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There is always the simple UX for having a popup when you log back into a site you frequently visit that says "Hey, look at this new feature we added! etc.."

I am convinced there is more of a subtle way of having the user experience a new feature on their own. ALmost as if something were embedded onto the page that called out "New Feature here! come try it out!" then would dissolve after the User experienced it.

Is this a common practice? And/or is there a more standard conventional way of handling this?

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Very related: Discovering new features –  Ben Brocka Feb 14 '13 at 15:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you want to let people know that there are new features in a subtle way, simply mark them with something that lets them stand out from older features. That way you make use of a person's natural curiosity to get them to see what it is that makes it different.

I would suggest using a sash / ribbon on the corner of whatever someone has to select to see the new content. If you have enough space, you can also include the text "New" on there, but this is not strictly speaking necessary.

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This is great, exactly aligned to how I was thinking around this. DO you per happen to have any real-life examples of this? (screenshots / links?) Thanks! - KM –  Kyle Mirro Feb 14 '13 at 16:40
    
I also wonder your input for what you think would be teh best practice for triggering this Banner to dissappear? is it after tehy click the main button on that feature, is it after x amount of times they login, or is it only a show once then dissapear. –  Kyle Mirro Feb 14 '13 at 18:34
    
@KyleMirro Off the top of my head I can't think of any sites that use it. A lot depends on the type of content that you are showing, so I can only make general statements. Overall I would most tend towards having it for a set amount of time as it isn't invasive. If it were an alert box or something similar, I would definitely have an option to remove it, but I don't see a high need here. –  JohnGB Feb 14 '13 at 18:52
    
IMO, the most practical is to show it until your next version update (if you have a fairly frequent updates), or after X week of an update. This way, you don't have to keep track individual users who has or hasn't used the new feature. It's the easiest to implement as well. –  Lie Ryan Feb 14 '13 at 18:57

Instead of using the sash which is a staple in packaging and printed material, you might want to try some thing more web... a subtle banner above the standard content. It disrupts the expected experience just enough catch attention but not enough to distract a busy user from quickly getting to their intended goal. The area should include a close or X for the user to dismiss once they've taken notice.

Include a link to the new feature or include some incentive to use it. LinkedIn and Facebook have successfully used this method for multiple new features.

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This is interesting, One problem that might run into a conflict is that there are global messaging alert space above where this content / functionality lives. The global alerts are styled to be abel to be X'ed out. Would you per happen to have any examples of that type of ux you are describing? Thanks! –  Kyle Mirro Feb 15 '13 at 15:00
    
LinkedIn does this. –  aomedia May 18 '13 at 23:36

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