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Web App Tutorial Tool Kera Heads For The Deadpool

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When Kera launched out of Toronto last year, its goal was to “teach the world how to use software.” Alas, Kera has taught its last lesson.

In a farewell post on its blog, the company has announced that they’ll be shuttering their products in one month.

For the unfamiliar, Kera provided tools that allowed web app developers to quickly build interactive voice/text tutorials that directly integrate into their apps. With just a bit of clever JavaScript dropped in place, you could walk new users through your product step-by-step from within the product itself — this, as opposed to, say, a tutorial video.

Here’s the thing: developers are, by and large, a proud bunch. If a dev recognizes that their product is so complicated that they need to hold the user’s hand through every step of the process, they (hopefully) rethink their design rather than search out a bandaid.

Just three weeks ago, the company pivoted when they realized that “people didn’t like to be guided the way [Kera] wanted to guide them,” with over 50 percent of users immediately dismissing the tutorial overlay. In place of the tutorial overlay, they built a pre-packaged “Get Started Widget” that gave users “missions” to complete to properly learn a product. Though it only had a few weeks worth of runway, this widget didn’t seem to be gaining traction, and the company was quickly running out of money.

While the team is considering open-sourcing or selling the tech if any interested parties come along, their current plan is to just shut it down. Though they’re announcing the shutdown now, they plan to leave the servers up until May 18th to give developers time to remove it from their applications.

Meanwhile, the company’s original three founders say they’re “hard at work cooking something special.” Best of luck, guys!