Use Tutorials to Introduce Your App to First Time Users

I see almost all new mobile applications present an introduction tutorial when you first launch the app. In a few steps, either it is a game or any social application, you experience and learn how to use the application and its major features through tutorials.

Tutorials are essential and they should carefully be designed.

It’s your first and maybe the last chance to make the user’s mind continue using your app. Here are some major topics to maximize the use of tutorials:

Angry Birds tutorials

Tutorial on how to play red bird at Angry Birds

1. Simplicity. Keep it simple, short and clear. If it’s long, complicated or confusing user may run away even before completing the tutorials. Make sure there will be enough motivation for each user to complete the tutorial. You don’t need to mention all the functionality but at the same time make sure details are accessible somewhere (over support menu/forum etc.) and shortly mention it as well. You can highlight some of the functions later in your app when user first time tries the functionality or reaches a certain stage/level in a game.

Jetpack how to play tutorial

How to play Jetpack

2. Informative. If the tutorial is not explaining what the app for, who knows when the user will launch it again. If it’s a game, user should briefly get clear idea on:

  • how to play the game,
  • what is the objective,
  • how long time user should invest in the game, how long a single game session will last,
  • what kind of achievements can the user get.

3. Socialize. In your tutorial, it’s important to show the social power/aspects of your application. Is there a leaderboard? Can you connect/compete with facebook friends? Can you share your achievements? When you look at competing applications, you’ll see that the one with best social integration dominates over rivals. Candy Crush Saga is a good example.

Clash of Clans tutorial

Lady presenting you Clash of Clans tutorial


Briefly, tutorials are one of the most effective ways to improve user engagement and experience. Well designed tutorials will worth time and effort spent.


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