choose from, depending on your budget and priorities:
- Userpilot: best tool for driving product adoption with contextual user guides.
- Appcues: best tool for building user guides from templates.
- Chameleon: best tool for building user guides on 3rd party app (for employee onboarding).
- Pendo: best tool for creating user guides both for web apps and mobile apps.
- Userguiding: best tool for creating user guides on a budget (has limitations).
Let’s dive deeper into each tool and reveal their pros and cons.
What are the must have features of User Guides tools?
Each tool comes with different functionality and you need to understand what features you need before picking a tool.
Here’s what to look for as the main functionalities when choosing a tool to build user guides:
- Good range of UI patterns to use for building your guides.
- Ability to customize user guides to align with your brand and style.
Segmentation so you could trigger the guides to the right audience at the right time.
- The ability to trigger the user guides when specific in-app events happen so you can build more contextual in-app experiences.
- Minimum product usage analytics, so you can track how users engage with the product, and where they get stuck which might indicate that they need support.
This list is not mandatory but it’s a good starting point. Depending on your needs, you might also want automated localization, A/B testing capabilities, advanced analytics and many more.