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Without clear instructions, touch-based interactions are not always visible to the human eye at first glance. To address this, many mobile applications add introductory swipe “tours” that walk you through how to do things using touch gestures. While it is helpful, it is perhaps not the best way to capture the user’s attention or to enable the user to remember how to use the screen when they get to it later on in the app.
Most users skip over intro tours to get to the core of the app as quickly as possible. In addition, most users rarely remember what they were supposed to learn during the tour. Both these issues stem from that fact that introductory tours show up before you ever get a chance to use an application. Most people are eager to jump right in and as a result, they skip reading the manual. The ones that do read haven’t seen the interface yet so they don’t necessarily always have any sense of where and how the tips they’re learning will apply.
At the MCoE, we believe that instead of trying to teach everything up front and all at once, teach in the moment when specific information is actually useful. This is what we call “Just In Time Tutorials.” There are several types of “Just In Time Tutorials” we will review in this case study. These include: Multi-step, Overview and On-demand tutorials.
Below are sample screens illustrating a “Just In Time” tutorial we created for an HR IT Orientation App for new employees at KP. In this sample, we used an overview tutorial that featured more than one tip on the screen.
It may be that some apps involve a high amount of features that require clarification or further explanation. To address that, the MCoE design has employed “on-demand” tutorial links in the form of a “?” symbol. This provides users the ability to tap as needed on the areas of the app where they need more explanation as to what the feature is.
Below are sample screens illustrating a “Just In Time” tutorial we created for a Medical Product Information App. The tutorials illustrated in the design samples below appear when clinicians sign on for the first time and access the home screen. The app delivers the educational materials only when the user lands on that specific screen. In order to proceed and use the app, the user must tap to proceed to next steps and exit. They can also skip the tutorial at anytime.