The web UI uses common UI components - sliders, dropdowns, etc. - in common ways, so there should not be anything unintuitive about how the interface itself functions. However, the actual content is very profession-specific and there are no established conventions how and where different settings and parameters should be located, and how they are displayed. Some the terms are professional jargon that needs to be referenced somewhere, and some of the features you can do with the application are quite unique.
Here's what the main UI view roughly looks like. The floating layers contain settings that affect what's displayed in the main view.
I'm looking for user guidance design principles from a... let's say professional niche application's point of view. Usually, web UI usability discussions focus on widely available web apps that have a different set of questions to answer in this area. There is emphasis on onboarding, how to make the initial user experience welcoming, how to improve user retention. Which all makes sense, if you're competing with tens of other viable candidates for the online user's fleeting attention. If found this discussion helpful in that sense
But how does user guidance and tutorial design differ for a specialist professional tool whose user base can be considered committed and involved from the get-go? They still need guidance to be able to use the more advanced features of the application.
The "online help" as we knew it is half-dead, but what are its replacements? Do they differ from what's generally considered successful in the public web app world? Nowadays Google has replaced the Search box in the application help, but what about when the product is for such a niche market that it will likely not have any visible online community for this purpose?
- How to make a good interactive tutorial for people who are professionals in the subject matter, but newcomers to the particular application?
- (stolen from another thread): What's a good way to provide access to the help system? Cluttering the UI with questionmark-icons is certainly not optimal.
- Semi-related: can there be TOO MUCH tooltips?
- Supposing that an in-depth online reference is essential, how should it be presented in the UI?