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Guided tour advice

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Guided tour advice

Use these tips to help you create effective guided tours.

Note: The Guided Tour Designer is only available in UI16. The designer is not compatible with UI15. For more information, see Activate UI16.

Planning the guided tour

Before you begin outlining the details of a guided tour, answer the following questions.
  • What is the purpose of the tour? Do you want to show the features of a UI page with descriptive callouts? Or do you want the user to learn how to perform a task, such as how to create a new incident? It is important to be clear before you begin to plan the tour so you can properly break down the steps.
  • On what environment should the tour be available? If you intend to guide users to complete real world tasks, such as ordering an item from the service catalog or creating an incident, then it makes sense to make the tour available on your production instance. If you intend to train users to explore these tasks without creating true records in the system, consider making the tour available on a non-production instance for training purposes instead. Both scenarios are valid and depend on the situation at hand.
  • What should you name your tour? Upon tour creation, you are prompted to provide a Tour Name. The name must be a unique and is visible your end users. Names should be intuitive so users can understand the purpose of the tour. For example, use “Create a New Incident” or “Incident List Overview”.
  • What assumptions are you making regarding what the user already knows about the page or task? Do all users who can take the tour have the same level of understanding? Use this information to decide how much description to provide at the beginning so that any user who takes the tour understands the content.
  • If the purpose of the tour is to perform a task, how can you personalize the instructions so that each user who takes it creates a different record? For example, if the tour walks the user through creating a group called Facilities, the first user creates the record and the subsequent users get a duplicate name error.
One approach to planning your tour is to start with a simple template that helps answer these important questions.
  • What is the goal of my tour?
  • What page should my tour start on?
  • What steps are important to accomplishing my objective?
  • How should the user navigate from one step to the next?

Guided tour plan

Review the following sample template for a guided tour whose objective is to explore the Service Portal home page.

Key information:
  • Tour Name: Service Portal Overview
  • Goal: Users should have a good understanding of how to navigate key elements of the Service Portal home page
  • Portal Name: Service Portal
  • Starting Page: Service Portal: ID Index
  • Roles: All
Table 1. Sample guided tour plan: Service Portal home page overview
Step Callout Trigger
  • Title: Service Portal Overview
  • Text: Welcome to this guided tour of your new Service Portal home page!
Next button
  • Points to this element: How can we help?
  • Placement: Below
  • Text: We begin with the How can we help? search bar. If you cannot find what you are looking for, enter it here, then click the Search icon, or press Enter on your keyboard. For now, let's take a look at some other areas first.

Next button
  • Points to this element: Order Something
  • Placement: Top
  • Text: If you would like to order something, such as a new phone, select Order Something.
Next button
  • Points to this element: Knowledge Base
  • Placement: Top
  • Text: If you would like to search the knowledge base, select Knowledge Base.
Next button
  • Points to this element: Get Help
  • Placement: Top
  • Text: If you would like to get help for an issue, select Get Help.
Next button
  • Points to this element: Community
  • Placement: Top
  • Text: If you would like to ask your colleagues a question, select Community.
Next button
  • Points to this element: Knowledge in title bar
  • Placement: Left
  • Text: You can also check the Knowledge base, order something, look at requests you have logged, and other options up here in the title bar.
Next button
  • Points to this element: Your name
  • Placement: Left
  • Text: View your profile or logout by clicking your name.
Next button
  • Points to this element: Logo top-left
  • Placement: Below
  • Text: To navigate back to the Service Portal home page, click your company logo.
Next button
Conclusion Text: Congratulations! Now you have a general understanding of the Service Portal home page. Click Complete button

Selecting triggers

If the purpose of the tour is to describe the features of a page, such as a custom dashboard, then the appropriate trigger is the Next button. If the purpose is to accomplish a task, such as creating a record, keep the following considerations in mind.
  • To populate a field with a lookup element, such as a reference field or a date field, do not use a trigger that opens the lookup window. The tour ends when the lookup window opens. Use one of the following triggers:
    • Next button: The user can type the value or look it up and select it, and then click Next.
    • Change Element Value trigger: After the user selects the value and clicks outside the field, the trigger moves to the next step.
  • For some UI elements, the Right click the Element trigger is available. Typically, the right-click action is used to open a menu, however, you cannot place a callout on a right-click menu option. You can use this trigger in a descriptive guided tour where you want to describe right-click menu options. Put the descriptive information into the callout text, and at the end, tell them to right-click the element to look at the menu. Following is an example of this type of callout.

    Example callout instructing the user to right-click to see field options - London UI

    When the user right-clicks, this instruction disappears, and the next one appears.

  • The Mouse over the Element trigger is similar. When the user points to the element, the callout disappears. For example, if you demonstrate that a hint appears when you point to a field label, the callout step disappears before the hint text appears. This can seem disruptive to the guided tour flow.


A callout must be placed on top of an element to interact with it. The element is highlighted in blue when it is selected as the target. In the following example, it looks like the callout is pointing to the context menu icon, but notice that the header bar is highlighted blue.

Figure 1. Incorrect callout placement for the context menu
Wrong placement of the callout

This example depicts the correct placement of the callout for the context menu. Notice that the context menu icon is highlighted blue.

Figure 2. Correct callout placement for the context menu
Correct placement of the callout
The following considerations may also be helpful:
  • When placing a callout on a form that contains tabs, consider that a user may not have the tab open for viewing. Create a new callout that instructs the user to first open the tab before proceeding with the rest of the tour.
  • Minimize callouts on fields associated with dynamic content. A delayed page refresh may prematurely end the tour if the associated tour element cannot be found.
  • When guiding a user through popup windows, add your callout the originating page on or near the popup icon. Within the callout instructions, guide your user through the steps intended for the popup window, since callouts cannot be added to the popup window itself.
  • While the look-and-feel of a callout is static in the standard Platform UI, you can customize callouts on Service Portal. Consider using this capability to ensure a consistent look-and-feel between your callouts and your Service Portal pages. For more information on Service Portal guided tours, see Request guided tours.

Auto-launching your tour

Consider auto-launching a tour if you want your end users to take the tour on their first page visit.

In some cases, you may choose to auto-launch multiple tours from a single starting page. In this case, you can apply the auto-launch order to each tour successively so that users begin the second tour upon their second page visit, their third tour upon their third page visit, and so forth. This option may be beneficial if you intend to start your end users with an introductory tour and add increasing levels of complexity or different areas of focus with followup tours.

Testing your tour

To ensure your guided tour meets the intended objective, you can test it in the following ways.
  • Use an impersonator role to verify the tour through the eyes of the intended user. By impersonating a user that holds a role targeted by the tour, or multiple users if the tour targets multiple roles, you can experience the tour just as the end user does.
  • Send the tour URL link to colleagues to review the tour and provide feedback. See Create a guided tour.
  • Once the tour is published, review any tour failures from the Guided Tours Overview page. These failures can provide insight into which users experienced problems with the tour, on which step the tour failed, and what the error message was. You can then use this information to troubleshoot and resolve issues as needed.