Version 5.1.1

Coach mark

Coach marks are temporary messages that educate users through new or unfamiliar product experiences. They can be chained into a sequence to form a tour.

Coach mark for action button in side-panel. Label Pan camera, 4 of 17, description Switch to the Hand tool then click and drag in the canvas to move your camera up, down, left, and right. Primary button, label Next. One quiet button, label Skip tour.Coach mark for action button in side-panel. Label Pan camera, 4 of 17, description Switch to the Hand tool then click and drag in the canvas to move your camera up, down, left, and right. Primary button, label Next. One quiet button, label Skip tour.

Anatomy#


Image illustrating through labels the parts of a Coach mark, including its Indicator, Image, Steps, Title, Body, and Buttons including Skip tour and next.

Options#


Key example showing coach mark in a tour. Title Enable smart filters, step 2 of 8. Description Smart filters are nondestructive and will preserve your original images. One quiet button, label Skip tour. Primary button, label Next.

In a tour#

Coach marks are in a tour when the primary action of one coach mark will lead to the display of another. The Skip tour button creates an escape path for the user to avoid having to click through each step. A step indicator is optional but encouraged. Display of progress should be consistent throughout the tour — either all steps should have this, or none.

Key example showing coach mark with image. Title Enable smart filters. Description Smart filters are nondestructive and will preserve your original images. One quiet button, label Skip tour. Primary button, label Next.

With image#

Coach marks can contain images that relate to their content, such as demonstrations of gestures, the UI being used, or illustrations.

Key example showing coach mark in a tour dependent on an action. Title Shared library. Description Your shared library items are available in the Library panel. Add an asset from the library to continue. One quiet button, label Skip tour.

Action dependent#

Coach marks in a tour can be dependent on an action. Unless the tour is skipped, they will persist until the user takes the corresponding action, such as “open the Library panel.”

Key example showing all the different Indicator color variants in their respective size variants.

Indicator color#

The coach mark indicator comes in standard (large) and quiet (small), with a light, dark, and blue variant for contrast in different situations.

Behaviors#


Key example of a coach mark showing text overflow. Title Use smart filters to maintain your originals, step 3 of 8. Description Smart filters are nondestructive and will preserve your original images. One quiet button, label Skip tour. Primary button, label Next.

Text overflow#

When the title and body text are too long for the available horizontal space, they wrap to form another line. The steps are always shown in full and never wrap or truncate.

Usage guidelines#


Use a consistent width#

Choose a width for your coach marks that is spacious enough to accommodate all of your content. Within a tour that includes many coach marks, keep the width consistent across every instance.

Key example showing the correct usage of consistent width coach marks. Two coach marks. First coach mark title Edit, step 1 of 14. Description You can make changes to your post at any time with the Edit tool. One quiet button, label Skip tour. Primary button, label Next. Second coach mark title Undo, step 2 of 14. Description Use the button or type Command+Z to undo the last action you took. One quiet button, label Skip tour. Primary button, label Next.
Key example showing the incorrect usage of consistent width coach marks. Two coach marks. First coach mark title Edit, step 1 of 14. Description You can make changes to your post at any time with the Edit tool. One quiet button, label Skip tour. Primary button, label Next. Second coach mark title Undo, step 2 of 14. Description Use the button or type Command+Z to undo the last action you took. One quiet button, label Skip tour. Primary button, label Next.

Keep titles concise#

Aim for concise titles, and keep complex information in the body text. They should be in sentence case. Avoid wrapping titles if possible.

Key example showing correct usage of a concise title for coach marks. A coach mark message with a body text and the buttons "skip tour" and "next" features the one-word title "undo".
Key example showing incorrect usage of a concise title for coach marks. A coach mark message with a body text and the buttons "skip tour" and "next" features the long title "How to undo your previous action".

Keep body text succinct and informative#

Coach marks are meant to be quick overviews of functionality. Content should be at least a few words, but no more than a few sentences.

Coach mark copy should be concise, but written in complete sentences and expressing encouragement and usefulness. For more information on tone, see our voice and tone guidelines.

Key example showing correct usage of a succinct and informative body text. A coach mark message with a body text, the buttons "skip tour" and "next" and the title "edit" features the body text "You can make changes to your post at any time with the Edit tool".
Key example showing incorrect usage of a succinct and informative body text. Two coach mark messages with a body text and the buttons "skip tour". The body text in the first message with the text "click to edit." is too short. The body text in the second message is three paragraphs longs and therefore not succinct and informative.

Align coach marks with the action being explained#

Coach marks are aligned with their related components in the same way as popovers. Choose a placement that keeps the related component visible on screen.

Key example showing correct usage of alignment and placement for coach marks. A coach mark explaining a play button is aligned above three action buttons ("back, play, forward") and a video timeline.
Key example showing incorrect usage of alignment and placement for coach marks. A coach mark explaining a play button is aligned below three action buttons ("back, play, forward") and aligned above a video timeline, covering the video timeline.

Don't obscure a relevant part of the UI with the coach mark.

Use an indicator to show the source#

Unlike popovers, the UI component a coach mark refers to does not need to take a down state. Use the placement of the coach mark and its indicator atop the component to indicate source.

Key example showing correct usage of an indicator to show the source. An indicator in active state featuring a round border activated a coach mark with a title, body text, steps and two buttons.
Key example showing incorrect usage of an indicator to show the source. An indicator in active state with the look of a square source button activated a coach mark with a title, body text, steps and two buttons. The source button contains a pencil icon and a highlighted active background color.

Skip tour#

The “Skip tour” button should always be a quiet secondary button, even when it’s the only button available in the dialog. Omit the “Skip tour” button on the last step of a tour.

Key example showing correct usage of "skip tour" button in a coach mark. In the first coach mark a quiet secondary button"skip tour" is placed next to a primary button "next" with steps in the top right "2 of 14" indicating more tour steps. The second coach mark places a primary button "finish" and no secondary button as the steps in the top right indicate "3 of 3" steps.
Key example showing incorrect usage of "skip tour" button in a coach mark. The primary action buttons "skip tour" and "next" are next to each other in a coach mark with a title, steps and body text.

Don't use inconsistent action names within a tour#

The primary action should be brief and consistent. Use "OK" for a single coach mark. Within a tour, use “Next” for all but the last step, and “Finish” for the last step. Don’t use different primary action names for every step in a tour.

Key example showing incorrect usage of consistent action names. Three coach marks with steps, title nd body text indicate a three steps tour. The primary button on the first coach mark is label "continue", the button on the  second coach mark is label inconstantly "next" and the last coach mark labels the button correctly "finish".

Allow dismissal when a coach mark is depending on an action#

When a part of the tour is dependent on an action being taken by the user, it’s okay to remove the primary button, as long as the user has a way to exit the coach process. On a one-off coach mark, this means the primary button should remain as a route to dismiss. On a tour, it’s acceptable to preserve only the "Skip tour" button.

Key example showing correct usage of a dismissal coach mark.
A coach mark waiting for a user action is missing the primary "next" button. Only the secondary quiet button "skip tour" is present with the coach mark title, steps "2 of 14" and a body text.
Key example showing incorrect usage of a dismissal coach mark. A coach mark with a title and body text is missing a dismissal button.

Don't require users to confirm that they've taken an action#

When part of the tour is dependent on a user action, don't force users to confirm that they've taken that action.

Key example showing incorrect usage of a coach mark confirmation. A coach mark with the primary action button labeled "asset added" forces a dependent user action in order to continue the tour.

Internationalization#


Key example showing a coach mark in the right-to-left language use case. The coach mark indicator is align on the top right of the coach mark and the title and body text are align to the right.
The primary action button is align to the left followed by the secondary quiet button.

RTL#

For RTL (right-to-left) languages, the default layout of the coach mark is mirrored. Text is right-aligned while the chevron and the button group are left-aligned.

Keyboard interactions#


KeyInteraction
TabMoves focus to the next button inside the popover (last becomes first).
EscExits the current coach mark. If in a tour, proceeds to the next coach mark (does not skip the entire tour).

Changelog#


DateNumberNotes
Sep 11, 20195.1.1
  • Increased opacity of the animated indicator
Aug 22, 20195.1.0
  • Added text overflow behavior
Apr 18, 20195.0.0
  • This component is now individually versioned (individual versions of existing components start at 5.0.0)
  • Added RTL (right-to-left) guidelines

Design checklist#


All interactive states

Includes all interactive states that are applicable (hover, down, focus, keyboard focus, disabled).

Multiple options

Includes relevant options (variant, style, size, orientation, optional iconography, decorations, selection, error state, etc.)

All color themes

Works properly across all four color themes (lightest, light, dark, darkest).

All platform scales

Includes a desktop scale (UWP, macOS, web desktop) and a mobile scale (iOS, Android, web mobile).

Defined behaviors

Includes guidelines for layout (wrapping, truncation, overflow), animation, interactions, etc.

Usage guidelines

Includes a list of dos and don’ts that highlight best practices and common mistakes.

Accessible contrast

Follows WCAG 2.0 standards for contrast (AA).

Internationalization guidelines

Works properly across various locales and includes guidelines for bi-directionality (RTL).

Keyboard interactions

Follows WCAG 2.0 standards for keyboard accessibility guidelines and includes a description of the keyboard interactions.

Downloadable UI kit

Includes a downloadable XD file that has been generated by code and shows multiple variations, states, color themes, and scales.

Design tokens

All design attributes (color, typography, layout, animation, etc.) are included in Spectrum DNA.