Explaining gesture driven UIs

The new Paper by 53 update makes fairly extensive use of gestures in its UI. With a non-obvious navigation, you have to incorporate a tutorial of some kind, to show users how to get around. 

Side note: It should go without saying, that the best apps are self-explanatory and shouldn’t need any tutorials. But as apps become increasingly powerful and devices start to support more advanced gestures (edge swipe, 3D Touch), I think the occasional tutorial isn’t a bad tradeoff. 

Mike Matas’ team at Facebook has experimented with inline narrated tutorials (more details in the great talk ‘Building Paper’) in their gesture-driven app (confusingly also named Paper), something we adopted for our own app Highlights.
But that added a fair bit of development effort to the product and the tutorial UI elements can also add an additional layer of UI complexity that the user has to get to grips with. 

Paper by 53 uses a charmingly simple solution: videos. The video shows someone navigating through the app, so the gestures are clearly demonstrated to the user. Additional videos are offered at appropriate times throughout the app. 

Paper is hardly the first app to have tutorial videos, but these reminded me of the brilliant tutorial videos Apple created for the first iPhone: clear, concise and easily understandable.

Worth checking out if your app uses a heavily gesture-driven UI.