Blog Post: Your Tutorial Is Probably Irrelevant

Think back to the last app you downloaded to your mobile device. A sale, tweet or mention in the App Store probably drew you to its features. The time to wait isn’t what it used to be, but those moments are spent anticipating how cool the new experience will be. Once the moment comes to launching for the first time, expectations are already built up and being measured.

Only to be greeted by a long tutorial of how to use the app.

Games often make this mistake, thinking we all can’t figure it out for ourselves. A level is played out with annoying bubbles to show you where to touch, pinch and scroll. Some have tried to innovate by showing a video or a simple overlay, yet the result is still the same.

You don’t care about being told how to use the software. Just get out of your way and let you learn as you go. 

These are the exact arguments Luke Wroblewsky makes in this great post against software tutorials. In many cases, 9 out of 10 of your users skip over any tutorial you present with the best intentions. Many engineers have asked a simple one-word question: why?

Simple: you can figure it out just fine on your own. If you can’t, the app probably isn’t worth the time and effort in the first place anyway. Just move on and find something you can have that great first experience.

That’s what makes apps like Clear, Path and Tumblr so successful. We got it all by ourselves. We’ll give you our attention if you can do that. Imagine the evangelists you will create if you just make it intuitive and logical.


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