UX Tips: How to Promote New and Advanced Features
We’ve recently given some tips on how to introduce new SaaS features. Drawing attention to new features is important, so that users will notice them and learn how to use them quickly and easily. We want to take it a step further and highlight the navigational aspects of helping your users through a smooth adoption process:
Use Your Colors (and Shapes)
Designer Stephen Anderson states that Curiosity, Imagery, and Pattern Recognition are the three keys to seductive interactions. Make the news about the new feature stand out. The effectiveness of highlighting lies in our pattern recognition ability: our brain adjusts to a certain layout and coloring scheme, so that when something is changed in the it, an alarm goes off somewhere in our brain and our eye-sight is immediately stimulated to focus on what’s changed. This is also why you shouldn’t overdo UI changes in your website – it will dull out your users’ ability to notice the changes, rendering news page elements useless. Over-stimulation is bad for new advanced feature implementation.
The Splash Screen is Your Friend
Splash screens are one of the most effective attention-grabbing on-page methods. The can relay the minimum amount of information in a glance and can’t be ignored: the user has to take some kind of action to move past the splash screen and on to the website (respond to call to action or else close the screen).
Offer your New Feature (but don’t force it)
During the roll-out of a new feature, it may be met with some apathy or ignoring. Users are required to deal with UI and navigation changes all the time. The truth is that only power-users internalize changes as they are implemented, while many users ignore them, hoping to avoid burdening their memories with yet another software change.
One approach to this – make your advanced feature known and present but don’t force it. Let your users discover the feature in their own time. They will look for it when they need it and your job is to be there when they do, to make the finding and understanding smooth and easy.
Launch “Tip of the Day”
This is a subtle form of offering assistance. Tip of the Day can be a tooltip positioned somewhere in-sight but not in-your-face. The tip can display tips on advanced features, making the information available but not imposing it on the user. If the tips are worded minimally, some users may pick up quite a few details about new advanced features.
Cover your (Knowledge)Bases
Make sure to cover the entire term range in help documentation – In your knowledgebase, Youtube channel and blog (all the places where information on the advanced features are pinned (and not page element based or on social platform) – make sure to use all the words that describe this action or feature. This is for when users decide to discover it: whatever they look for, they should find it. For example: the words Analytics, Statistics, graphs, figures, usage rates – should all be mentioned to describe a new analytics feature.
One Feature at a Time
Users probably won’t process and internalize more than one feature at a time. Space out new feature launches to give them time to adjust. The challenge of how to implement new features remains manageable within the framework of a single challenge.