How Google Uses Informative Tours To Highlight and Explain a Page
In the previous Facebook post, I discussed how Facebook uses in-app notification boxes to highlight new features to users.
But what do you do when you need to explain many elements on a page?
The GMail redesign
Lets take Google as the example this time. Google recently did a redesign of GMail. In order to explain the redesign, they implemented an informative in-application tour.
An informative tour is a tour which does not contain any interactive steps. Each step points to an element on the page and explains its purpose. The user clicks the NEXT button to go through each step in the tour.
Take a look at the GMail tour below:
This tour is shown to users when they log in to the redesigned GMail for the first time. Within a few minutes they understand where to find their features in the new interface. Much better than documentation or videos!
Informative tours are not restricted to redesigns. They are great for orienting new users when they first log in, or when they first visit a complex page with multiple components (eg: a dashboard, or a settings page).
Use informative tours
- To explain a complex page
- To orient a user the first time they visit a page
- To explain changes in a page since the last time the user visited