Blog post thumbnail

Xero’s thorough product tour leaves nothing to chance

Xero is a mobile accounting app that hopes to change how companies approach payroll, expenses, and any other money-related process your business needs. With all of this functionality, its product tour does a lot of heavy lifting to onboard new users to the features they’re most interested in.

It achieves this herculean task by adding multiple redundancy layers, so anyone at any skill level can learn how to use (and love) their product. Check your calculator because, based on our calculations, that adds up to great UX.

After signing up for Xero, users are met with a choose-your-own-adventure accounting dashboard. Users can click on tasks to learn more about them—which drops them into that feature’s portion of the product tour.

Xero product tour 1
Image from Xero

Click on one of the boxes, and you get some extra info about what you’re gonna learn about and how you can learn more.

Xero product tour 2
Image from Xero

In this case, users can choose between a YouTube video on forecasting cash flow, an interactive demo on using Xero to track cash flow, or an article that outlines how to connect a bank account. Each option covers a different part of mastering cash flows using Xero, so users can divide up the lessons or pick the ones they’re most interested in.

And instead of relying on a single medium, Xero creates content based on the best way to teach that particular lesson. For example, an interactive demo is perfect for learning how Xero’s cash flow UI works, while a straightforward article is better for outlining how to connect an external bank account.

Xero product tour 3
Image from Xero

If you click into the interactive demo, you’re greeted with a fake company whose accounts you can manipulate. This kind of empty state makes it easier for users to see how their own setup could look after onboarding. It also motivates them to finish onboarding and introduces them to how Xero looks and works—all positive ways to impact crucial onboarding metrics.

Why this is really good UX:

  • A thorough product tour ensures all users can use your product. While this may not work as well for more easy-breezy apps, for something as complicated and important as accounting, the added materials a helpful context without wasting users’ time.
  • Using a proper dummy account with actual numbers, accounts, and invoices adds to the user experience by showing users what this product can do when it's up and running. It also encourages users to play around and explore more than if it were completely empty.