Tour My App comes with twenty five amazing themes that you can directly apply on your tours. Take a look:
Tour My App comes with twenty five amazing themes that you can directly apply on your tours. Take a look:
Everyone has a business card to give out at meetings. These cards are rather boring and after you hand one out, you can be pretty sure that the person will go home and forget all about it.
We were attending an event yesterday and decided to try something different.
Before we started out, we decided on some goals. We wanted:
After some brainstorming, we decided to use Sean Murphy’s 3×5 technique. The gist of the technique is to carry a bunch of 3×5 index cards which have a list of pain points on one side, and your solution on the other. 3×5 is a convenient size that fits in a pocket, and the small size forces you to be compact with content.
We then looked at the information on a regular business card and started eliminating anything that was unnecessary. First to go was the address — does anyone use it these days? We also removed the job title. So that left us with the logo, name, email and phone number.
Finally, we put in a QR code. When scanned, the code opens up the email client and sends me an email. That way, when I get back home, all I need to do is to reply back to the email to establish contact with the person I met. Not only is it simpler to get in touch, but also adds a touch of engagement with the person I’m talking to.
To tie it all together, we added a couple of message boxes from Tour My App to give a more concrete idea of what the product looks like. It also gives the person an idea of how in-application tours can drive conversions.
The whole thing took 3 hours, from conceptualisation, to design, to a printed card.
If we really think about it, re-connecting with people you meet at an event is really a conversion optimization problem. First, you need to talk to a lot of people. Some of them will have mutual synergies with what you do. So you exchange business cards. Finally, you go home and reconnect for a longer discussion.
When we look at it that way, then new ideas come up. For example, how can we optimize this funnel? So we thought, “what if the conversion action could be performed right there in the event itself”? Thats the idea of the QR code. In our case, it sends me an email. You can also set up a code that will load your website, show a demo, sign up a trial account or something else.
At the event, we had about 25% who took the card went ahead and scanned the QR code. Another 15% were interested in what Tour My App was about, but didn’t scan the code. The remaining 55% were not in our space and we just exchanged cards.
Every decade, the Internet startup community latches onto “the thing” that will make them successful. In the ’90s the focus was all on marketing and biz folks. Come up with an idea, raise tons of cash, market the hell out of it and grow fast. Come the first decade of the millennium and the focus shifted to the developers. The philosophy was to get some great hackers, put them in a room and allow them to create something great.
This decade, the in-thing is design. Everywhere you look, the mantra is about using design as the differentiator that will catapult the startup to greatness. Nothing wrong with that – design really does make a difference. Unfortunately, far too many people are confusing simplicity with good design. Sure, there are way too many bloated products out there, but there are now increasingly many products that are extremely shallow, in the name of good design.
The trigger for this post was a comment on Techcrunch where the person said (to paraphrase) that having an onboarding process for new users is a band aid for bad design, and if the user didn’t intuitively use your product, then the product is too complex. In this person’s opinion, the developer should reduce features and improve the UX to the point where no onboarding would be necessary.
I can understand where the commenter is coming from, but its a dangerous idea to assume that fewer features and improved design is the answer to everything.
A lot of software developers are seduced by the old “80/20″ rule. It seems to make a lot of sense: 80% of the people use 20% of the features. So you convince yourself that you only need to implement 20% of the features, and you can still sell 80% as many copies.
– Joel Spolsky, Bloatware and the 80/20 Myth
Imagine you are designing a piano. Your good friend, the UX engineer, comes by and looks at the monstrosity.
“Jim, there are too many keys here. It’s intimidating and its going to take them years to figure out how to use this. They may need to enroll in classes. Do you really expect to sell this? Say, lucky I’m here. Why don’t we make a piano with just one key, and colour it red. That way, a new customer will know exactly what to press. What do you say?”
The exchange above might sound absurd, but the equivalent is playing out in many places right now.
Good design is not about more features or less features. It is about helping users achieve their goals. Sometimes it just takes one button for the user to do that. At other times, it really does take a fair amount of complexity to get there. Scratching out features and building a shallow product in the name of good design isn’t good design at all.
We are faced with an apparent paradox, but don’t worry: good design will see us through. People want the extra power that increased features bring to a product, but they intensely dislike the complexity that results. Is this a paradox? Not necessarily. Complexity can be managed.
– Don Norman, Simplicity is not the answer
However much UX folks like to deny it, most products that users use again and again have a certain amount of complexity and a learning curve. Your operating system, a word processor, even GMail can be fairly complex beasts. The challenge for UX folks isn’t in simply discarding every feature until you are left with just one, but to effectively manage the learning curve as smoothly as possible.
Managing the learning curve can take many forms across UX design, onboarding, guided tours, lifecycle drip marketing, in-application notifications and user activity analytics. To discard everything else and focus only on UX design is a mistake.
When we created Tour My App, a lot of people asked us if this was the appearance of Clippy 2.0. I can understand where they come from, but in-application guided tours are vastly different from Clippy. Clippy would randomly pop out and interfere with whatever task you were trying to accomplish and give some useless help, which made it very annoying and frustrating for the user. By contrast, in-application tours can be a great tool to onboard users, show a demo or highlight features.
To get beginners to a state of intermediacy requires extra help from the program, but this extra help will get in their way as soon as they become intermediates. This means that whatever extra help you provide, it must not be fixed into the interface. It must know how to go away when it’s services are no longer required. Standard online help is a poor tool for providing such beginner assistance. […] beginners don’t need reference information; they need overview information, such as a guided tour.
– Alan Cooper, About Face 2.0
This weekend, I gave a talk at The Startup Centre on 5 steps to better user engagement. Here are the slides from the presentation. View it in full screen:
The style builder is now available for your tour, and this is what it looks like:
The style builder allows you to select from a list of predefined themes or customise with your own colours. Making your tour look good was never this easy!
There are many ways to use tours to improve customer engagement. Here are 5 simple patterns you can use
CHENNAI—5 July 2012—Silver Stripe Software Pvt Ltd announces the release of Tour My App, a tool that helps web application developers improve user engagement on their web application.
Over the last few years, online business models for web based applications have moved to a self-service model where users sign up and evaluate products by themselves, without the involvement of a sales person. A big problem web application developers face is from users who sign up, but do not see all the features of the product, and leave without making a purchase.
Tour My App helps web developers add guided tours within their application. These tours show users how to use the application and its features step by step, as if a sales person was sitting beside the user and guiding them.
“When new users sign up for a web application, then only spend a few minutes trying to explore the features of the product. If they do not find the features they are looking for, then they close the browser and leave forever. Web applications are losing a huge number of users due to inadequate guidance in those critical few minutes” says Kausikram Krishnasayee, Product Manager for Tour My App.
Added Kausikram, “Tour My App can be integrated with web applications in just a few minutes. With the number of web-based self-service products growing at a rapid pace, there is huge demand to solve the user engagement problem, and Tour My App fills the gap.”
Analyst firm Gartner estimates the current online web application market to grow to $14.5 billion by the end of 2012, and to reach $22.1 billion by 2015.
Tour My App is open for signup online at http://tourmyapp.com
About Silver Stripe Software Pvt Ltd
Silver Stripe Software is a startup based in Chennai that develops web application products. Silver Stripe Software was founded by Siddharta Govindaraj, who has ten years of experience working in startups in India and abroad. Their first product, Tools For Agile, is a project management tool for managing globally distributed projects. Their second product, Tour My App, aims to solve the problem of user engagement in self-serve web apps.
For further details, contact:
+91 94450 40487
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?
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
We just released two new features today:
The image you see above is the super cool new funnel analytics.