Tools4Tools - Episode 3: Exploring Scribe and Arcade for creating digital product manuals and walkthroughs

Thomas Verhoef

As you by now, living in 2023, have heard plenty and probably too much: user experience is paramount. Whether talking about a new app, software, or online service, users expect seamless onboarding and clear instructions to maximize their digital experiences. I could not say this better than ChatGPT just did. But there is a truth to it.

Users are lazy, spoiled (sorry), and want to understand digital products from the get-go. And the best way to do this is, of course, (and again - ChatGPT would agree with me if I were to ask) to create the best possible UX/UI that would not beg for any more explanation. Ideally, it would be self-explanatory. There are some of these experiences. Think of mobility apps, for instance. These have an advantage because we are already familiar with the concepts of driving, maps, directions, and such.

But sometimes, it may be more complicated for your end user, client, prospect, or anything in between. In this case, tools like Scribe and Arcade come into play, helping the back office create customer support experiences like click-through manuals, walk-throughs, and others for those digital products. It is 10x faster for your customer support/success/... managers as it is more appealing to consult when you are an end user. So, what is Scribe? And Arcade?

... ChatGPT, take it away 😇

Introducing Scribe: Craft Elegant and Informative Manuals

Scribe is more than just a documentation tool – it's a comprehensive platform designed to create elegant, user-friendly manuals for digital products. With a user-centric approach, Scribe enables creators to develop detailed guides catering to beginners and advanced users, ensuring a smooth learning curve.

Key Features of Scribe:

  1. Interactive Tutorials: Scribe allows you to create interactive tutorials that engage users and guide them step-by-step through a product's features. Users can interact with the tutorial, enhancing their understanding of the product's functionalities.
  2. Customizable Templates: The tool provides templates matching your product's branding. This consistency in design promotes a cohesive user experience.
  3. Visual Annotations: Scribe empowers creators to add visual annotations to screenshots, helping users quickly understand complex workflows and functionalities.
  4. Version Control: Keep your manuals up-to-date with version control features. As your product evolves, Scribe makes it easy to update manuals accordingly.
  5. Collaboration: Multiple team members can collaborate on manual creation simultaneously, streamlining the process and ensuring accuracy.

… Hold on, ChatGPT; it seems like you have not yet received the correct information about Arcade, a newly launched tool created by ex-Atlassian employees.

Arcade: Gamifying User Onboarding with Walkthroughs

While Scribe focuses on manuals, Arcade takes a unique approach by turning user onboarding into an interactive game-like experience. Arcade aims to enhance user engagement and retention by incorporating gamification principles, making product onboarding an enjoyable journey.

Key Features of Arcade:

  1. Interactive Walkthroughs: Arcade transforms the user onboarding into an interactive gameplay experience. Users complete the steps by clicking through a mockup of your product. A great way to let them get acquainted with your product.
  2. Progress Tracking: Gamification is effective due to its progress-tracking element. Users can see their progress, motivating them to continue exploring the product.
  3. User Insights: Gain valuable insights into user behavior and preferences through Arcade's analytics. This data can be used to refine your product and onboarding process.
  4. Adaptability: You can loosely edit an Arcade and fill in gaps yourself, or you can straightaway let your user click through all the steps.

… Back to you, my dear writing pal. How come you know so much, and I’ve never seen you talking yourself?

Choosing the Right Tool: Scribe or Arcade?

The choice between Scribe and Arcade depends on your product's nature and your desired user onboarding approach. Scribe might be the ideal choice if your priority is to provide detailed, step-by-step documentation. On the other hand, if you're looking to make onboarding a playful and engaging experience, Arcade's gamified approach could be the better fit.

Ultimately, both Scribe and Arcade enhance user experience by effectively educating users about digital products. Their innovative approaches reflect the evolving landscape of user-centric design and the importance of clear, engaging instructions.

As digital products continue to evolve, tools like Scribe and Arcade play a pivotal role in ensuring that users can harness the full potential of these products. By investing in robust documentation and engaging onboarding, creators set the stage for building lasting relationships with their users.

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