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I am currently designing a new dashboard feature for a data-driven recruitment managers. Feature should allow them to manage costs of their current positions and edit/delete/view them for a more precise result of campaigns. It is a first interactive feature of the whole dashboard and I was thinking to implement a "walkthrough" like this.

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or a "do-something" approach to engage the users and show them how to work with the feature by do-and-learn method forcing them to click on the most basic functions and let him go from there.

My question is which of these two is better and follow-up question are there guidelines/patterns to implement these that you know of?

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The "do something" approach. The reason is the other option it's abstract, which means the user will have to memorize the steps in an abstract way then "convert" in their brain that to actual steps if she/he remembers. The other method the user is learning by doing, the brain learn practical tasks learns by mimicking. However, that could create a problem, I'm not aware of the specifics of your UI but you should not guide the user to do something he can't undo or it will apply to real-data, if the new dashboard is only displaying data (which means the user is not manipulating data like spending money, firing campaigns, etc) it's ok. There is a third problem that might arise. You might design something that is not according to their mental model and workflow by forcing them to learn. You should always try to aim at an interface that requires almost no learning. A great example is Adobe XD, I watched only 3 videos to learn it because most of the UI elements are contextual. Photoshop, on the other hand, implemented a lot of tutorials inside the software and they feel annoying and obtrusive. Note: I used photoshop for 15 years and I knew most of the interface by heart. When I used Adobe XD I didn't want to look back. As Dieter Rams once said, "Good design is unobtrusive".

  • Yes you are completely right with "undoable" part I thought of it as well, but wouldn't it be a good way to show the user f.e. Make a new row and delete it afterwards so it would show him the whole process? With mental model and user flow as well as personas (I created some based on job reviews on LinkedIn and for the rest used common sense) because I am still an intern in the company and my target audience are HR managers which I won't meet until later stages of internship. So I can't really tell if it interferes with their actual workflow. – Vítek Linhart May 12 '18 at 22:51
  • Or go with no walkthrough at all at that point, which would probably be the safest option. – Vítek Linhart May 12 '18 at 22:58
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    Usually, the user doesn't like to be forced to perform tutorials. What you could try to do is to trigger an optional tutorial via an alert, then use tooltips to point at the actions. If making a new row doesn't affect the data it's ok. Deleting is not undoing, undoing is going back to the original state(like Ctrl-Z in windows). Just be careful to not give the chance of people deleting or overriding 2 days of work of another user of himself while doing this tutorial. When I said as long as the data is not affected it's ok. – Daniel Vianna May 13 '18 at 19:12
  • In terms of interview, you can hire some HR managers through reddit, just pay them to participate in your interviews. In regards to mental model and workflow, if you use a lot of common sense it means you are not really investigating the problem, but jumping to a solution. but good UXers spend more time investigating the problem than actually doing. Even people who worked in a particular industry like product managers sometimes get the mental model wrong. That happens because of bias, and every human is contaminated with this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wishful_thinking. – Daniel Vianna May 13 '18 at 19:16
  • In the end we will be going with just tooltips, that can be exited at any time with a max. number of 5 tooltips to show just the most basic functions while also implementing the option to restart the tooltips at any time by help button. – Vítek Linhart May 14 '18 at 13:06

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