Best User Guidance Tool For Your Website

User guidance is one of the most difficult elements to work out when planning a web service or a website. Human dynamics are unpredictable, nobody thinks the same way, and there’s always going to be a group of people, no matter how intelligent, that will be confused by something the designers take for granted as being simple.

There are a number of obstacles to overcome in user guidance, such as technical limitations, demographics and practicality from one structure to the next. There needs to be a platform that can handle all of these aspects to whatever level is needed at that moment. There does exist such a platform, and it’s called WalkMe.

To prove that WalkMe is the solution to this problem beyond the shadow of a doubt, let’s take a look at the more conventional solutions, and weigh them against WalkMe in those given areas.

#1 – Cross-platfomity

Flash is supported by most platforms, with a few exceptions on mobile. Unfortunately, with mobile’s continuing rise to the mainstream, this is hurting Flash’s practical applicability in the field of guidance.

JavaScript and Java are very cross-platform, but is not supported by all browsers, but rather only a handful of mainstream ones.

WalkMe is built out of AJAX and HTML5 which all standard browsers support, and is therefore truly cross-platform across all net-smart devices currently regarded as not deprecated. While a few obscure browsers may have issues, they’re going to be text or specialized browsers which support no guidance systems at all.

#2 – Ease of Development

Flash is a programming platform plain and simple. It utilizes a C-style syntax, which became more complex and involving when ActionScript 3 was launched earlier this century. It requires a knowledge of APIs and libraries, and a strong understanding of programming in general to develop anything of worth with.

Javascript is the same way, as is its big brother, Java.

WalkMe utilizes a point and click interface, based on events and command logic that’s very English. No programming knowledge, grasp of APIs or other complex concepts is remotely necessary for setting WalkMe up. It was designed as a tutorial creation program, not an SDK, so while it is incredibly powerful, its configuration is rather basic.

#3 – Bandwidth Friendliness

Flash applets tend to be pretty big, making slower connections have trouble with them. Considering that mobile devices are often still using the very slow 3G, and people in rural areas are still condemned to DSL purgatory, Flash is more of a hassle than a helper for user guidance.

Javascript is admittedly fast, as it’s a simple script file, but due to the priorities it has for asset-loading, it still may cause issues with lower bandwidth. Java applets have Flash’s problem tenfold.

WalkMe is just AJAX and HTML5. It loads at the speed the page loads, because it’s just part of the page. The browser, server and interpreter components involved in a web session don’t prioritize WalkMe separately from the page it loads in, meaning once the page is there, so is it.

#4 – Dynamism

Flash can’t really interact with the rest of the page very well. It’s possible, sure, using JSON and PHP and some obscure AJAX modules, to make it work, but it’s still mostly isolated to the little box that contains it. If it does manage interaction with its host, it is slow and not very effective.

Javascript by itself has limited interactivity by its nature. Java applets have Flash’s problem more or less, though programming them to handle it is more obtuse than Flash.

WalkMe, again, is part of the page that runs it, and ergo, it can interact with the elements in its environment without any delay or seams being visible. Also, due to its intuitive design, it is content aware and can observe user interaction, spot patterns, and assist and automate where necessary. This can also be employed to report problems to tech support automatically, without needing to bother the user to do so.

Of honorable mention is aesthetics. Any of these alternatives can be equally employed to match the look and feel of their surroundings, but since WalkMe is part of the site that hosts it, native CSS can be applied directly to its GUI without any real middleware being necessary.

And there we see how WalkMe is the perfect solution for the problem. Where other alternatives fail, WalkMe shines brightly as the one true answer to the user guidance obstacle.

Kevin Goldberg