Design Guidelines

Deeper Learning

Learning is an ongoing journey. Users who are new to a product or feature and expert users alike can benefit from ongoing learning opportunities.

Application wireframe with a welcome mat component featured.


Great content turns customers into Trailblazers. Great learning experiences contain more than content alone. To take advantage of all a product has to offer, many users seek out deeper learning experiences, encompassing a wide range of resources:

  • Explanations of products and features, and how they work together
  • Examples showing the best ways to use the product
  • Tips and shortcuts to help users be more efficient and productive
  • Videos showing highlights of the product or good ways to optimize the user experience
  • Practice using the features in a safe environment before making changes in production
  • In-app achievement markers, such as Trailhead badges or custom rewards, help gamify the learning experience and keep users engaged

A strong learning strategy uses effective patterns informed by a thoughtful content strategy and compelling content—whether you're engaging with users in the first 30 seconds or after months of experienced use.

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Learn your way. Learn online, learn in class, learn form each other, and learn while you work.
Support your users with learning channels that works for them.


Users wanting, or required, to learn more can seek out learning via resources such as Trailhead. Make your learning content searchable in these channels, taking search engine optimization into account.

Opportunities for deeper learning should also be interwoven throughout your product—in the UI itself as well as within other user engagement patters, wherever more advanced users might benefit from a deeper understanding. Use links to more information in these user engagement components. 

Welcome mat with checklist of tasks featured.
A welcome mat with a checklist of learning opportunities is a great way to bring a continuous learning opportunity to your users.
Walkthrough prompt featured on wireframe of application.
Walkthroughs are an effective way to help users learn more complicated tasks.
Docked assistance component featured on application wireframe.
Docked assistants containing lessons or educational material are effective when users must multitask.
Docked assistance with video player featured on application wireframe.
A docked assistant with an embedded short video can get your message across quickly.
Docked assistance with embedded checklist featured on application wireframe.
A checklist that enforces completion is an effective way to encourage users to learn.
Setup assistant custom card component on a page layout.
For more complicated tasks, contextual setup assistants or checklists are effective for users who may need to do steps in small segments over time.
Empty state pattern in a wireframe.
Empty states are the perfect opportunity to have fun with users and educate them on what to do next.
Non-modal prompt featured on application wireframe.
Non-modal prompts triggered at the right time and place can be valuable to users' journey with your product.
  • Welcome Mat: Link to walkthroughs, videos, or Trailhead to guide users through more complex concepts or tasks.
  • Setup Assistant: Link to walkthroughs or concept help topics to explain why something is configured in a certain way.
  • Feature Popover and Docked Assistant: Link to help topics to provide more detailed explanation about the purpose and benefits of the feature you're calling users' attention to.
  • Error Message and Empty State: Link to help topics containing more information about the issue the user's running into and what can be done to resolve or work around it.