Skip or not

26 Mar 2008 - 8:58am
6 years ago
10 replies
383 reads
Min Lin
2007

I am working on a setup wizard for a consumer product. Somewhere
toward the end of the wizard we have a two-screen guided tutorial to
help users understand the main functions of the remove device (a
component of the product). My manager believes it is beneficial to
force users go through the tutorial and I am arguing to have a Skip
button available.

Since most users are not familiar with the remote, the tutorial
certainly becomes very useful to teach the person who set up the
product. My user testing has shown that the functions are
understandable and learnable in a reasonable brief time without any
form of instruction. The issue is users may forget the existence of
certain functions on the remote because it is difference from what
they are used to.

She is afraid that the Skip button will encourage users to skip the
*important* step. I think we should provide users with control (one
extreme case is that if an intended button doesn't work during the
tutorial, users will become trapped). There are about 20 steps in the
process and I think it is better to make all optional steps clear to
users.

What does our pool of wisdom think? Is there any data on the clicking
rate of the Skip button if there is one?

Min Lin
Usability Engineer
Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc.

Comments

26 Mar 2008 - 9:59am
david.shaw6@gma...
2004

Hi Min,

I don't have any research data per say, but we're working on a product that
has a similar situation. We've argued that it needs to have a skip button
for a couple reasons. The mitigation on our side is that the user manual
has the same information in it and can be retrieved or reviewed that way.
In my observations, I've found users like having control instead of being
forced through something. One of Coopers' "Design Cards" (from the IxDA
conference) talks about not inflicting your implementation model on your
users. That might be wise advice in this case.

One caution is that if that's your only way to teach your user about how to
use it, skipping it might be a bad thing. Also, what if the user
accidentally clicks on "Skip"? How are they going to get that information?

Just a couple of thoughts.

Thanks,
David

On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 7:58 AM, Lin Min <min.lin at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am working on a setup wizard for a consumer product. Somewhere
> toward the end of the wizard we have a two-screen guided tutorial to
> help users understand the main functions of the remove device (a
> component of the product). My manager believes it is beneficial to
> force users go through the tutorial and I am arguing to have a Skip
> button available.
>
> Since most users are not familiar with the remote, the tutorial
> certainly becomes very useful to teach the person who set up the
> product. My user testing has shown that the functions are
> understandable and learnable in a reasonable brief time without any
> form of instruction. The issue is users may forget the existence of
> certain functions on the remote because it is difference from what
> they are used to.
>
> She is afraid that the Skip button will encourage users to skip the
> *important* step. I think we should provide users with control (one
> extreme case is that if an intended button doesn't work during the
> tutorial, users will become trapped). There are about 20 steps in the
> process and I think it is better to make all optional steps clear to
> users.
>
> What does our pool of wisdom think? Is there any data on the clicking
> rate of the Skip button if there is one?
>
> Min Lin
> Usability Engineer
> Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
"Art provokes thinking, design solves problems"

w: http://www.davidshaw.info

26 Mar 2008 - 2:24pm
Min Lin
2007

David,

Thank you for the sharing. As you mentioned, those information is
available in the user manual. But at the same time we know few users
will read the manual. We also have a Help system built in the product,
which I believe much is more useful than the manual. Regarding the
accidental click, the wizard is designed to be always back-able. So
that should not hurt.

Thanks.

Min

26 Mar 2008 - 4:35pm
Cindy Alvarez
2004

On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 7:58 AM, Lin Min <min.lin at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am working on a setup wizard for a consumer product. Somewhere
> toward the end of the wizard we have a two-screen guided tutorial to
> help users understand the main functions of the remove device (a
> component of the product). My manager believes it is beneficial to
> force users go through the tutorial and I am arguing to have a Skip
> button available.

My experiences are primarily with web applications, so take with a grain of
salt. That said, I've seen a lot of frustration when we have "forced
consumers to learn". Response in user testing has been to click through
those screens as quickly as possible and display very strained body/facial
expressions, almost like "ha! I'll show you and refuse to learn anything!"
:)

Is there any point in the setup process where the consumer must sit and wait
while something happens in the background? Where you could play a very short
Flash movie or animated gif with instructions? That is a good opportunity
to provide education without making it feel forced. A couple of our
customers have done things like that with either instructional copy or
cross-sell advertisements and consumers have been receptive.

My other suggestion would be, instead of a Skip button, to have the "skip"
option automatically email the instructions to the consumer. That way, the
information is available to them on their own terms. (Actually, putting on
my electronics consumer 'hat', I would prefer that!)

Since most users are not familiar with the remote, the tutorial
> certainly becomes very useful to teach the person who set up the
> product. My user testing has shown that the functions are
> understandable and learnable in a reasonable brief time without any
> form of instruction. The issue is users may forget the existence of
> certain functions on the remote because it is difference from what
> they are used to.
>
> She is afraid that the Skip button will encourage users to skip the
> *important* step. I think we should provide users with control (one
> extreme case is that if an intended button doesn't work during the
> tutorial, users will become trapped). There are about 20 steps in the
> process and I think it is better to make all optional steps clear to
> users.
>

A demo should NEVER be "the important step". If a demo is truly necessary
to start operating a simple consumer tool, then the design of the tool is
not a success. If the demo has information on "advanced" features, then it
should be treated as optional, but readily available when the consumer is
ready for it (emailed to the consumer, also easy to find on your product's
website).

Cindy

>
> What does our pool of wisdom think? Is there any data on the clicking
> rate of the Skip button if there is one?
>
> Min Lin
> Usability Engineer
> Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

26 Mar 2008 - 5:31pm
Katie Albers
2005

At 3:35 PM -0700 3/26/08, Cindy Alvarez wrote:
>On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 7:58 AM, Lin Min <min.lin at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I am working on a setup wizard for a consumer product. Somewhere
>> toward the end of the wizard we have a two-screen guided tutorial to
>> help users understand the main functions of the remove device (a
>> component of the product). My manager believes it is beneficial to
>> force users go through the tutorial and I am arguing to have a Skip
>> button available.
>
>
>My experiences are primarily with web applications, so take with a grain of
>salt. That said, I've seen a lot of frustration when we have "forced
>consumers to learn". Response in user testing has been to click through
>those screens as quickly as possible and display very strained body/facial
>expressions, almost like "ha! I'll show you and refuse to learn anything!

It is worth keeping in mind that it is *never* possible to force
users to go through a tutorial (or pretty much anything for that
matter). They *always* have the choice of using something besides
your product.

Katie
--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

26 Mar 2008 - 6:09pm
AlokJain
2006

Lin,

Difficult to completly absorb the situation, but consider changing
label from skip to something more understandable - e.g. "Proceed with
setting up XYZ" "Set up xyz later" (you can access help to ...) .
If user understands what skip means, they can decide if it is
important for them or not. It also tells them that they can do this
later by accessing help.

Alok Jain

On Mar 26, 2008, at 10:58 AM, Lin Min wrote:

> I am working on a setup wizard for a consumer product. Somewhere
> toward the end of the wizard we have a two-screen guided tutorial to
> help users understand the main functions of the remove device (a
> component of the product). My manager believes it is beneficial to
> force users go through the tutorial and I am arguing to have a Skip
> button available.
>
> Since most users are not familiar with the remote, the tutorial
> certainly becomes very useful to teach the person who set up the
> product. My user testing has shown that the functions are
> understandable and learnable in a reasonable brief time without any
> form of instruction. The issue is users may forget the existence of
> certain functions on the remote because it is difference from what
> they are used to.
>
> She is afraid that the Skip button will encourage users to skip the
> *important* step. I think we should provide users with control (one
> extreme case is that if an intended button doesn't work during the
> tutorial, users will become trapped). There are about 20 steps in the
> process and I think it is better to make all optional steps clear to
> users.
>
> What does our pool of wisdom think? Is there any data on the clicking
> rate of the Skip button if there is one?
>
> Min Lin
> Usability Engineer
> Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

26 Mar 2008 - 10:19am
Boston IxDA
2008

I would feel it is very important to have a skip function for expert
users and those setting up for a second time.

I understand the requirements for forcing users through a tutorial
and there are many benefits. However the shear frustration of being
force fed material you've either seen already or are not in the
least bit interested in seeing (expert users) is highly detrimental
to the overall experience.

And yes, even expert users utilise wizards.. if they're well
designed.

I would talk to your manager and flip the problem around. To me its
not so much forcing users who might otherwise press skip, but that
the issue is the value of the tutorial is not present presented
correctly. If it seems to be valuable, it will be selected.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=27622

26 Mar 2008 - 6:02pm
Weixi Yen
2007

Are you allowed to change the design of the remote so that this tutorial
isn't necessary to use it?

27 Mar 2008 - 7:47am
Jason Witenstei...
2006

Hi Min,

I've been in your seat plenty of times. ;)

Much good advice has been offered for many good reasons.

I'll add my two cents. With such an exhaustive wizard and as you
mentioned a possible dead end, it seems to me that there is an
imperative for a skip button or at the least some sort of means to
continue forward. It's a setup wizard which means it's the first
thing the user does before using the actual product. If they were to
dead end there without any indication of forward movement or further
instruction it seems like a good candidate for the return line at
Best Buy. Most OSes and programs at one time or another have
'forced' me to enter information or agree to things but ultimately
the steps that are 'forced' are the steps I learn to ignore or
belligerently click through to complete (ex. when's the last time you
actually read a EULA before "Agree"ing to it?). So, there is an
argument to be made that force can actually cause the inverse of the
desired effect on the user.

Be Well,
Jason

On Mar 26, 2008, at 10:58 AM, Lin Min wrote:

> I am working on a setup wizard for a consumer product. Somewhere
> toward the end of the wizard we have a two-screen guided tutorial to
> help users understand the main functions of the remove device (a
> component of the product). My manager believes it is beneficial to
> force users go through the tutorial and I am arguing to have a Skip
> button available.
>
> Since most users are not familiar with the remote, the tutorial
> certainly becomes very useful to teach the person who set up the
> product. My user testing has shown that the functions are
> understandable and learnable in a reasonable brief time without any
> form of instruction. The issue is users may forget the existence of
> certain functions on the remote because it is difference from what
> they are used to.
>
> She is afraid that the Skip button will encourage users to skip the
> *important* step. I think we should provide users with control (one
> extreme case is that if an intended button doesn't work during the
> tutorial, users will become trapped). There are about 20 steps in the
> process and I think it is better to make all optional steps clear to
> users.
>
> What does our pool of wisdom think? Is there any data on the clicking
> rate of the Skip button if there is one?
>
> Min Lin
> Usability Engineer
> Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

27 Mar 2008 - 8:53am
Min Lin
2007

Wow! Thank you for the helpful feedback!

I just got my manager to agree to include the Skip button. The 'price'
is to redesign the leading page so it will appear more fun and
inviting to encourage users to go through the tutorial. Actually I
don't view it as the price. It is what it should be.

I took many valuable pieces from the responses and used them to make
the case. Thank you all again.

Min

28 Mar 2008 - 12:42am
cui sarah
2007

Congratulations! :)

> Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 10:53:49 -0400> From: min.lin at gmail.com> To: boston.ixda at gmail.com> CC: discuss at ixda.org> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Skip or not> > Wow! Thank you for the helpful feedback!> > I just got my manager to agree to include the Skip button. The 'price'> is to redesign the leading page so it will appear more fun and> inviting to encourage users to go through the tutorial. Actually I> don't view it as the price. It is what it should be.> > I took many valuable pieces from the responses and used them to make> the case. Thank you all again.> > Min> ________________________________________________________________> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
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