What happens if you make software too difficult to use? Probably the same thing that happens if you never made it at all — no one uses it.
It’s easy to get users to adapt to familiar concepts like drag-and-drop, but what if you made something totally new? You need a creative user onboarding process, like the one Microsoft used back in 1992 and the others I’m going to look at in this post.
The Software User Onboarding Process
I already talked about concierge onboarding, so this time I’m going to look at the total opposite — a style known as low-touch user onboarding. It’s not always possible to work with every customer, especially if you’re distributing software on a massive scale like Microsoft Windows, so writing onboarding into your product is a necessity.
James Hunt‘s excellent article on Mental Floss reveals the true purpose of Minesweeper, Microsoft Solitaire, FreeCell and Hearts: a gamified way to teach users concepts vital to success using Windows 3.1.
Let’s take a look at exactly how they did it.