In the dark ages of the web, sites would throw splash screens at users that took forever to load and were nothing more than ads… for the site they were already trying to visit. But they looked cool, so clients demanded them again and again because many of them only understood broadcast advertising. It didn’t matter to many that they were only infuriating their visitors.
Welcome Tours are the new splash screens. They could be useful, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. They are not necessary, you can let people know that there are new features without forcing them to view your pop-up, in fact, Clash of Clans just gives you an icon with a badge alert in the app itself. Here is how Skype has decided to introduce a major overall of their desktop app.
Let’s start with the first screen. This is a tiny snapshot of the screen interface and does nothing to let us know what has changed or how ti might be useful. Second screen, how do you chat and call simultaneously? Where do you click? A whole screen touting a feature and it doesn’t show you how to do it. Third screen, free group video calling, which is great, because you used to need a Pro account for that feature, but again, it doesn’t show you how to actually use this feature. Last screen, is this a new hand off feature where you can start a call on your desktop and finish on your phone or is it simply pointing out that you can get the Skype app on your phone?
Four screens. Four useless images. Four missed opportunities. We all need to take a step back and ask ourselves if we are enhancing our users experience or wasting their time. Are we marketing to them or showing them something useful that they are missing?