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Toolset: How to Set Up a Successful Digital Adoption Strategy

Previously in our blog we have discussed the importance of a digital adoption strategy. In this article we will outline specific tools and approaches that will enable you to set up a powerful digital adoption strategy. 

We will outline 7 approaches and 5 specific tools, as well as discuss the advantages of having a good digital adoption strategy.

Let's dive right in. 

#1. Address Resistance to Change

Human beings are creatures of habit. We establish workflows and methods of achieving things and, if they generally work, we can find it challenging to break out of these patterns.

There are several different reasons why businesses might implement new software. Typically, it falls under two reasons:

  • Increase Productivity

  • Lower Operating Costs

But employee resistance can be for a lot of reasons. Two of the more common reasons why employees resist digital adoption are:

1) Fear that they can't adapt to the new technology and they'll get left behind

2) A belief that the changes being implemented will make things more complex and less productive.

The solution to these issues is good communication and training. Helping employees understand how digital tools will help them comes down to effective onboarding.

#2. Personalized Training & Formats

People learn in different ways. Some people need to take a very systematic approach before they're comfortable with a piece of software, while others are happy to dive in. A successful digital adoption strategy will accommodate both learning styles and everything in between.

Personalized training can take a few different forms. Interactive product tours that are relevant to their skills or department are a good start. But ensuring that users can access training in their preferred format is also helpful. 

A successful digital adoption strategy will have a mix of video, pdfs, in-app learning tools, articles, etc. This approach will allow more users to learn in the way that suits them best.

#3. Learn While Using

Passive learning vs active learning has gotten a lot of attention over the years. When we read or are shown something, we don't tend to retain a lot of information. However, actively doing tasks helps users remember information and provides a practical demonstration of how to achieve goals with an app or SaaS software.

Digital adoption tools are an excellent way for users to learn in a practical way. Businesses should leverage user onboarding software to teach employees what they need to do their tasks, with information accessible when they need it.

#4. Use Microlearning

Onboarding users with new software is essential. But, it needs to be done in the right way. Sitting employees down and overloading them with information will make it challenging for them to retain information. Likewise, dumping them with a technical document will produce mixed results.

As mentioned above, the best way to retain information is by doing the tasks. And nothing complements that method like microlearning.

Microlearning breaks down complex knowledge into manageable bite-sized chunks that you can deliver in short spaces of time. This process is incredibly effective because it helps overcome the Forgetting Curve. Short, punchy lessons are a great way to keep learning engaging, fun, and relevant to the tasks at hand.

Many businesses have been implementing microlearning or gamification into their workplace training over recent years.  

#5. Leverage User Progress Data

One of the most effective ways to measure and understand digital adoption is by tracking user progress. Companies can use user analytics to gain insights into how users are interacting with new software.

This information can demonstrate what problems users are having with software and underline areas that can be improved. Feeding this back into the UX or training can bring about increased user engagement.

Additionally, frustration with new tools can lead to high employee turnover rates. Ensuring that each employee feels they are adequately supported in their job will help them and your organization grow.

#6. Don't Fall Back on Software Intuitiveness

Modern developers are deeply conscious of user experience (UX). As a result, software is becoming more intuitive. However, relying on software being easy to pick up is a mistake.

Users will have different levels of experience with software. Additionally, not everyone is tech-savvy. A successful digital adoption strategy won't leave things to chance and expect users to figure things out. 

If you want adoption to happen across the board, you need to be proactive about providing users with the right kinds of assistance.

#7. Take Advantage of Modern Support Tools

Many of the traditional methods for disseminating workplace information don't work. There is a reason why "How To..." videos on YouTube are among the most successful categories: users want information in more interactive and instant chunks.

Modern tools like digital adoption platforms (DAPS) teach users how to use digital products in a more engaging way. They use a range of different digital onboarding methods like:

Product Tours 

A product tour — or product walkthrough — is a way to guide new users through a product. Typically, these are interactive experiences that guide users towards their aha moment: the moment when they realize that this app or service will be valuable to them.

These tours are a great way to get users interacting with an app or a piece of software. 

Onboarding Checklists

An onboarding checklist can be used as the jumping-off point in your customer's journey. If there are several tasks that a user needs to complete to engage with your product, one way to achieve this is by using a checklist. 

Depending on the service, an onboarding checklist can contain different goals. It could be about achieving specific actions in the product like posting a photo or sharing a link, or it could be about ticking demonstration videos. Whatever it is, checklists are a great way to leverage humans' desire for completing tasks while simultaneously driving them towards adopting your products.

Tooltips or Smart Tips

Even if you don't know what they are called, you are probably familiar with what tooltips are. They are the small, subtle boxes of text that appear when you hover over an item in a digital product. These discreet and short messages are an excellent way to provide essential information to your users without getting in the way or taking over the screen.


Hotspots are another subtle way to help the user interact with the app or product environment. Again, you'll likely have encountered these visual elements that pulsate or highlight critical aspects of the interface.

Modal Windows

Modal windows are another tool that can be used as part of a digital adoption strategy. These visual elements pop up over the user interface and include more detailed tips, videos, or pictures. 

These are just a few of the features that digital adoption software contains. 

Businesses can use each of these processes to help users familiarize themselves with new products or features. Because each app or SaaS product has different aims and user demographics, DAPs can be used to provide a level of training that suits each user base. 

For example, a simple photo-sharing app might benefit from tooltips or hot spots to demonstrate using a feature. On the other hand, a larger, more complex product would suit a product walkthrough.

What Are Digital Adoption Platforms and How Can They Help?

Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) is software that is created to help employees or customers to learn how to use applications or services. These tools use a variety of different methods to enhance and personalize the learning experience.

Typically, DAPs work as an overlay on the app or service. From here, as the user interacts with the software, they are greeted with:

  • Interactive guides

  • Pop-up instructions like tooltips/smarttips

  • Tutorials

  • On-screen guidance

  • Product walkthroughs

While workshops, seminars, presentations, and individual or group training are traditional learning methods, there are significant questions about their effectiveness. The idea behind DAPs is that people learn by doing and interacting with a product.

When done right, DAPs can make the learning process far more efficient, intuitive, and effective.

Benefits of Digital Adoption Platforms

1) Automate User Onboarding

Instead of investing a lot of time and energy in training staff individually or in groups, digital adoption platforms automate user onboarding. There are a lot of advantages to this approach beyond just saving resources. For example, users can learn at their own pace and go back over areas they are unsure about. Additionally, it helps organizations provide a cohesive and consistent onboarding process. 

2) Accelerate Time to Competency

DAPs accelerate learning. They are designed to work seamlessly inside an app or service and provide real-time learning. DAPs can significantly reduce learning curves because users have the information they need while doing a task.

3) Ensure a Better ROI on Software

Investing in new software comes at a cost. Management needs to justify the investment, and DAPs can help achieve this by ensuring more users adopt the software and use it to its full potential.

4) Reduce Support Costs

DAPs reduce customer and employee costs by offering a self-serve option. When given a choice, most users prefer self-serve options as a way to solve problems. 

DAPs proactively support users throughout their journey within the product, reducing their need for customer support.

5) Provides Insights into UX and User Behaviour

Because DAPs overlay software, companies can use them to measure user behavior. A whole host of helpful information can be accessed, like what features are being ignored, what tasks are taking a long time, etc. 

Businesses can leverage this information to improve their workflows and insights. Additionally, on an employee level, companies can see which employees are struggling and need more training.

How Usetiful Can Help

Usetiful is an easy-to-use DAP that can help with all the above. It can support user onboarding by providing various tools like product tours, contextual on-screen guidance, tooltips, and onboarding checklists.

The software works on top of your product or SaaS app, providing users with an engaging and focused in-app experience. Best of all, you don't need any coding skills to implement it. This fact means that you can save a great deal of time and money on your onboarding efforts.

Additionally, Usetiful is the most secure and GDPR compliant DAP. We don't proactively collect, process, or store information about your users. This Zero-knowledge design means that the service can run entirely anonymously.

If you want to bring your digital adoption strategy to the next level, get in touch today to schedule a demo.

Photo by Yianni Mathioudakis on Unsplash

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