Firstly please help me understand what guide truely means with respect to this link.
Secondly I had read that guide is an important part of a great UX, also by the answer of jensgram over here, it makes sense having such guides.
So as a UX designer,my dilemma is should i add guide on my app or just let the users discover its features?

PS: there is a FAQ page on the website, and the product will be used by users of all age groups and even by non tech savy people.

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    What is your app's type? Is it a game? Education? – Majo0od Sep 28 '16 at 15:37

User onboarding is super important - you don't want to throw users into the deep end when they download your product.

Let's say that a user hears about what your app offers from a friend and downloads it from the app store. They have an idea of what your app generally offers, but aren't informed of the details. This is the perfect chance to make a positive impression on the user, not only by guiding them how they'd be able to use the app but by also showing you understand who they are.

Here are some user onboarding best practices: http://www.appcues.com/blog/user-onboarding-best-practices/

Good luck!


You definitely should have a guide in your application. Depending on the task your application is going to solve, this guide may be very short or quite long, but it should be organized in way, to let end-users find the necessary information without headache.

For example, if you are making a simple whack-a-mole game or very simple application, your guide will contain couple strings of text, describing how to play this simple game or use this app.

In case you are developing a business application, your guide should have frequently asked questions, table of contents, alphabetical glossary and search mechanisms.

In general, your guide does not describe your UX (purpose of this button is this, purpose of this menu is that), but your guide describes how to solve particular business tasks using your UX (to generate a report, navigate to the menu Tools - Reports - Generate, etc, etc).

If there are different user groups for your application (system administrators, programmers, accountants, etc), then make several guides for every user group of your application.

As your guides are a part of your software solution make them easy to use and your customers will be happy.


I think you are perhaps confusing two concepts.

  • "User Guide" = typically would refer to a user manual, be it on paper, or on screen. It could also be some sort of slide show or overlay pointing out all the features

  • "Things that help guide the user" = these could be almost anything but would often refer to contextual help, instructional copywriting, etc.

my dilemma is should i add guide on my app or just let the users discover its features?

Yep. But there's no one universal answer to that. It's going to depend on all sorts of factors.

Some apps, for example, force the user through a 10-page slide show explaining everything. Some apps (particularly from Apple) will make the obvious features obvious, and let users discover all the other feature son their own.

Both are valid approaches and, again, depends on all sorts of things.

My personal philosophy:

  • First and foremost, make sure the UI accommodates the key user objectives as intuitively as possible.
  • How extra features are exposed to the user should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

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