In a recent thread, DJ mentioned that only about 1% of users don't take the tutorials and asked how we can get that number near 0% (and we have seen some users say they took them but didn't mark them as complete, so the number may be even smaller, although I am never sure I believe that statement based on the questions that usually accompany the statement).
I didn't want to hijack that thread since it doesn't fully apply to the topic or user who started it, but I have some input on DJ's question.
I think we are dealing with a few things that may prevent us ever getting to 100% tutorial usage.
1) This has been discussed many times, and I understand, if not fully support DJs position on it. There are some users who expect to see, and prefer to use, a user manual. I personally prefer written documentation that I can copy into Onenote or print so that I can mark it up. I have little patience to sit through a video (and I hate podcasts for a similar reason. I can read 5x faster than anyone speaks except for other native NYers like me). Written documentation also allows a user to easily review just the relevant parts when they have a question. A video is good for providing use examples, but is not the best for initial instructions. The newer tutorials are better than when virtually everything was a video, but they still have a lot of video inserts and are not always easy to use when trying to review instructions. Given that this only impacts probably 1/2 of 1% of users, I don't know that it needs to be addressed. More that it helps answer DJ's question.
2) Some techies think they don't need instruction of any kind. Again, using myself as an example, as much as I love documentation, when I get a new piece of technology to play with, I rarely read more than any warnings in a quick start guide before trying to figure it out. However, I will always read the manual (or take tutorials) before asking questions on a forum, and only turn to asking questions if I can't find the answer. Some users though, think it is faster to just ask a question than to research an answer. I'll come back to this topic.
3) Similar to #2, some people are just impatient to get started. I think we have seen this most with JD purchasers because it looks more like a toy and something that should just work out of the box. Unfortunately, it is actually the Revolution bot that most needs tutorials because without fine tuning the servos, it can fall over and get broken and has a lot of complexity in the sample project.
4) Much more rare, but we have seen a couple of examples over the years (I think all of these users have wound up getting themselves banned because they were otherwise also obnoxious). Some users feel so entitled that they think their time is more important than everyone else on the forum. These are the ones who ask a question that has been asked a hundred times and when someone takes the time to post a link to the thread with the answer or a link to the correct tutorial, they complain that their question could have been answered in the same amount of time. They also tend to be the ones who can't be bothered with using spell check or proper punctuation to help themselves be understood. These people are not worth engaging because they never seem to learn that "teaching a man to fish...." is the better solution.
In the other thread, DJ said:
We have been considering locking software features until the tutorials have been completed.
I think that is a really bad idea. It will just cause consternation among already difficult customers and probably won't change behavior appreciably. These users will learn that they can quickly step through the tutorials and mark them complete without actually paying attention and we will be back in the same position.
Another idea would be to not honor warranties for blown batteries, burned out servos, or JDs broken from a fall if the tutorials are not taken before the warranty claim is made, but you are already prompting three times and making users enter NO LEARN on the terms of service page if they skip the tutorials, so thinking that these kinds of users are going to read that and then not argue about warranty support is probably not realistic.
The one thing that might help is, in future EZ-B's,. update the initial voice greeting that the EZ-B makes before the first time it is connected to not jsut say "visit www.ez-robot.com" but to specify that there are critical tutorials that must be taken to fully operate an EZ-B (again, if you just have JDs do this, I think you will get most of that 1% audience - every Roli question I have seen has been a valid problem, usually with the H-bridge being mis-wired, and all but one of hte questions about Six were valid issues which would not have been answered in the tutorial).
I don't think I have a really viable answer other than accepting that a 99% success rate of getting users to use the tutorials is very good, and deal with the 1% the way we have been, as frustrating as that can become. Improving the feature documentation (you have to admit that some of it is out of date, and some is kind of week) would help a little, but like I said, probably less than a 1/2% (that being said, I am going to be posting a question sometime later today about something that I think is not documented well and I can't find forum discussions that I think have already occurred on it). We have discussed a few times setting up a WiKi so that feature documentation can be improved by the user base and kept up to date as features change, but the two of us most interested (me and jstarnes) don't seem to have the time to devote to it. Something organized by feature would be easier to search than relying on the forum search engine which sometimes works well, but other times returns too many unrelated hits unless you already know what you are looking for.
Anyway, just brainstorming a bit while I wait for a meeting to start, so take or leave this as you see fit.