There's a page on my company's website that demos/tours/guides the user through our app. Is it a good idea to involve the user in the demo/tour/guide?

For example:

  • "Click [button X] and we'll show you what it does!"
  • "Try out the feature we showed you!"

The online demo/tour/guide not a complete version of the app, of course.

  • What do you mean by "involving" the user? Seems your question is about the wording of the copy: Should the website speak to the user as if it's a dialog between people? – Ken Mohnkern Aug 28 '16 at 19:51
  • @KenMohnkern E.g. the tour page for Stack Exchange sites does not involve the user. It doesn't ask the user to click the upvote button to see what it does; it just shows the action happening without the user getting involved. – clickbait Aug 28 '16 at 20:13
  • I see. You're asking whether to require the user to take action or to just show an animation. – Ken Mohnkern Aug 28 '16 at 23:12
  • 1
    I think it depends whether you want to train the user, or only showcase the app to them. – joeytwiddle Aug 29 '16 at 7:47

If you are talking about making the demo interactive, I would say that - of course, for a UX professional - it depends. In general that might be a good idea if your product is one that invites particularly interesting interactions.

Depending on your users and your product, people are less likely to care about interacting with, say, a financial product, unless there is something really cool about how you interact with it. If it's just a demo of how your product works, a video/animated demo is probably fine, and likely cheaper to produce.

If there is some totally cool control/interaction within your product that makes it stand out, it might be worth letting people play with it. But making them take action after action through a relatively standard demo might be more annoying than interesting - save that for the tutorial.


Try using an interactive demo only when :

  • There's a new interactive UI element which will repeat often in the app at later stages and you want your user to be well-versed with it.
  • If you are thinking of rewarding your user with gift(s) for engaging their attention

For any other reason - never involve an interactive demo because if your app looks lacklustre at later stages (happens many times), You run a big risk of losing the user for entirety because the user only found the interactive demo to be amusing in the beginning and will never bother to check the usefulness of your app.

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