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Flexible user onboarding flow and why it is important

Why is flexibility important?

Modern SaaS applications and web portals are complex systems and it´s not trivial to build a user onboarding journey for them.

Animations and dynamic elements are introduced as part of the user experience. Technical concepts, such as single-page architecture, are widely adopted. The way how front-end elements are built and rendered has an impact. And your business logic and exceptions in the process further multiply the complexity.

When choosing a User Onboarding Software, it is good to keep in mind that these complexities can limit or even prevent wider adoption. It´s important to choose a solution that can respect the specifics of your software. More flexible features, such as product tours, tutorials, or smart tips, mean a smoother experience for your users and a wider set of supported use cases.


"Do not align your application with capabilities of a User Onboarding Software, choose a User Onboarding Software that can work with your application."


Usetiful is a User Onboarding Software specifically tailored for maximum flexibility. No matter how dynamic your user experience, how complex your business logic, or how your technical solution is built. Usetiful is prepared to support you.

Let´s dive deeper into a few specific examples:


Page animations

Animated elements on a page represent a challenge when integrating a guided user onboarding because of timing and element availability.

The timing issue is clear - product tour that does not take the animation into consideration will pop up too soon. This can impact your user experience negatively as users might not have enough time to orient themselves before the guiding content shows up.

While timing can negatively impact your user onboarding experience, the element availability can completely break it. The tutorial builders often hook contents to specific page elements (see example below). When animations are in place, these elements can be unavailable while an animation plays causing an issue with many vendors.

Source: Pointer used in demo tour on www.usetiful.com

Usetiful is ready to provide reliable user onboarding experience also when animations are in place. User onboarding steps can wait until a linked element appears, postponing showing a content until a page is ready.


Single-page applications

A single-page application is a web application that interacts with a user by dynamically changing the page content. When user or application makes changes, the page is rewritten rather than having a new page loaded.

Common web browser frameworks and libraries that have adopted Single-page app principles include AngularJS, React, Ember.js, Meteor.js, or Vue.js.

User Onboarding Softwares often rely on URL changes or unique URLs to identify user behaviour or to target correct page context. Single-page applications make it complicated or even impossible to adopt solutions of such vendors.

Usetiful is a Digital Adoption Platform tailored for Single-page applications. Product tours can be fully adopted thanks to the ability to target specific pages by advanced conditions, such as "element exists" or "element value contains". The conditions are evaluated continually without need for an URL to change.

The user onboarding experience can be fully linked thanks to available triggers guiding a product tour. Content can be served after being started by triggers like "element appears" or "user click".

Source: Usetiful Product Tour editor - triggers guiding the user onboarding tour steps

Business logic

SaaS applications usually grow to contain a huge amount of business logic and validation rules. Based on these a user is permitted to perform an action or is directed towards the right workflow.

Product tour software vendors or tutorial builders usually present their value on simple workflows without, or with just simple business logic. This is ironically the situation when your users need the least help.

Source: Salesforce Developer forum, an example of a simple validation rule

The value of a Digital Adoption Platform shows how it can support a user when things go wrong. Modern DAP can react to business logic or validation errors and seamlessly update the user onboarding experience to fit the situation.

Usetiful, among Digital Adoption Platforms, provided great support for business rules or exceptions. For simpler cases and faster adoption, it is possible to connect the system messages (such as success or error messages) to product tour targeting through "element value contains" condition.

There is also a potential for much deeper and reliable integration. Usetiful is an open platform allowing you to control the product tour workflow directly from your application through custom events. When a business rule is applied, you can instruct your app to publish a custom event for Usetiful to consume.


Recommendation

On a market of Digital Adoption Platforms, there are both great and weak solutions available. When choosing a vendor of user onboarding software for your application, be sure to test it on non-trivial situations. Any solution can support you in happy case scenarios, but only the best will cover your back when you hit a complication.

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