Provide value and encourage return visits by introducing users to new features and functionality at contextually relevant moments.
Prompt users to try features or functionality that can be completed in a single tap, such as saving a location in a map app.
Prompt users to try features or functionality that require more than one tap to complete, such as turning on automatic backup in a photo app.
Targeting & triggering
Feature discovery prompts have more impact when they are presented to the right users at contextually relevant moments. When presented to the wrong user at the wrong time, they can be intrusive and annoying.
Display features that are relevant to specific users.
Target the right users
Prioritize the right features
Show feature prompts to users who have not tried those features.
Avoid showing advanced features to more casual users.
Present general features to all users, such as undoing sent mail in Gmail.
Feature discovery should continue over time.
Prioritize features that are relevant to user context, not just features that are new.
Time the display of feature discovery prompts appropriately.
Don’t present upon opening an app
Contextually relevant moments
Users may be less likely to find a feature discovery prompt helpful upon opening an app if they’re opening it to take a specific action.
Avoid displaying feature discovery prompts at interruptive moments.
Present feature discovery prompts at moments when they will help the user better complete the action they’re taking.
For example, let a user know they can crop an image only after they’ve added an image.
If you can’t set feature discovery prompts to display when triggered by specific actions, display them during natural pauses in the user experience.
For example, in a mail app, wait until the user has read or sent a message to display a feature discovery prompt.
Volume & frequency
Volume and frequency
A user’s interaction with a message signals their satisfaction with it and informs when to show the next message.
Limit the number of feature discovery messages you present in your UI. For example, don’t display more than one per session.
If the user dismisses a message, don’t show it or a similar message again for a more substantial period of time.
If the user accepts a message, it’s a good signal that the user found it useful. It’s okay to display a similar message in a shorter period of time.
Feature discovery scenarios
Feature discovery scenarios and app UIs have specific material design components.
Feature discovery scenario
Prompts for actions that can be completed in a single tap
Tap target, hint text
Prompts for actions that require more than one interaction
A feature discovery prompt focuses user attention on a specific UI element. It contains a tap target, indicated by a circular shape, which is surrounded by a larger area with a distinct background color.
The prompt contains a single action, without additional actions present.
Users may dismiss the prompt by using a swipe gesture or tapping outside of the prompt’s background area.
The prompt may be modified to accommodate different screen locations and display sizes.
On mobile, tap targets are located at a higher elevation than other UI elements and may span the width of the screen.
Desktop and tablet
On larger screens, feature discovery prompts are generally limited to the surface on which the tap target rests, such as a card. The tap target should be the size of the tappable surface.
For tap targets not in the center of the screen, offset the prompt background from the center of the surface.
If the tap target appears on a surface smaller than 280dp tall and 360dp wide, allow the tap target and prompt background to extend beyond that surface’s edges (at a higher elevation).
The tap target may use the primary color of your app or toolbar.
The background of the tap target has an opacity of 96%.
Motion helps inform users where the tap target originates.
The tap target originates on the screen from the highlighted icon using a standard material motion curve.
While idle, the highlighted action grows by 10% over one second and then shrinks. A material touch ripple emanates from the action as it reaches its largest size.
Tapping the highlighted action causes the tap target to expand and then fade with an ease out.
Tapping outside the tap target causes it to shrink and fade with an ease out.
Guided flows walk users through tasks that require multiple steps to complete.
Guided flows may contain up to three design components. Use the components that work best for the specific tasks in your UI.
1. Tap target
Tap targets introduce the task ahead by highlighting the user benefit.
Ripples guide users through subsequent steps.
The color of the ripple should match the color of the tap target.
3. Completion toast
Upon completion of the guided flow, provide a toast confirming that the user has completed the task.
Include an action that brings the user back to where the tap target appeared.
The tap target is used to introduce the guided flow.
For smaller, simpler prompts that request user input, use hint text instead of tap targets.