The new or updated feature can consist of small or medium changes. For information about sizing new features, see user journey sizes.

For medium to large impressions, like an entirely new set of features, use the new experience pattern.

Know your audience

This pattern is for people who already use the product. Avoid this pattern for new users. Only show new users a new product first impression so they aren't overwhelmed with content about features they haven't been introduced to.

This pattern should help someone feel supported, motivated, and empowered.

What to communicate

Help existing users understand the value of the feature, preferably in the context of a task. Focus on the top benefit and show them how to achieve it.

Existing admins, power users, end users, and novice users may have different reasons to be excited about your new feature:

  • For admins, focus on configuration and control.

  • For power users, focus on shortcuts and improving the way they work.

  • For end users and novice users, focus on the benefits for their teams and how it empowers them.

  • Don't show change management messaging to new users.

Build your first impression

Introducing a new or changed feature consists of two basic parts:

  1. An appropriate entry point to notify the user.

  2. An educational component to communicate the top benefit of the feature.

Entry point

Choose an appropriate place to notify people of the new feature, but don't take over their work. Entry points for new feature announcements should be passive and temporary (they shouldn't live forever).

Use the spotlight pulse to subtly highlight where your new feature is accessed.

In the example below, the user navigates to their project and a spotlight highlights where the feature lives.

A Jira agile board showing a spotlight pulse to highlight a new feature.

Educational components

Use the spotlight component to highlight the top benefit of the new feature in context.

When people click the spotlight pulse, they see a short message summarizing the new feature. They are encouraged to try the new feature or learn more about it.

An example of a spotlight pulse expanded into a spotlight component that encourages people to try the new feature.

Inflection point example

For features that provide shortcuts for power users or otherwise improve the way they work, consider introducing a spotlight after recognizing a pattern of repeated behavior. We call these "inflection points".

In this example, an admin moves an issue from to do to in progress. The admin then opens the issue and assigns it to someone else.

A Jira agile board showing an inflection point example as the admin moves an issue across the board.

The admin repeats this action two more times. At this point, we can recognize that the admin is repeating the action multiple times and suggest, using a spotlight, a way to automate this task.

A Jira agile board showing a spotlight trigged by an admin repeating an action. The spotlight encourages the admin to use a new feature that automates this task.

Best practices

All first impressions should complement rather than compete with each other. Know what other first impressions or notifications your user might encounter, so you can prioritize the right one at the right time and minimize distraction.

  • Only highlight the feature and its top benefit in one place.

  • If the user needs to navigate to other parts of the product, consider the first impression of a new experience.

  • If your product supports in-app help, point out where people can find more information when they dismiss the educational component.

  • Allow power users to uncover advanced features progressively rather than announcing changes they may not be interested in.

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