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Zenefits’ guided tours and self-service product demo

Zenefits is an all-in-one HR platform that promises to help customers streamline their employee onboarding, benefits, payroll, and PTO management.

As a comprehensive product with lots of features and functionalities, Zenefits could quickly overwhelm new users. Instead, they’ve done an excellent job of making their platform feel approachable yet robust through clever visual design, thorough onboarding, and a self-service product demo. 

Let’s take a closer look.


First, hats off to the designers behind Zenefits homepage—the clean layout and smooth animations hint at a great product experience to come. Getting started is simple—only an email is needed to begin—and straightforward copy heads off user questions about trial duration, credit card requirements, and technical constraints. 

zenefits home page signup call to action

Clicking the “Get Started” CTA launches a 2-step modal series on the same screen. Users are asked to select their company size and input their contact data.

zenefits get started signup modal window with multiple choice

The icons in each field change from red to green as the user successfully fills in the requested information. 

manual entry contact information field with visual feedback ux design

And with that, the user is dropped into the demo center. You’ll note that no password is required—Zenefits knows that most people are still evaluating their product at this stage.

Before the user can continue, they’re asked to agree to the terms and conditions. This necessary step can sometimes be a point of friction, but Zenefits smooths that out by saving T&C acknowledgement until after initial signup, giving users a glimpse of the demo product in the background.

zenefits terms and conditions ux design modal window

Self-service product demo

Rather than overloading every user with an exhaustive product tour, Zenefits gives new users the option to choose between 3 Guided Tours (product walkthroughs for different use cases) or a general introduction to the product.

free product self service demo environment user onboarding

We chose the “Tour Zenefits HR” option to see how they walked users through a specific use case. Things start off with a spotlight and high-contrast tooltip. Clicking “Next” takes users through some of the key features they’re likely to need in the future. 

product demo onboarding walkthrough tooltip with spotlight
product demo onboarding walkthrough tooltip with next button 1
product demo onboarding walkthrough tooltip with back and next buttons 2

Zenefits has done a nice job of clearly and succinctly highlighting the value behind each feature—users aren’t just told what something is, they’re given a concrete example of why they should care about each feature (e.g. “create team reviews in a few clicks with Performance Management”).

product demo onboarding walkthrough tooltip with back and next buttons 3
product demo onboarding walkthrough tooltip with back and next buttons 4
product demo onboarding walkthrough tooltip with back and next buttons 5

An abrupt end

The tour ends with a final tooltip. Clicking “Done” closes out the tour, and users are left to explore the rest on their own.

product demo onboarding walkthrough tooltip

While the freedom to click through all the features is nice, we felt that the walkthrough ended quite abruptly. Without any confirmation that the tour was over, we were momentarily unsure of what we were supposed to do next: Should we click things? Go back to the Demo Center? And if so, how? Could we enter our own info into this demo environment? 

A brief modal window letting users know that they’ve completed the hand-holding part of the demo and that they’re now free to explore different features would really round out the experience. 

Why this is really good UX

  • We really liked the instant feedback that the color-changing icons provide during signup. Great UX often lies in the details, and this bit of automatic feedback is a nice touch that lets users know they’ve done the right thing at this important step. 
  • Saving terms and conditions until the next step—when users can see the demo environment in the background—was a smart move. It reduces friction during signup and gives users motivation to continue.
  • We love that Zenefits offers users multiple pathways into their product—and that they include a general tour to boot. Letting users segment themselves at this stage allows you to deliver more relevant onboarding experiences, which shortens time to value and increases activation rates.
  • Important page elements stand out thanks to big, bold calls to action and high-contrast colors throughout the product.
  • Zenefits has done a good job of calling out value during their walkthrough. Their tooltips don’t just point to important features—they explain, in a few simple words, why those features matter.

What could be even better

  • We would have liked a confirmation modal at the end of the tour that let us know what we should do next. 
  • After the initial walkthrough, users are really on their own. For some of the more complicated or high-stakes features, a little more guidance in the form of a tooltip or 2 could make a big difference to inexperienced users.