Dev tool product tour, sandbox, and interactive demo examples

navbar
landing page
call to action
product tour

Playground CTA in the navbar resources section from Prisma

Simple yet powerful CTA in the navbar resources section.

The resources section in the navbar is mostly navigational. Well, the entire navbar is ;)

But you always have that one action that is more impactful than others.  

💚 And I think that a Plauground  is a great option. You get people to see how your product works. You let people play with it and see for themselves.

Not many next actions can be as impactful as getting people to experience the product.

Especially if you are a heavier infra tool that people cannot really test out in that first session. I mean, you won't really create a realistic example of your core database in 15 minutes to see how that new tool that you just saw works.

🔥 Making this CTA "big and shiny" and showing a glimpse of what will happen after clicking is great too.

🤔 2 changes I'd test out:

  • Making the copy more descriptive performs better.  Like "Launch playground", "Play with Sandbox", or something around "Run an example project/app/environment".
  • Showing something more exciting about the product (or playground/tour) on that visual

But the core idea behind making the playground your core navbar resource section CTA is just great.

developer experience
copy
call to action
product tour
product led growth

Header CTAs from Mixpanel

Mixpanel primary CTA is to take an interactive tour.

They take you to a 30min video + a guided UI tour.

Not a signup.

That is because with products that have long time to value (like analytics, observability etc) dev will not see value in the first session.

I mean to really see value you need to see real data, real use cases. And if you were to actually test it would take weeks.

That is why many companies do demos. But demos have their own problems (and most are bad).

Interactive tools make it possible for me to explore the value without talking to anyone.

I love this option.

developer experience
product tour
product led growth

Product tour from Vercel

Interactive product tours are all the rage.

But how do you make them work for the dev audience?

How do you deal with:

  • Explain your complex dev tool value proposition quickly
  • Show both code and UI elements
  • Make devs feel great developer experience of your product
  • Push devs to the conversion action without being to pushy
  • And do all that without overwhelming

That is hard.

But Vercel somehow made it.

This is by far the best product tour I have seen so far.

What I love:

  • Great, clean navigation that lets me go back if I want to
  • They use their slogan "Develop, Preview, Ship" to reinforce the product message
  • They show both code and the UI
  • The CTAs are visible but subtle enough not to distract

This product tour is what dev tool startups will aspire to for years (or months ;) ) to come.

Mark my words.

copy
call to action
product tour
product led growth
landing page

Axiom "Playground" CTA

With infrastructure tools, it is notoriously difficult to show people the value quickly.

To really see it they would need to set up everything at their company infra, create dashboards for their use case, and so on. 

A lot of work.

That is why creating a sandbox experience is a good way of giving people a taste.

I like the way Axiom calls it a playground and says "Play with Axiom" and "Launch playground".

This copy is good because:

  • they acknowledge it isn't a real thing (but a playground)
  • it conveys that it will be interactive and you'll be able to click around
  • it makes it feel like less work and more, well play :)
developer experience
product tour
product led growth

Sandbox experience from Sentry.io

This is a sandbox experience folks over at Sentry.io created.

I like the navbar CTAs with a big "Documentation" button in there.

Reminds me that I can go and see it when I need it.

But I also get those conversion focused "Request a demo" and "Start a trial" for when I am ready.

On top of that I get tours and help in the sidebar for when I get stuck.

.... and the whole thing is gated behind a work email which I don't love.

But having that work email let's you nurture (and Sentry is known for awesome emails).

Plus it does help sales. If anything it is an additional signal for your account scoring models.

But if you are going to gate a sandbox, make sure to show all that value behind the modal like Sentry did.

With that I can feel compelled to type in that email.