Website creation: onboarding, or user training
Different sites may have their own user interaction scenarios, and quite often the necessary steps to accomplish this or that task to new site visitors are not at all obvious. That is why a lot of attention is paid to the so-called onboarding – the process of training users to work with the site.
For small sites that have a simple presentation of businesses on the Internet, there are usually no user training elements. But if the use of the site means performing any non-standard actions, without training users or, as it is called in Western practice, onboarding, do not do.
The easiest way to educate site users is to create instructions. In this case, a special button or menu item may guide the site visitors’ instructions. The appearance and content of the instructions depend on the features of the site. For example, the most often required actions are described in the text, and for the sake of clarity such text is illustrated with photos, screenshots. You can also provide instructions for site visitors in the form of a presentation, and it is usually more attractive because it is not as boring as text descriptions.
A more sophisticated way to educate users is to use a demo (demo) on the site. In this case, users have the opportunity to work with some predefined data and may not worry that any errors in the actions will lead to malfunctions. Offering users a demo as a learning tool can be especially helpful when engaging with a site is paid.
To teach users how to work with the site, you can use the step-by-step “wizard”: in this case, the site seems to lead the hand of each new visitor, familiarizing him with the basic features, and more detailed explanations are given in the instructions. A good solution may also be to create a tour of the site, which can be made in the form of a flash video or video.
Educating users to interact with the site in any of the above ways is best done gradually, and it is best not to spend time explaining some obvious actions: however, the vast majority of Internet users are well aware, for example, that clicking the cross icon in the right corner of the window will close window, or that clicking on the trash can icon on an item will delete that item. But in describing some non-standard elements of the site’s interface, it is better to dwell in detail to minimize possible user errors.
Proper training for users of the site is important, because the visitors will not understand any actions on the site, you may lose potential customers / buyers. And you need to think carefully about what the learning process should be so that it is both effective and user-friendly. To think about how to educate users, you still need at the stage of creating a site to develop the necessary additional tools, navigation elements and pages.