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I'm currently analyzing how I can improve the experience of a tablet application to control our robots. One of the actions is to select a program node from a node list and add them to a program tree in order to give commands to a robot. Currently this programming process is done by tapping a node from the node list and it appears at the bottom of the program tree.

The user can change the position of the node on the program tree by tapping an up/down button.

Now, the challenge is to make this interaction with drag n' drop functionality:

  • drag a node from the list and drop it anywhere on the program tree
  • change the position of a node by dragging it and drop anywhere on the program tree.

The question with this process is how to let the user know that the experience is now different and requires a type of movement that the user never did while using our app.

How can this process be made so the on-boarding is smooth and clear for current users?

Thanks.

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I will answer this question with what my approach would be in this case.

Assuming that now you have already implemented the feature, use app intro slides or overlays whenever user taps on node from the node list. app intros ex. I am suggesting this because user will be freaked after tapping the node button as it no longer appears at the bottom of the program tree.

In app intro slides(in this case app info slide) you can show some GIF'S explaining the new interactions i.e. dragging and dropping way of using the functionality, It would be better to use GIF's created on actual app rather than some funky illustrations.

So this will be shown to every new user and to existing users after he updates the app with this new feature.

You can also keep a replay button for replaying this interaction in case user doesn't get this new way of using the app in first attempt. after he is successfull in using this new feature (which you can detect based on drag and drop events) you can hide this replay button.

There may be other simple and great approaches to solve this problem but this is the one that came into my mind. hope this helps :)

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