Product Development July 23, 2020

Product tours builder recommendation?

Louis Svugr @louissugar

Hey IHs,

I wanted to ask for recommendations on good product tour builders?

I'm Head of Product at a small startup (https://cherrydeck.com) and we've tried a bunch of product onboarding tools in the last months. All of them are mediocre at best.

One of the main issues I've been running into is building mobile-first, which we (and probably thousands of other businesses) do, but which somehow no onboarding tool really understands.

Another thing is data propagation, no tool that I have found gives webhooks or other means of propagating individual step completion within a product tour. I'm sure I am not the only one struggling with this.

Does anyone know some great onboarding tool, or is building one currently? I'd love to give it a spin to see if it works for us!

Thanks, keep on being awesome!

  1. 2

    We are using https://helphero.co. Products are created through a chrome extension which is super easy, and if you need something more complex you can do it in code, they have a npm module i think. It's also affordable compared with other solutions like intercom.

  2. 2

    I've used a few of these types of tools and even back in the day tried to create my own SaaS in this space! I agree with you, they all fall short of the mark. After all the work you put into your app, reducing your onboarding to a tedious slideshow where the user has to keep clicking to get rid of just seems like lazy UX.

    I don't have a direct answer for you but my opinion on this is that "wizards" are a poor long-term solution to onboarding. They are a band-aid solution at best. A better solution is some combination of:

    • easily-accessed video tutorials and other docs
    • contextual tips
    • responsive chat / email support
    • improving UX

    But this obviously requires more time / effort.

  3. 1

    Intro.js. Simple and easy to use.

  4. 1

    Our experience (at https://www.uclusion.com) was the same as yours. We have onboarding wizards that we had to build ourselves - https://dev.to/uclusion/wizards-aren-t-just-for-hogwarts-14kd, for tours we used react-joyride, we created our own API for propagating tour completion and other UI state and we wrapped a video library to kick off the in app explainer and that's a bit flaky - I think because of the do not auto play video with sound restrictions.

    Its sad because the onboarding software is software in its own right and we ended up having to test and debug problems in what should have been fully generic components.

    1. 1

      That's what we did about a year ago until we realised that we cannot keep spending our very limited engineering resources on creating onboarding and feature tours.

      Sadly I am forced to toy with the idea of using react-joyride again. I loved the package and it was really fun building with it, but forcing a whole deploy cycle just to change the content in one of our tours was just not worth it :/

      1. 1

        Uclusion uses react joyride, but there's no real reason you need to do a full deployment to update your tours. They are just simple key/value data structures, hence you could configure them to read as JSON from your server, and just deploy that.

      2. 1

        Uclusion only has two full time developers (both founders) and some contractors - so our engineering resources are also very limited. But if anything we are doubling down on onboarding because if the funnel breaks there nothing else matters.

        Like I noticed https://cherrydeck.com/login only has the one kind of login where we now have three kinds. I feel like investment in the top of the funnel is a no brainer but maybe I am over estimating the effect it has.