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Interactive Walkthrough Software (2023)

By Tara Porter
Updated November 14, 2023
Digital Adoption Platform

Interactive walkthroughs are one of the best solutions to make sure that users learn software quickly.

An interactive walkthrough is a tutorial that appears on top of an application to show users how it works.

These guides are usually 2-3 steps, but they can be longer for more complicated workflows. In some cases, the walkthrough can explain how to complete tasks; in other cases, it can simply provide some helpful tips and tricks.

Digital Adoption Platform

Benefits of Interactive Walkthroughs

Give Users a Better Onboarding Experience

The step-by-step guidance of interactive walkthroughs is more engaging and interactive than traditional onboarding methods (like user manuals or product tours).

Instead, walkthroughs allow users to learn by doing.

Users can explore the software at their own pace, gain hands-on experience, and build confidence in their ability to use the application effectively.

This hands-on approach of guiding users reduces the cognitive load on new users and minimizes the need for external support & leads to better product experiences. It transforms the onboarding experience from a passive consumption of information into an active learning journey.

Improve User Adoption

Interactive walkthroughs lead to faster product adoption. Since they are learning in the context of their workflow, they retain far more.

As companies identify areas where users are having trouble, they can create walkthroughs to help users understand confusing areas.

This helps companies achieve a better ROI on their investments and provides a better user experience.

Strengthen Governance

Walkthroughs can also ensure that users are following proper company policies. You can create a walkthrough to take users step-by-step through an important process.

Some walkthrough tools, such as VisualSP, give you access to Microsoft Clarity so that you can see recorded sessions of users in the platform so that you know exactly what they are doing.

Reduce Training and User Support Costs

Walkthroughs provided in the work context reduce the burden of training and IT support. One company stated that after launching a Digital Adoption Platform with Interactive Walkthroughs, "[they] rarely get support questions anymore."

In fact, VisualSP cuts support tickets by an average of 50%.

Walkthroughs cut the need for support tickets because users can access them at any time and see exactly what they should do.

Context-Based Guidance

Interactive walkthroughs offer context-based app guidance, adapting to the user's current location within the software application. This real-time assistance eliminates the need for searching through documents and reduces frustration.

Interactive walkthroughs can also tailor their content to individual user behavior and preferences, providing a personalized learning experience.

Users Can Access Them Any Time

Interactive walkthroughs are always available, letting users get help whenever they need it. Unlike support desks or training sessions, which may only be available at certain times, interactive walkthroughs are built right into the software and can be accessed at any point. This means users can get help right when they need it, without having to stop what they're doing.

Being able to access interactive walkthroughs at any time lets users learn at their own pace and get help when they need it most. This self-service approach takes the load off support and lets users solve problems on their own, making them feel more independent and confident. Plus, the flexibility to access walkthroughs at any time encourages users to explore new features and functions on their own schedule, promoting continuous learning and engagement with the software.

What to Look for in Interactive Walkthrough Software

To pick the best interactive walkthrough that aligns with your specific needs, consider these product features:

  1. Code-Free Solution: Prioritize software that doesn't require coding expertise, allowing you to create and manage walkthroughs without relying on technical skills. This empowers non-technical users to actively contribute to the onboarding process, streamlining the creation and maintenance of walkthroughs.
  2. User Segmenting: Choose software that lets you segment your users into distinct groups based on their roles. This segmentation allows you to tailor walkthroughs to their specific needs. For example, VisualSP allows you to modify content based on Microsoft scope and user permissions, giving them a more personalized experience.
  3. User Behavior Data: Select software that captures and analyzes user behavior data and provides valuable insights into how users interact with the enterprise software application. You can use this to identify rage clicks, pinpoint popular pages/resources, and watch recorded sessions. You can use this data to identify where users are getting stuck so that you can modify walkthroughs.
  4. Analytics: Seek software that offers comprehensive analytics, enabling you to track key metrics such as help item views, hours saved, and % ROI achieved. These insights can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your walkthroughs and identify areas for improvement.
  5. In-App Feedback: Choose software that has in-app feedback mechanisms so that users can provide feedback directly within the walkthrough experience. This real-time feedback can help you identify areas of confusion or difficulty, enabling you to make timely adjustments to improve the walkthrough content.
  6. Pre-Made Content: Consider software that offers a library of pre-made walkthrough templates and content, providing a solid foundation for creating your own walkthroughs. These templates can save you time and effort, allowing you to focus on customizing the content to fit your specific needs. For example, VisualSP has over 1,000 Microsoft-specific support items.

Tips for Creating Interactive Walkthroughs

  1. Keep it simple and concise: Avoid overwhelming users with too much information at once. Break down the walkthrough into manageable steps and use clear and easy-to-understand language.
  2. Use visuals effectively: Screenshots, videos, and GIFs can be great tools for helping users understand complex procedures. Use them strategically to complement your written instructions.
  3. Test with real users: Always test your walkthroughs with real users to identify problems. Gather feedback and make adjustments accordingly.
  4. Schedule Walkthroughs: Rather than bombarding users with several tutorials at once, schedule them out. That way, as they are more comfortable with the platform, they can go a layer deeper with a new tutorial.

Popular Interactive Walkthrough Software

VisualSP: Affordable and Microsoft-Focused

VisualSP is cost-effective and comes with a full suite of features, including interactive walkthroughs, contextual self-help resources, and in-app analytics. It's easy to use and launch, and users receive hands-on support. VisualSP excels in the Microsoft ecosystem, with a strong team of Microsoft 365 experts and out-of-the-box Microsoft 365 resources, but you can use it on any web enterprise application.

WalkMe: A Comprehensive Suite with a Learning Curve

WalkMe offers a comprehensive set of interactive walkthroughs, contextual self-help resources, and in-app analytics. However, its setup and launch can be complex, requiring users to attend a "builder school" for training. Additionally, WalkMe is one of the more expensive Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) on the market.

Pendo: User-Friendly Interface with Powerful Analytics

Pendo provides a user-friendly interface and robust analytics capabilities. It's primarily designed for websites and web-based applications for external users. While Pendo is easy to use, some users find its features limited, and costs can increase as organizations grow.

Whatfix: Affordable, Feature-Rich, but Complex to Set Up

Whatfix offers a wide range of features, is easy to use, and allows user segmentation. It also has an affordable base price. However, users have noted that Whatfix is not as scalable as other platforms and can be complex to set up and configure. Additionally, costs can increase as you add internal applications to the platform.

Get Started Today

If you'd like to test out walkthroughs to see how they work, you can take advantage of VisualSP's free trial. You can also discover the other features of the VisualSP help system including hundreds of short, easy-to-consume video tutorials, annotated detailed screenshots, and tip sheets.


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