What makes a good first-run experience? Information, immersion, and the separation of individual critical activities
The right information, in the right context
When new users download Pinterest, they expect to look at pretty pictures. If they are buying a long-form magazine subscription, they expect to read.
Marco Arment's new The Magazine for iPhone and iPad is a compelling example of using the first-run experience to deliver critical information while simultaneously teaching users about the interface.
Unlike the Magazine , Twitter has a obvious high-level premise—say something in 140 characters or less, connect with friends—but an interface and language that is unfamiliar to the uninitiated.(#, @, tweet, reply, )
The first-time tutorial does a good job at isolating essential activities and incorporating real content/people to follow. And while it feels more like a tutorial than the Magazine, it's definitely immersive.
I was planning on writing about how this applies to the first-run experience for users in Popcorn Maker/Webmaker, but I'll have to expand on this later.