Create and test ideas with Validate

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Validate is a discovery tool that helps you justify product investments. Gather supporting evidence and test solution ideas at scale, before you commit resources to developing a feature or product.

In Discover > Validate, you create ideas and then collect votes on those ideas from your visitors, or segments of visitors, with idea tests to help you decide what to build next.

This article describes how to create and test ideas in Validate. Pendo internal users can also add votes to ideas on behalf of your customers. For more information, see Add votes to an idea, in this article. For an overview of functionality, including how to view and edit existing ideas, see the Validate ideas article.


After you've created product ideas, you can add votes to them and capture real responses from your target audience using Idea Tests. An idea test can include up to three ideas. Ideas can be pain points, problems to solve, feature requests, or opportunity areas. If you pass revenue as metadata to Pendo, such as ARR, you can also link account revenue to votes to prioritize and evaluate the impact of the idea. For information on how to add revenue, see Configure account revenue.

We also offer the ability to compare and prioritize ideas under the Analysis tab in the Validate page. This allows you to make decisions about your next product discovery or what to build next based on an aggregate of ideas. For more information, see Compare and prioritize ideas in Validate.

Finally, to view your return on investment (ROI) using Validate, open the ROI tab in the Validate page. For more information, see View return on investment (ROI) for Validate.

End-user experience of an idea test

You can show target visitors up to three specific ideas as part of an in-app idea test to gather visitor votes and priorities. If choosing a multi-page idea test, you can also collect comments.

An idea test is presented to your target visitors as an overlay in your application, similar to a standard Pendo guide. You can also choose whether to display the idea test site-wide or on a specific page in your application, and edit other details like the position of the idea test and whether it's anchored to a specific element in your UI.

An idea test can include up to three of your ideas. These ideas must already exist in the Ideas tab. See Create a new idea in this article for instructions.

There are two idea test layouts to choose from: single-page layout and multi-page layout. Both views invite the user to choose an Importance rating for each idea presented to them. These ratings are: Must HaveNice to Have, or Not Interested. These ratings are mutually exclusive options for each idea and aren't editable. There's no ranking of ideas using these importance ratings. Users can rate some or all ideas presented to them, and can choose the same or different ratings for each one.

Choose a single-page layout if you want users to be able to compare and rate ideas in one page. With a single-page layout, the visitor can vote on each idea without having to navigate away from the list. The user can see more information about each idea by selecting the idea in the list and can then go back to the list to rate the idea alongside the others. The visitor chooses their importance ratings from radio buttons in each idea card, and then selects Submit at the bottom of the overlay to submit all their ratings together.


Choose a multi-page layout if you want to present users with more details about each idea before giving them the opportunity rather the importance. With a multi-page layout, the visitor can see more information about each idea and vote on it by selecting Rate Idea at the bottom of each card. From here, the visitor can either go back to the list of ideas or can choose between the different Importance ratings. The visitor can optionally add a comment to explain their choice and then submit their rating for that idea.


Create a new idea

Ideas in Validate can be anything that you'd like to test before making decisions about what to dedicate resources to, such as feature requests, opportunities, solutions, and so on.

To create a new idea, navigate to the Validate page from the left-side navigation and:

  1. Select Create Idea in the top-right corner of the page.
  2. Enter a name for the idea under Title.
  3. Enter information about your idea in the Description.
  4. Choose the appropriate App and Product Area from the dropdown menus.
  5. Select Create Idea in the bottom-right.
  6. Optionally, link the idea to a feedback item. You can do one or both of the following:
    • Enter keywords or phrases into the search and select the feedback item from the dropdown menu.
    • If you have Enable suggested ideas turned on in Subscription settings, hover over a feedback item suggested by our Pendo AI assistant under Link suggested feedback and select Accept.

Create idea.png

The idea then appears in your ideas table in the Validate page. For an overview, see Validate ideas.

If you’re an internal user with admin permissions, you can also add Effort and Impact ratings after an idea is created. Select the name of the idea under the Title column of the Ideas table to open the details of the idea. The details open in a slide-out panel on the right-side of the Validate page where you can select the Effort and Impact ratings from the dropdown menus.

This data is used in the Analysis tab to help you prioritize what to build next. For more information, see Compare and prioritize ideas in Validate.


Create idea tests

You can present up to three ideas to your target visitors, in-app, to gather feedback from them, including comments, votes, and priorities. Use idea tests to understand the demand for your product initiatives and to justify product investments. 

To create a new test, navigate to the Validate page in the left-side navigation and:

  1. Select Validate Ideas in the top-right of the page. This opens the Create Idea Test form.
  2.  Enter an Idea Test Name. This name is for your internal reference.
  3. Select which application you want to launch the test in.
  4. Choose the Guide Theme you want to use, and then Next Step in the bottom-right of the form.

  5. On the next screen, provide a Title and Description for the test. This is what your target customers see.
  6.  Select up to three ideas you’d like to validate with your target customers from the Choose Ideas dropdown menu.

  7. Choose a Layout Type and then Next Step in the bottom-right of the form. For information on the end-user experience of these options, see End-user experience of an idea test in this article.

  8. On the next screen, choose a segment from the Select Segment dropdown menu, and then select Next Step in the bottom-right of the form. If an appropriate segment doesn't yet exist, you can create a new one by selection Custom Segment.

  9. On the next screen, choose a start date and time for the test using the dropdown menus.
  10. To add an end date and time (optional), toggle on When should the Idea Test end? and choose a date and time using the dropdown menus.

  11. Select Save and Exit in the bottom-right of the form. This takes you to the details page for the test, which is in Guides.
  12. Select Manage in my app to open the Visual Design Studio, where you can edit the styling, location, and behavior of the idea test. You have the same options available to you as a standard Pendo guide:
    • Styling. Edit the theme, step name, dimensions, and accessibility options.
    • Location. Edit the position and offset of the idea test, anchor the idea test to an element on the page, and choose whether the idea test appears site-wide or on a single page.
    • Behavior. Add and edit the button actions of the idea test.
  13. Select Done in the bottom-right corner of the Visual Design Studio when you're finished editing.
  14. Close the Visual Design Studio and navigate back to your idea test's details page in Pendo.
  15. Use Preview in the idea test's details page to review the test in your application.


View idea tests

If not already open, you can find and open your tests from the Idea Tests tab of the Validate page. Here, you can see a list of existing tests and the following information about these tests depending on the columns you choose for the table. 

  • Test Name. The descriptive name given to the test.
  • Test Status. Whether the test is in a Draft or Published state.
  • Published. If published, how long ago the test was published.
  • Ideas. The number of ideas included in the test.
  • Results. A link to the results of the test.
  • App. The application that the test relates to.
  • Created Time. The date and time that the idea was originally created.

To customize columns, select the Manage Columns icon in the top-right corner of the list. In the window that opens, you can add, remove, and move columns in the table.

To see more details of the test, including who created it, when it was last updated, and its results, you can either:

  • Select the name of the appropriate test under the Test Name column.
  • Select View Results next to the appropriate test under the Results column.

Idea tests also live alongside guides in Pendo. You can open the appropriate test from the Guides Overview page as you would a normal guide.

Launch an idea test

If not already open, you can launch your tests from the Idea Tests tab of the Validate page. Find and open your test from the list and then launch the test as you would with any other guide. Set your target segment, scheduling, and conversion. When you’re ready, set the poll to Public to launch it to your target audience. For more information, see Creating a Guide.

Note: Although an Idea Test is a type of guide and can be found in the Guides page, alongside your other guides, you can view the results of your tests in the Validate page.

View test results

As with viewing and launching your tests, you can view results of your tests from both the Validate page and the Guides page. To view the detailed results of your test, find and open your test, and then:

  • In the Guide Metrics tab, review the counts of views and clicks.
  • In the Responses tab, review the responses to your test.

Add votes to an idea

To add votes to an idea on behalf of your visitors, navigate to the Validate page in the left-side navigation and open the appropriate idea by selecting its title in the Ideas table. If the idea doesn’t yet exist, follow the instructions under Create a new idea, above. 

For information on how to view the details of an individual idea, see the Validate ideas article. Once you’ve opened an idea, select Add a vote at the bottom of the idea, or the thumbs up icon at the top of the idea details panel.

Add a vote.png

In the Add a vote window that appears:

  • Select an account and a visitor from the first two dropdown menus.
  • Select an Importance level: Must haveNice to have, or Not interested. You can only choose one option. These options aren't editable.
  • Add a Comment (optional).

Add a vote window.png

Then select Add a Vote at the bottom.

Check that the vote has been added by opening the Votes tab of the idea.

Votes tab.png

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