We often get asked, "What's the difference between ScreenSteps and WalkMe?" In my last blog post, I showed you how WalkMe works with Salesforce, how to create a walk-thru, and shared some of its many features - so I won't cover that in great detail here.
Instead, I wanted to touch upon some of the differences between the two, focusing mainly on the Salesforce training use cases for ScreenSteps and WalkMe.
Appearance in Salesforce
ScreenSteps and WalkMe strive to accomplish the same goal - helping Salesforce users perform tasks without requiring an Admin to personally walk them through the steps. But they go about it in a different way.
WalkMe utilizes a series of interactive tip-balloons overlaid on the screen - which means that users don't have to actually leave the Salesforce screen to find instructions.
Tasks, both standard and custom, can be broken down into short, step-by-step, guided instructions. These instructions show up as balloons on the actual Salesforce screen so users can act, react and progress during their online experience (source: WalkMe website).
These bubbles can show up automatically to walk users through a process, or they can show up only when a user has a question and selects to have the bubbles show up. You can also create lists of walk-thrus that need to be completed, and track who has completed the lists.
The walk-thrus you create are hosted on Walkme's servers; therefore you do not need to store them on your site.
ScreenSteps utilizes screenshots and image annotations to walk users through a process and explain workflows. Titles and paragraph text can be added to create visual articles (i.e. individual web pages) - those articles are organized into chapters, manuals, and an entire online knowledge base.
ScreenSteps articles are viewed either in a Custom Help web-tab in Salesforce, or in a separate web tab/window so that users can follow the instructions side-by-side while executing the workflow in their Salesforce window.
ScreenSteps content is stored outside of Salesforce in the ScreenSteps cloud service - an integration pushes ScreenSteps content to a Salesforce instance.
Creating content is similar in that you break tasks down into steps that are easy to follow; however, the way you document these steps is quite different.
With WalkMe, the editor shows up as a sidebar in your Firefox browser - you can see the WalkMe editor and your Salesforce screen at the same time.
As you go through a process, you click "New Step." For each step you create, you fill out the text for a popup bubble. You will also designate a user action that will initiate the next popup bubble's appearance (e.g. clicking on something, a timer, etc.).
If your process ever leaves Salesforce, then a WalkMe walk-thru would not be able to guide your users through that process via popup bubbles unless the process took place in a website that you owned (to add walk-thrus to a website, you need to be able to add code to the site).
For a more complete description of the content creation process, see my blog post - Using WalkMe with Salesforce.
In ScreenSteps, the editor is a desktop application. The editor is unique in that it can be minimized so that it's out of the way while you hit a hot-key combo to grab screenshots.
As you take a screen grab of each step of the process, the images are automatically added to the editor so you don't have to copy and paste, or bounce back and forth between the editor and your Salesforce screen.
When you are done taking screenshots of the process, you can bring the editor up to add:
- paragraph text
- image annotations
- article tags (for contextual help)
- HTML (so you can add hosted videos, forms, etc.)
- Additional search criteria
There is no limitation for processes that take place outside of Salesforce - you can take screenshots of anything on your screen and add any images such as pictures or graphics.
Sharing content with users
After you document your processes, your users are going to need to be able to find the content.
With WalkMe, there is an icon that floats on the right-hand side of the screen that says, "Need Help?" When you click on the icon, you get a search box that asks you to type in your question. Once you see your question, you click on it and a walk-thru will begin by showing you the first step of the process via popup bubbles.
WalkMe comes standard with 20 preprogrammed walk-thrus. If you customize any of them for your instance, or create more walk-thrus to help your users, then you could not share those walk-thrus with other instances of Salesforce.
For many, this is not be a big deal because you have no plans on sharing walk-thrus with others outside of your organization.
With ScreenSteps, there are currently 3 ways to find answers:
- custom web tab
- contextual help
- search field
After you find your question by either searching the online manual in the web tab, seeing it in contextual help, or searching for it in the search field, you click on it and it takes you to the visual article.
If the user clicks inside of the web tab, the answer appears in the web tab. If the user decided to use contextual help or the search field, they will see a link. When the user clicks on the link in contextual help or the search field, the answer will appear in a new tab in your web browser.
ScreenSteps articles exist outside of Salesforce, so you can share them with whomever you would like; however, your ScreenSteps account is limited to Salesforce instances when it comes to adding search and contextual help within Salesforce.
Using them in Training
Up to this point, I've provided facts about the differences based on features of the two products; there really isn't much debate about what can be done. This next section, however, is going to be my opinion based on the benefits as I see them, according to my training methodology - so you and I may not agree.
Before I discuss the training uses of WalkMe and ScreenSteps, I want to point out that training content can, and should, come in multiple formats. And that's because users need a different kind of answer in different circumstances - one tool does not do it all.
WalkMe looks really nice for initial training and onboarding of new users. I sent the CEO of WalkMe, Eyal Cohen, a preview of this blog post and he also added that
a company has a process in Salesforce that takes 84 steps! It took the employees ages to complete the task because they had to follow a dozen pages of a manual. With WalkMe, they just sit back and follow the balloons - now it only takes few minutes.
So WalkMe could also be very helpful for really lengthy processes in Salesforce (e.g., over 50 steps).
The visual nature of the popup bubbles is very nice, and users will probably be very impressed by this unique type of training interaction. The bubbles seem to know exactly what to say and point users through every step of the way - very helpful.
Regarding onboarding and new user training, I consider WalkMe as a replacement to live training and video. In many ways, it is better than video and live training because it requires the user to interact and respond, instead of just passively watching somebody else perform the task.
It might also share the same limitations as video. For example, if a new user watches a 3 minute video on how to create a new lead, it's very helpful. But if, a day later, the user remembers the first 4 steps but not the last two, they have to watch the whole video, or try to skip to the section they forgot.
The same could be said about WalkMe - if a user has to go through an entire walk-thru when they forget a few steps of a process, they might view that as cumbersome and eventually avoid it. Based on our approach to training, WalkMe seems to be a very good option for initial training - but it may not be a very good reminding tool.
As I mentioned in my eBook, ScreenSteps can certainly be a great supplement to live training or video when introducing new users to Salesforce - your users can easily reference ScreenSteps articles and become familair with the Salesforce interface. But WalkMe may be better designed for initial onboarding and new user training.
We're okay with that because ScreenSteps' primary role in your training program is for after the initial training - it is designed to be a great reference tool for your users when they are familiar with Salesforce, but forget what you said and they need a quick reference to find an answer.
Your users will find your ScreenSteps articles especially helpful after they have been introduced to everything - screenshots make it easy to scan articles and quickly spot the answer they are looking for.
Replaces Snagit, Paint, Word, and PowerPoint
Eventually, Salesforce Admins and consultants end up creating custom documentation to provide ongoing support. ScreenSteps replaces the use of Snagit, Paint, Word, PowerPoint, Google Sites, and WordPress so that Admins and consultants can quickly create visual, step-by-step job aids and share them online. In many cases, it can sufficiently replace screen recordings as well.
In cases where screenshots don't replace screen recordings, you can include video in ScreenSteps articles. We use videos to teach concepts and overviews all of the time. We've found that after the video is over, users don't want to skim through to find out where they need to click - they want to quickly scan an article and find an answer.
Which one should I choose?
These two products fulfill different needs. If you need to replace live training and video tutorials for showing new users what to do, or you have processes that take over 50 steps in Salesforce, then you may want to check out WalkMe. Since I do not personally use WalkMe, I can't fully endorse them - but from a brief trial, it looked really good for that purpose.
If you are providing ongoing support for several users who are familiar with Salesforce, but need helpful reminders, ScreenSteps is a great option - it prevents you from having to answer the same questions over and over, after the initial training. Plus, you can document processes that take place outside of Salesforce.
Struggling with both issues? Well, you could consider using both tools. I'm not sure what that concoction would look like, but I imagine it would be beautiful.
Some things to consider
Take both for a spin and see which one fits your organization's needs. I suggest you pay attention to two things:
- Authoring content
- Consumption of content
In the end, you need to create a lot of answers for your users. So if you like the authoring process in one tool more than the other, that is important because it means you will create more content (which means users will get more answers).
You also need to consider whether your users will read your content - if you have 1,000 answers that nobody reads, you may as well not have written them. Pay attention to what your users prefer, and whether they actually use one format over the other.
If you want to check out ScreenSteps, sign up for a free trial. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for a live, 10-minute demo. You can also sign up for a free WalkMe plan that gives you 3 walk-thrus, each with a limit of 5 steps. Try them both out and see what you think.