What's your preferred number of steps in a product tour?

Curious to other product tour users ... what's your default go to length for a product tour? I've heard users can get fatigued after 4-5 steps but wondering if anyone has seen a good best practice on length.


Generally I'm referring to tours that introduce a major piece of functionality, new feature, etc... obviously many tours need only be 1 or 2 steps.


Best answer by Anonymous 8 July 2020, 01:03

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Hi @eric p11​ This is an interesting one, with a pretty frustrating answer... and that is (drumroll....) - it depends :)


If your tour can keep to one or two steps, that's great. Launch away and expect pretty good engagement (as long as your targeting is tight). But if it's going to be a little longer you should consider letting the customer (or visitor) opt-in to taking the tour to manage their expectations. It'll also help keep your engagement data pretty neat too. So you'll know anyone taking the tour truly wanted to, as opposed to just finding themselves on it.


So, what we tend to do most of the time now is use audience targeting to launch an ongoing message or bot to relevant audience saying 'Looks like you want to X - want to know more? Take the tour'... then embed the tour or just link to it in the body text.


This way, if your tour is helpful (and guiding someone through a complex flow) it can be 10 steps and still get great engagement as the customer is opting in (we've even used copy to manage expectations, like 2 minute tour etc).


Hope that helps! And thanks for jumping onboard as part of our Interconnected Groundbreaker crew 🙌

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We have found it depends on the feature and complexity of your product. We have had users complete tours that have as many as 15 steps for the more complex features, but the uptake is not great the longer the tour runs. We have seen the same sort of engagement from videos, so the behaviour is similar in that regard (watching a video duration matching completing a tour).


We generally never push tours automatically, and use Messenger to deliver and give the option as a full screen takeover for a long tour will be a frustrating experience.

makes sense, thanks @Phil Byrne​! i'd be curious to see if intercom has developed any type of best practice research around this or is considering it?

We did research this by looking at anonymised tour data from all the tours being engaged with by end users, including their step count. I recall we came back with 4/5 being the max you should really consider, but I don't think we were able to segment by automatically triggered vs. opt-in by clicking a link. We discounted one step tours, as they obviously had the maximum completion rates.


I'll ask our Product Tour PM to see can we take a look. But we may not get an answer on this as they're super busy right now... working on something MASSIVE :)

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Phil - Intercom also benefits from there usually not being more than a handful of steps to go anywhere or do anything. So 4 - 5 will get the job done, more complex products of which many of your customers have don't always have that luxury.


Was the research mentioned just on Intercom data or anyone using the platform (as in your customers)?


Did you also have much data or insights on using videos in tours as this is a nifty feature as part of the tour but not something we have landed on entirely (we like the idea, just not sure delaying a user doing something makes sense).

Hey Titho,


This was EVERYONE who had engaged with a Product Tour. So our customers customers (which we call end-users).

For complex tours, I'd absolutely recommend letting users opt-in by clicking to launch the tour as opposed to automatically launching an 11 step tour right off the bat.


With regard to video, they're great at catching peoples' eyes, so we use them mostly for one or two step tours to attract folks to new features, or to add some personality into something which might need a more friendly/marketing flavour (as opposed to how-to content). Due to browser restrictions they need to be clicked on to activate audio, so that's worth considering.

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Got it, kind of highlights the need for great and simple product design.


Will use that as a starting point for best practice - might be a good sticky posts to add;

Best Practice for Tours

.. for CustomBots

.. for ResoBots