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I'm working on a website and it has an interactive tool within it where users can build a number of picture galleries.

Assuming their galleries page is empty and that they are fairly new to this feature of the website, what's a good way to guide them through it?

I already have two methods. Could anybody tell me what they think of the methods or if there is something else popular right now?

1) Have a button on the empty galleries page which offers to take them on a guide - the guide highlights certain features of the tool one by one with 'next's.

2) Another guide that provides you with sample pictures and gives you a step by step guide that results in you making a fake portfolio. It takes you to the next step once you have completed the current task. (and you can exit the guide at any time)

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here is some stuff I could think of:

  • Pinterest solves this through having an already existing gallery such as "for the home".
  • On the other hand tumblr and twitter (as far as I know) both have a sign up process where you are presented with posting guides.
  • Facebook and somewhere ask questions: "How are you feeling?"
  • Linkedin has a profile completion tips area on the right for desktop inviting to fill in your information.

So my suggestion would be to merge your suggestions and the pinterest solutions: have an already existing photo book / gallery with a dummy image or no image; then to have a very big "+" button. It is easier to create a content that you have viewed before. Then to provide a guide through the plus button.

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I've seen an interesting guide feature when starting on Salesforce webapp. It consists on teaching you how to insert a new user and fill his information through tooltips appearing on each step.

For example: "Click here to start inserting your first user" "Now fill this field with ID" "Click here to submit and finish the process!"

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If you're thinking of having to guide users through a site process for better UX, then the process should do just that.

A step by step guide that gets them used to the functionality and concept (similar to your first point), for example:-

  • Step 1 - Login or Sign up.
  • Step 2 - Complete profile or skip.
  • Step 3 - Create a gallery or skip.
  • Step 4 - Add interests/tags to your profile or skip.
  • Step 5 - Follow other galleries related to your interests or skip.

This way it encourages initial activity and UGC from the outset helping the site to grow and generating some data to encourage new users to interact with.

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