Before we launched the new Backpack a few weeks ago, we used to present new accounts with a Primer attached to the top of their Backpack home page.

The Primer was a cross between quick tips, a brief explanation of some of the stuff you can do with Backpack, and links to key features. Here’s what it looked like:

Old primer

This worked well enough, but there were a few problems…

  1. It took up a lot of space and pushed the key Backpack feature buttons (notes, lists, files, etc) on the home page down below the fold.
  2. It could be hidden, but once it was hidden it was gone forever. The position of the primer encouraged people to hide it instead of keep it around for reference.
  3. It made a weird first impression. The simple, clean, white page metaphor was marred by a big yellow box at the top. The name of the page (“Home page”) was no longer at the top of the page.

Welcome the Welcome Tab

We introduced the Welcome Tab when we launched Highrise earlier this year. It’s worked out really well so we decided to reuse the concept in Backpack.

The Welcome Tab in Backpack provides even more information than the old Primer, but it doesn’t get in your way. You can keep the tab around for reference as long as you’d like without it cluttering up your pages or pushing down your content. And when you’re ready you can hide the tab permanently if you’d like.

Welcome tab

The tab is the first option in the nav bar. You can revisit it anytime if you need a quick refresher course in the basics of Backpack. It also serves as a crude site map of some of key administrative features, links to the help section, links to change your color scheme, change reminder settings, and more.

We think this is a great solution to a common scenario—getting people started but keeping the “getting started” info around for later.