How do I create tutorials for my users?

Introduction
Tutorial builder is a feature designed to help you deploy short learning modules about site functionality to your users. These tutorials will guide users through different pages presenting custom tooltips with specific instructions you create. The goal is to provide a framework that reduces the amount of written or video documentation provided to end users when deploying new functionality by guiding them through the process directly within the site.

 

Interface
To access tutorial builder go to Admin > Tutorials. There are several elements of the Tutorial admin interface. The build interface allows you to create a new tutorial. To start, simply give the tutorial a name and click build. You can optionally choose to record the tutorial as another user. This may be useful if you are trying to create a training session for specific users as you will be recording on screens that show the site as it appears to them rather than with the options available to you, the site administrator. 

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We will cover the tutorial build process itself further down in this article. The Existing Tutorials section simply displays the available tutorials that have been created. You can quickly change a tutorial name by clicking on the title.

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Existing tutorials also have icons next to their title which allow you to perform various options like deleting, editing, viewing, link coyping, etc. A legend is available to remind you of the icon purpose.

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Recording a Tutorial
When you enter tutorial record mode for the first time, you will see your recording toolbar. The toolbar has several elements

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  1. Record/Stop Record: Controls whether you are currently recording tips or navigation. Each page must have at least one tooltip so this will default to recording. When you are finished with this page, click Stop Recording to navigate to the next page
  2. Tips: A counter showing how many tips you've placed on the current page
  3. Page: A counter showing how many pages in your current recording session
  4. Buttons: Get help about tutorial builder, save the current tutorial you're working on or cancel the recording session
To place your first tip, simply close the your tutorial is now being recorded tooltip and then click anywhere on the page. Start typing descriptive text in the tip. Remember, your users may be viewing the site for the first time so try to be concise but informative. You can type a maximum of 500 characters per tip and each tip has an option to move, delete the tip or save it.

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To place another tip, click save and then click anywhere else on the screen. Now that we have two tips on the page the tips also have a navigation arrow that allows you to browse back and forth between the page tips. When you want your users to either perform an action on the page or navigate somewhere, be clear about what you are asking of them. Use language like Click on X link.

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Since you've told your users to go to the next page, you have to perform the same navigation. Click Stop Recording Tips and then click on the same link that you described in the last tip. Create several more tips on the new page, save your tutorial and view it. Congratulations you have created your first tutorial.

 

Tip Placement
Tip placement is important to building an effective tutorial. In order to accomodate dynamically sized sites and different screen resolutions on user devices we associate tips with content on the page rather than a specific position. This means that certain elements are better choices for attaching a tip to. These include:
  • Form elements: text boxes, drop downs, submit buttons, etc
  • Site Navigation: menu items, admin links, other permanent links
  • Widgets
Some content, however, is not ideal for tip placement. When evaluating whether you should attach a tip to something, consider whether this element will be there for the user when they are viewing the site. For example, you may want to create a tutorial that shows a user how to find forms. In doing so, you may create tips on specific folder names, specific item titles, ect. This is acceptable provided that you know these will not be changing. If there is the possibility that this specific form or folder of forms may not exist in the future then you may have to re-design your tutorial. In general, dynamic content is less reliable, so highlighting a specific comment would be less reliable than highlighting the comments area itself and explaining the purpose of comments in a more generic fashion. If you wish to attach tips to dynamic content, feel free, but this will likely reduce the lifespan of this tutorial. In the tutorial admin interface, the tips error warning icon will tell you if this tutorial has not been able to place one of your tips when viewed. If this occurs you will need to edit the tutorial and re-attach your tips to more stable content.

 

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