In more complex sites, it can be interesting to propose a tutorial or an explanation. An optional onboarding experience that’s fast, fun, and educational can help people get the most from your site without getting in their way.
Provide onboarding that helps people enjoy your site, not just set it up. People can appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your site, but they also expect it to just work. Avoid including setup or licensing details in your onboarding experience. For guidance, see Launching.
Get to the action quickly. After the browser renders the first screen, let people dive right in and start enjoying your site. If you need to provide tutorials or intro sequences, give people a way to skip them and don't automatically show them to returning users.
Anticipate the need for help. Proactively look for times when people might be stuck. An e-commerce, for example, could casually show useful information before the checkout to let users know how the delivery process is working. Let people replay tutorials in case they miss something the first time.
Stick to the essentials in tutorials. It’s fine to provide guidance for beginners, but education isn’t a substitute for great site design. First and foremost, make your site intuitive. If too much guidance is needed, revisit the design of your site / web app.
Make learning fun and discoverable. Learning by doing is a lot more fun and effective than reading a list of instructions. Use animation and interactivity to teach gradually and in context. Avoid displaying static images like screenshots that appear interactive. Use links to navigate between screens/pages.