In the latest beta of Discourse, we introduced user tips explaining the most important features of Discourse (enabled by default; to disable it, navigate to your site setting and search for “enable user tips”).
I did just test it out by spinning up a new basic plan site on our hosting, which has it enabled by default, and noticed a few things to consider for v2:
The “Your first notification!” user tip does not always appear. I like it because it makes sense as the very first one and is very prominent! The issue is, I think, that not all configurations result in a notification appearing immediately, as soon as the user first logs in. Personally I think we should always show it, whether or not the user has any notifications. But then we have to change the uer tip title from “Your first notification!” to something else like “Your Notifications are here”.
The first one to appear in fact is the one at the very bottom of the page after clicking into a post and reading it: " Keep reading! Here are some topics we think you might like to read next." After this tip I am shown three more in quick succession, immediately. Topic timeline first, then the post menu, then notification levels. I think the order could be changed to 1) topic timeline, 2) post menu, 3) notification levels, 4) keep reading.
Visually I like the user tips very much, but I think they would be more effective if they were more “in your face”, maybe bigger and using a more opinionated color and design. Right now they are small enough and match the design, so it is possible to not notice them right away and just ignore them. It’s also possible to miss the feature the user tip is pointing to and seeking to teach you about, because the arrow is small and subtle. And finally, they also just “appear” and there is no animation to draw attention to it.
If you do follow (1) and click the link to your discobot tutorial PM, then you will start to get (2) the rest of your user tips all at once. This feels overwhelming, just at the moment when discobot is asking you to do some things.
There is no way back to the user tips later, by existing users or by a new user who maybe accidentally turned them off. There is a way via the user prefs but that is buried. I’m not quite sure what the answer is for this yet but a UI to “get help” with features currently on the the page would be great to start thinking about.
And finally, I have noticed that on many other sites with new user tips there is a “beginning, middle and end” to the sequence of user tips. There is also often a progress indicator to give the user a modicum of control, by showing which tip the user is on and how many more there are to see before it is over. You can also restart it.
Here’s an example from a medical site I was asked to join by my gastroenterologist. The design is hideous, but is opinionated and hard to ignore. Note that it starts with a “Welcome” popup front and center, each tip has a dot indicating how many more tips are still to be shown, and it ends with a “Congrats” popup indicating it is done. And finally, when you acknowledge and close the congrats popup you are looking at a post containing more information about the site and a video you can watch to learn more.
I realize that user tips are displayed for things that are not on the page so the sequence in the screen recording won’t translate perfectly.
We’re using them for some time and I haven’t noticed any particular issues with the tips. Except that I’d like to have more tips - they are quite limited still.
Apart from that I agree with your notes above, especially (2), (3), (4)
Nice! Thanks for the feedback. If you can provide title and text for more tips you’d like to see please do so! It helps to have the full copy for the user tip because coming up with easy to grasp text is hard. Also when you propose tips, please explain why you think it is needed and when you think it should be shown.