I am currently working on a new version of a Saas which clients can use to manage all of the content on their screens, which is going to be quite extended and complex.

To make sure it will be easy to use for the target users, I am conducting frequent user testing sessions every time I update my prototype. However I noticed that the users who are completely new to this kind of system struggle with one particular part of the process, because they don't know (or understand) the mental model behind the service.

My question therefore is: Should I keep making iterations so that make sure that the users are able to do everything they need on their own right from the start?

Or should I invest in designing a good tutorial/interface tour for the new users so that they know how to use the site afterwards?

I am struggling with this and I would like to avoid for our team to use their time to train clients on a too-complicated interface like what is happening with the current version. Thank you to anybody who will answer!

1 Answer 1


Working on similar thing

The system ultimately needs to be used repeatedly in our service, so we are designing it with 'expert use' in mind.

We know this will make orientation and learnability worse, but it's a trade off. If we introduce features to make it more learnable, we know from testing it makes it clunky for experts: slower!

So what we did was test the content of the orientation or "if users understand the system because we tell them, can they learn it faster?"

The answer is yes! And to answer your question, what you need is a solid onboarding experience, guided tour; and importantly, very specific content around micro interactions you know are less learnable "this thing is here because X"


System is for repeat use

Design with experts in mind

Offer onboarding tutorials

Place specific content around micro-interaction explaining the micro-interaction

This works !

  • Thank you, super useful! What do you mean exactly with "very specific content around micro interactions"? Do you have an example maybe?
    – StarGirl
    Mar 22, 2019 at 10:53
  • 1
    I do. In one interaction our system automatically allocates a payment amount to a thing. The user cannot manually change the amount (we established it was an unlikely scenario) so we had content that explained how the system allocated payments.
    – colmcq
    Mar 22, 2019 at 11:53

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