What is an interactive walkthrough?

What are walkthroughs?

A walkthrough is a simple step-by-step set of instructions for a particular task. By very definition, a walkthrough can be used to help someone understand a particular task either through verbal communication, demonstration or a combination of both.

When used for explaining a software feature or benefit , it becomes a software walkthrough. As software continues to evolve over time and become more sophisticated, a well executed walkthrough can prove to be the most effective learning medium for potential users or customers.

Because software walkthroughs are inherently prescriptive in nature, they aid in fast learning and higher retention. As opposed to passive video demos, step by step walkthroughs make learning highly engaging . The modular nature of these walkthroughs help users learn at their own pace. For this reason, a well crafted walkthrough can be used for various purposes be it software demos, sales demos, customer support, e-learning, how-to guides and so much more.

What makes walkthroughs interactive?

The ability to click through every single step along the process at one's own pace is why walkthroughs are interactive by nature. A user typically clicks on a specific area on the screen to navigate through the walkthrough. Individual steps (screens) also include rich contextual information to help the user understand every single step in greater detail including tool-tips, hotspots, descriptions, videos, images and polls. These rich contextual nuggets of information helps the users stay engaged and retain information better and longer.

Are there different types of walkthroughs?

When it comes to software walkthroughs, there are predominantly two kinds:

In-product walkthroughs: 

As the name suggests, In-product walkthroughs are embedded within the product itself. The main goal of these kinds of walkthroughs is to ensure improved user experience with focus on product usability and feature adoption. Walk-me walkthroughs have been the gold standard in in-product walkthroughs for many years. Other close competitors include Whatfix, Pendo, Userlane and Appcues. 

Creating In-product walkthroughs is relatively easy. But because these experiences reside within the product, you need to either add a snippet of code or some kind of token to enable this experience to your users. You also typically need to provide additional information including the domain where this experience will be triggered, the triggering priorities, audience information and frequency. 

The pricing for these walkthroughs varies depending on the number of end users who experience these walkthroughs. 

Off-product walkthroughs:

Off-product walkthroughs reside outside of the product itself. The main purpose of these walkthroughs are customer education and product training. Additional use cases include user onboarding, documentation, flipped classrooms and customer support. These interactive walkthroughs can be embedded on other webpages, shared easily through social media channels and exported as documents including PDF. You can easily personalize these interactive walkthroughs by embedding voice and webcam.

The ability to create them on the fly is one of their major advantage. Unlike in-product walkthroughs, the pricing for creating such walkthroughs and sharing these walkthroughs is independent of the users consuming them.

Are there any good examples of companies using interactive step by step walkthroughs?

Interactive walkthroughs are widely popular with many software companies and you can find them strategically situated on various product and feature pages. The main goal is to provide a frictionless first-screen experience to the customers and generate enough interest to convert these casual visitors into qualified leads. Here are a few example from some of the recognized brand names in the industry today

How can Snackwyze help?

Snackwyze is the easiest way to create off-product step by step interactive walkthroughs from screen recordings in seconds. That’s right. No manual screenshots, no copy-paste routine and no funky HTML editor . The Snackwyze chrome extension records your actions and automatically converts clicks into a step by step walkthroughs. It even inserts the hotspot at the correct location with the right annotations for easy navigation. Snackwyze does all the heavy lifting for you which  frees up time for you to focus on crafting the right message and being more productive.

Snackwyze interactive walkthroughs are extremely lightweight, search engine friendly, easily shareable and can be exported in various formats. Here is short video that explains Snackwyze in less that 90 seconds.

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