Welcome to our comprehensive guide on interactive demo software! If you’ve ever needed to create engaging and interactive demonstrations to showcase your products, train users, or simply captivate your audience, you know how essential it is to have the right tool for the job.
In this article, we’ll explore and compare some of the top software options available for crafting impressive interactive demos. From feature-rich eLearning authoring tools to user-friendly screen recording platforms, we’ll dive into the strengths and weaknesses of each solution, helping you make an informed choice that perfectly aligns with your specific needs.
Let’s embark on this journey of discovery and find the perfect software that will elevate your interactive demo creation process to new heights!
What are interactive demo guides and what are their benefits?
Simply put, interactive demos are used to showcase products, software applications, or processes in a visually appealing and immersive manner. They typically include multimedia elements, including videos, images, audio, and animations, as well as interactive elements like clickable buttons, hotspots, quizzes, and simulations.
The idea behind interactive demos is to allow potential users to experience a new software, familiarize themselves with a process, or learn about procedures without working in the actual software. In a way, it is a kind of sandbox environment, where people can try and err with software freely.
There are different use cases for interactive demos. The most common ones are employee training, customer support, and product sales and marketing. Based on the area where interactive demos are deployed, they offer different kinds of advantages.
1. Improve employee training with interactive onboarding guides
Imagine your company is introducing new software and now it is time to train employees to use the new system. What is a more engaging way for someone to learn how to complete a process: By someone telling them how to do it or by them directly trying out themselves?
Interactive demos enhance engagement and captivate the audience by allowing them to actively participate and explore the content. The interactive elements, such as quizzes, clickable buttons, and simulations, encourage users to engage with the material actively.
They also enhance the learning experience by providing hands-on practice and experiential learning. Users can interact with the content, reinforcing their understanding and retention of the information. Moreover, the learning experience can be personalized based on user interactions. This adaptability can cater to individual learning styles and preferences.
While instructions are of course indispensable, so is hands-on training. Interactive demo software allows employees to work with new software in a training environment before ultimately transitioning into the live work-environment.
2. Provide better customer support with interactive user demos
Interactive demos can significantly enhance the quality of customer support, improve overall customer satisfaction, and even reduce the workload of support agents.
Interactive demos allow support agents to visually demonstrate solutions to customers’ issues. Instead of relying solely on verbal descriptions, agents can show step-by-step instructions, making it easier for customers to understand complex procedures. The support is also more consistent and accurate.
Moreover, customers are empowered to resolve their issues independently. By providing interactive guides or walkthroughs, customers can follow the instructions at their own pace, reducing the need for direct support interactions and unburdening the support team.
By offering self-service interactive demos, the number of support calls and tickets may decrease, as customers can find answers to common issues on their own. Interactive demos provide more efficient support as agents can visually guide customers through solutions, leading to faster issue resolution.
This is a win-win for both those seeking and providing support: The support quality is better while the workload is reduced.
3. Improve buyer experience: convince customers of your product with interactive demos
Another great potential of interactive demos lies in their ability to demonstrate a product to would-be customers. Interactive demos captivate prospects by offering an immersive and interactive experience. The engaging nature of the presentation keeps potential customers interested and focused on the content.
Moreover, sales representatives can showcase the key features and functionalities of products or services through interactive demos. This hands-on approach helps prospects understand the value and benefits more effectively. To address specific pain points or needs demos can be customized. This increases the relevance of the presentation and makes prospects feel understood.
What kind of demo creation software tools are there?
Screen Recording and Video Editing Software
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to demonstrate your software or processes is by capturing them with a screencast. You simply record your screen while you complete a certain process and – voila – you have a demo. Video editing tools allow you to make the demo interactive by adding annotations, callouts, and other interactive elements.
Screen recording has the advantage of allowing the creator to add a voiceover explaining exactly what they do when performing a certain task.
On the downside, while the capturing process is simple, the editing can be work intensive and time consuming. Moreover, if a demo is provided in video format, it can constitute a hurdle for the audience to actually take the time and watch an entire video.
Product Tour Tools: Create Interactive Manuals
Product tour tools are software applications that help businesses create interactive and guided tours to introduce their products or services to users. These tools are designed to provide a smooth and informative onboarding experience for new users, helping them understand the features, benefits, and functionalities of the product in a step-by-step manner.
The biggest advantage of product tours is that the tool simulation is usually identical to the actual tool. THis means that users can almost “use” the software before buying it or practice a process before doing it live. Moreover, product tours can be done by users at their own pace.
When considering a product tour tool, you should watch out whether the tool requires coding or not. A no-code tool is usually more practical but you may miss customizations.
eLearning Authoring Tools
These tools are specifically designed for creating interactive training materials, tutorials, and courses. They often include features like assessments, branching scenarios, and gamification elements to enhance the learning experience.
While authoring tools are not a classical “demo” tool, they nevertheless help create interactive experiences of a given system or a process. The experience can be very detailed and elaborate and is ideal for extensive employee training.
Of course, this also means that their use is restricted. They are not suitable to simply demonstrate a software to a potential customer.
Tool-Check: Top 7 Interactive Demo Software (Including Prices)
1. FlowShare: Create interactive guides for support and employee training
FlowShare allows you to swiftly create an interactive walkthrough product tour of any software that runs on windows.
It actually is not a typical interactive demo tool but a process documentation software. But thanks to its interactive HTML export format you have the option to convert your step-by-step guides into interactive walkthroughs.
Users can navigate this guide at their own pace, gaining insights into software functionality and processes through imitation.
This makes FlowShare ideal for training employees in new software, for introducing your product to a new customer, for onboarding, and for generating user-friendly (and actually helpful!) support documents.
Automatically create well-designed step-by-step instructions with FlowShare
The software operates seamlessly in the background while users complete a process. It documents every click made with a screenshot and merges the screenshots into professionally designed step-by-step instructions. Moreover, the software automatically generates concise descriptions of the action done in each step and indicates what has been clicked, using arrows or rectangles for markup.
The ability to document processes on the job makes FlowShare incredibly time-effective. Its user-friendly interface ensures that virtually anyone can quickly create professional step-by-step instructions that are easily accessible.
Various export formats and integrations
Users can export the instructions as an interactive demo, but also as a PDF, JPEG, Word Document, PowerPoint Presentation, into SCORM format and more. Via integrations, they can also directly upload instructions to knowledge bases such as Confluence or content management systems such as WordPress.
FlowShare runs on Windows and is available from $32 per month. In order to find out whether FlowShare really fits your needs, you can try out the software free of charge.
Create an unlimited number of guides, free for 14 days.
No restrictions, no obligations, no credit card needed. Only pay if you love it after your trial.
2. Storylane: Demonstrate your product with interactive manuals
Storylane is an interactive demo platform that enables you to create a typical walkthrough-style interactive product tour. The software works with web-based applications and allows you to record an application through screenshots or HTML captures. Storylane is a no-code platform, which means that no traditional programming or coding skills are required to capture or edit the tours.
Editing in Storylane is made simple with various buttons. These buttons enable you to insert your company name, change the logo in the demo, blur parts of the demo, or add additional content like video, audio, PDFs, or maps. In the HTML editor, you can directly edit screenshots and change details.
Share demos and follow their performance
In the final step, users can effortlessly share the created demo through various channels. Options include embedding it on a website, sharing it via a link, distributing it as a GIF, or sending it via email. Additionally, users can track the performance of their interactive guide by monitoring clicks and time spent on the page.
You can try out Storyline with a free trial, allowing you to publish one test demo. For more extensive use, users can purchase the software for $40 per month and per user. For advanced features such as the HTML editor, Storyline’s “growth” option is available for $500 for five users.
3. Walnut: Create interactive demos to increase sales
Walnut advertises with the claim that they want to do something against boring and “crappy sales demos”. Similar to Storylane, their browser extension allows you to capture any process in the browser and change for example colors, logo and the demo creator’s name. Walnut even includes a “Demo wizard” for automatic demo customization. Moreover, users can make their demos responsive for different screen sizes. Unlike FlowShare, which automatically generates descriptions of each step in the workflow, these text descriptions must be added manually in Walnut.
It’s important to note that Walnut only captures published HTML sites; personal files via URL or PDFs cannot be captured. Additionally, Walnut is not supported on Microsoft Edge currently.
Non-guided and guided software demos
Walnut offers users to create non-guided demos (where users can click around freely) and guided demos (users follow dedicated guide steps). After editing, Walnut allows you to share the created demos via mail or to embed them on your website. Additionally, the software includes an analytics tool providing insights on demo performance data.
Walnut does not offer a free trial, and pricing is only available upon request.
4. navattic: Clone applications with the interactive software demo platform
Navattic is another interactive demo platform that advertises with the claim to enable interactive demos without any coding. The software captures front-end screens (HTML, CSS) and builds a “clone application” of the screen. This clone application then can be used for a product tour or a demo with various steps. However, unlike FlowShare, navattic does not automatically generate a text description of the individual steps in the workflow.
Editing options and responsiveness
After capturing the screen, users can customize and edit created demos by modifying texts and images. Navattic also offers users to blur or delete elements they prefer not to include in the demo. Furthermore, the tool allows adjustments to the appearance of the demo for different screen sizes.
Navattic does not have a free trial and can be purchased for prices starting at $500 per month for companies with up to 100 employees. Discounts for startups may be negotiable.
5. Howdygo: Generate interactive demos and track their use
Howdygo is a burgeoning company that has developed a Chrome Extension for capturing and replaying any website. Similar to other demo tools, Howdygo allows users to customize their demos by editing names, adding images and texts and making annotations. Additionally, users have the option to include a call-to-action button in their demos.
Share manuals and track success
After creating a demo, users can share it by embedding it on their website, sending it via email, or distributing it through social media channels. In order to track success, Howdygo can be integrated with an analytics tool. This can reveal data on opening rates and the number of completed demos.
Howdygo offers pricing starting at $39 per month for a basic package with limited features. The most popular version, which includes HTML editing capabilities, is available for $159 per month.
6. Minerva: Craft interactive demos with video and voice
Minerva is a content creation platform that operates in the browser. It empowers users to craft interactive demos and “how to”-guides as well as tutorials that are enriched with video and voice elements.
Minerva promises to “gussy up” guides with artificial intelligence: The software uses AI to enrich text descriptions with contextual information. Users can further customize their demos by editing text, adding visual elements, videos, or incorporating their own voice into the guides.
Utilize and share content
Once a guide is created, users have multiple options to utilize the content. They can download individual images, PDF files, and videos, or share the interactive guide via embed codes, public pages, or links.
Minerva offers a free basic version with limited features, while advanced versions start at $7 per month per user, with a business version available for $199 per month, accommodating up to 20 users.
7. Reprise: Interactive demo builder for marketing and sales
Reprise is another interactive demo platform that targets to enable software companies to capture their product within seconds. It offers a comprehensive suite of features, including demo creation and sharing, detailed analytics, and integration with marketing technology tools. With these features, Reprise is especially targeted towards Sales and Marketing teams.
Reprise includes the option to edit the data in the screenshots and to change colors, logo and author name in the guides. Furthermore, users have the option to add variables (such as date or author) in the demo-screen which automatically update.
Combined demo creation and analytics
In the analytics section of Reprise, users gain insights into the performance of their demos, as well as data regarding the engagement of colleagues and customers.
Reprise does not offer a free trial of its software and there is no public information on its cost. Customers can get information on Reprise’s price upon request.
Comparison: Interactive Demo Guides Software and Their Features
|Tool||Type||What can be captured?||Editing Options||Biggest Benefit||Pricing||Free Trial?|
|FlowShare||Process documentation software||Desktop and browser||Insert Text and images, colors, blur, draw, change arrow, crop||Automatic screen capture and text generation for any application (time saving)||Starting at $32 per month and per user||Yes|
|Storylane||Product Tour Tool||Browser||Insert text and logo, change screen elements in HTML editor (blur, remove, replace)||Editable screens in the HTML editor (Growth plan)||Starting at $40 per month and per user (growth plan: $500 for 5 users)||Yes|
|Walnut||Product Tour Tool||Browser||Colors, logo, insert text and images||Non-guided demos (users can click around freely) and guided demos (dedicated guide steps)||No public information, price upon request||No|
|navattic||Product Tour Tool||Browser and desktop||Edit text or images, blur or delete elements||Responsiveness: Possibility to adjust the appearance at different screen sizes||Starting at $500 per month (up to 100 employees, discounts for startups)||No|
|Howdygo||Product Tour Tool||Browser||Edit names, images, text, annotations||Add a call to Action-button in your demos||Starting at $39 per month and per user||No|
|Minerva||Screencast / Documentation software||Desktop and browser||Edit text, visual elements, add videos or your own voice||Possibility to integrate video or voice into the guide||Starting at $7 per month and per user||Free basic version with limited features|
|Reprise||Product Tour Tool||Browser||Edit data/ variables in screenshot, colors, logo, author name||Possibility to add variables (such as date) in the demo-screen that update automatically||No public information, price upon request||No|
Summary: Derive value from using interactive demo software
These are only some tools you can use to create interactive manuals, for example to boost sales of your product, to improve your IT support or to train customers and colleagues. The different software types for creating interactive manuals:
- Screen Recording Software
- Product Tour Tools
- eLearning Authoring Tools
all have their respective strengths and ideal use cases.
We are interested in your opinion: How do you perceive the creation of interactive demos with FlowShare? You can get started now by trying out the software for free. Share your opinion about FlowShare and its interactive export format with us via email@example.com.