GuidedTrack is a simple low-code application that allows you to make surveys, experiments, web applications, online courses, signup forms, and more. Spark Wave built GuidedTrack so that it could build advanced studies and rapidly prototype, and is making the software available more broadly.
Alternative study platforms like Qualtrics and Typeform required so much clicking and dragging that they were tedious. Additionally, it was difficult to package the study itself as an intervention to deploy more broadly. If you want to change the flow of a survey or experiment, how could drag and drop possibly be faster than typing, or cut and paste? Especially if you're moving multiple pieces of content at once? Most people write out their questionnaires in a google doc first anyway… could people type out just a few more words to turn that into the survey or experiment itself?
At this point, GuidedTrack has powered hundreds of online studies. Additionally, it has allowed us to build every program that you see on Clearer Thinking, enabling people to apply behavioral science research to their own lives.
Building applications in traditional programming languages would have been lengthy and expensive. We would have needed to hire a ton of programmers! What if we could build a programming language that was so easy to learn that subject matter experts with no prior coding experience could create applications? What if the language was so efficient that software engineers could pick up GuidedTrack and build whole applications in an afternoon?
Some web apps built using GuidedTrack include: UpLift, Mind Ease, and OpenMind. Subject matter experts in cognitive behavioral therapy and productive political conversations over divisive subjects were able to easily write interactive content and package it into apps.
GuidedTrack has been in development and serious use for years. Anyone can use it at this point, but we haven't made any marketing pushes to formally launch it. One of the big things that is holding us back is that we don't yet have a well thought out approach to onboarding.
Needless to say, when Spencer Greenberg first tasked me with developing a plan for the onboarding of GuidedTrack, I knew that it would be a big project. Most apps do one thing very well, but GuidedTrack is literally a programming language. It's inherently flexible! We have a wide variety of distinct personas using GuidedTrack with varying degrees of technical background. People well versed in my digital garden may recognize this as The hard problem of onboarding horizontal products.
However, I was excited. This was an opportunity for me to work on a genuinely challenging onboarding problem for a horizontal product, which I have wanted to do for years. What could be more challenging than teaching people to code? Eventually, I would come to realize that the best approach to improving its onboarding would come through the concept of Learnable programming.
I started my Initial Research on GuidedTrack.