I've seen this done on many sites. Usually after you have signed up for the site/software you are then taken to the homepage/dashboard/whatever and there are tool-tips, call-outs, or modals to educate you on how to "get started". I'm sure everyone is familiar with this, but what is the proper term?

Wizard, walk-through, tutorial?

2 Answers 2


There isn't One True Term but I would say "walk-through" is more apt for what you are describing.

  • A wizard will guide a user through a series of actions to achieve a desired outcome. It is active.
  • A walk-through will be a quick overview of the system, a feature, etc. It is passive.
  • A tutorial is an overarching term for a guide intending to teach the user. It can be active or passive.

Wizards often aren't tutorials because their focus is simply to complete a series of tasks, intentionally obscuring what is involved behind-the-scenes, however sometimes you find a system that amounts to a wizard, a walk-through and a tutorial all at once. For example, an instructional wizard that walks a user through the manual steps involved to achieve a common effect.

  • That's pretty much my gut reaction too. Very helpful to see it defined and laid out like that however. Thanks!
    – Ryan Grush
    Nov 15, 2012 at 3:10

I think the term "tour" is more typical than "walk-through", as in "Take a tour of our features." Using the phrase "Get Started" is very recognizable as well.

The phrase or term that you choose depends on what functionality the user will be walked through:

  • If they will be completing something during the guided tour, then you should use "wizard" as this conveys a step-by-step process with instructions to guide you through each step. In this case, they are learning the functionality as they are using it, not learning for future use.
  • If you will be detailing the use of one individual feature, then "tutorial" explains that they will be guided through one feature but not all available functionality of the site.
  • Using terminology like "Get Started" is clear that this is something that is available the first time they access the site. This can refer to a walk-through or some initial steps that they need to complete (i.e., basic profile information).
  • "Walk-through" or "tour" are both good terms to describe a overview of the site and its features, without requiring any input or actions from the user.
  • 4
    A tiny point to consider: the user is probably feeling very task-oriented just after sign-up; ready to do whatever it is they came to the website to do. To them, "Get Started" may mean "get started with what you came here to do," not take a tour or learn how to use the site. It's a small change, but "Start Here" seems to say "This is the best place to start," rather than "Click here to start doing what you came here to do." Likewise, more descriptive terms like "Take a tour" or "Everything you need to know about ____ in 60 seconds" may avoid any minor clashes with the user's expectations. Nov 15, 2012 at 16:26

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