Order and throttle your guides

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This article provides guidance for using guide ordering and throttling to educate your users without overwhelming them with too much content at one time.

Use a combination of guide ordering and throttling to orchestrate the timing of your guides in an optimal way. Decide which guides need to be shown first, how much time should pass before showing the next guide, and which guides need to be shown immediately, regardless of throttling rules.

These controls allow you to organize and prioritize all the guides in your portfolio and manage your end user's guided experience in your app. Prioritize alert messages, set the display order of your onboarding nurture campaign, or ship product announcements and follow-up research guides in the right order.

Prerequisites

  • Guide Publisher or Admin user permissions to edit
  • Any user can view
  • Automatically activated guides
  • Agent version 2.8.0 or greater
  • Mobile SDK version 2 or greater

Best practices

As you build guides over time, you amass a collection of many valuable guides published in your application, but without the proper timing, your users may get overwhelmed by receiving multiple guides back-to-back, and might even start to ignore them altogether.

Audit your guides

There is no one size fits all solution for guide ordering or throttling. Some applications are used daily, while others are used weekly or even monthly. To maximize your impact with infrequent visitors, for example, you may elect to show more guides per session than you would with daily visitors. Consult Pendo data to understand your visitors’ behavior and time throttling accordingly.

Here are some important things to consider:

Activation

  • Ordering only applies to automatically activated guides because other guide activation methods allow the visitor to manually trigger the guide themselves.
  • Review each guide's activation type. Is this message important enough to be shown automatically? Could this be displayed as a badge-activated tooltip or Resource Center announcement instead?

Targeting

  • Pages: Are your guides targeting a specific Page or displaying sitewide? If you have too many sitewide guides, your guides are more likely to interrupt a visitor’s workflow. Try targeting specific pages to deliver the right content only in the desired location.
  • Segment: Are you targeting Everyone or only the users to who this message is applicable? Being more specific with your segmentation decreases the chance of surfacing irrelevant content to the wrong audience.

Content

  • What is the goal of your guide? Try breaking these out into categories like Education, Announcements, Onboarding, and so on, to help prioritize your most important messages.
  • Do you have multiple guides explaining the same thing? Can these be condensed?
  • Is this an important or time-sensitive announcement? Ignore guide throttling to deliver the message right away.

Order your guides

When you’ve confirmed that your guides are targeting the right visitors in the right places, navigate to the Ordering tab and prioritize your guides in the order you want them to display to visitors. Guide categories can help you identify the high-level goals of each guide to determine the priority in ordering. For example, your announcement guides will likely be higher in the list than non-urgent notifications or polls.

guides_ordering_tab.png

Display order

Display order shows a list of automatically activated guides in the selected app in the order they will display to users:

  • Guides can be grouped into categories to order and prioritize which guides are shown first.
  • Guides with Disabled status are not shown in the list.
  • Guides set to ignore throttling settings are ranked first in the list in the order they will display.
  • Guides that do not ignore throttling settings are shown in number order in the order they will display after guides that ignore throttling settings.

You can set the display order for all of your automatically activated guides and limit how frequently users see automatic guides. Ordering shows a list of all automatic guides in the subscription in any status, and you are able to change the order they are shown to a visitor. Use the guide category column to prioritize which category of guides users should see first.

Select the application to populate the Display Order list and show the number of automatic guides. Display order is set per application.

Use search to find guides in the list. Search highlights the guides that match the search query but does not filter the list, allowing you to position the guide with all guides for context.

Set display order

Guides with the activation method set to Automatic are added to the bottom of the Display Order list automatically when they are created. Guides that ignore throttling settings are prioritized first and appear in list order. Guides that are limited by throttling are listed after and appear in order according to the time interval set in throttling settings.

Drag and drop or use the arrows on the right side of the table row to move the guide up or down the display order. Changes are applied automatically and become visible to visitors as soon as they are eligible to see the guide according to guide and throttling settings.

move_guideorder.png

 

Throttling

Guide throttling sets a limit on the number of guides and the time delay between automatic guides protecting users from a constant stream of new automatic guides popping up. Throttling determines the minimum amount of time that passes between when a visitor receives one automatic guide and when the next one launches. The countdown for the next guide launch begins after the previous guide is dismissed. 

If throttling is off or guides ignore throttling settings, guides are shown as soon as they are eligible in list order.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you want users to see multiple automatic guides per session?
    • Allow less time between guides; for example, show one guide every 30 minutes.
  • Do you have infrequent visitors?
    • Allow less time between guides; for example, show one guide every 30 minutes, with the most important guides set to ignore guide throttling.
  • Do you have very frequent visitors?
    • Allow more time between guides; for example, show one guide per day.

Use throttling and guide order with Repeat Guide display and Snooze guide

If a Pendo guide is set to display automatically to a user once when they visit a page, by default, the guide isn’t redisplayed.

The Repeat Guide setting allows guides to be shown again after a set interval. This can be configured to various time frames (hours, days) or set to repeat indefinitely.

The repetition cycle of a guide is influenced by user actions. When a user dismisses a guide, it triggers the start of the interval timer for the next display. The guide continues to reappear until the user dismisses it a certain number of times, as configured, or indefinitely, depending on the setting.

Repeat guides respect the guide throttling settings, which control the frequency of automatically shown guides. For example, if throttling is set to show one guide per day, the repeat guide adheres to this limitation. Snoozed guides respect throttling for their initial display, but once the snooze timer has elapsed, the guide ignores throttling when it redisplays.

The timing for repeat guides and throttling starts when the user dismisses the guide. The dismissal time is recorded using a lastSeenAt property, which logs the time in epoch format.

If a guide has a snooze button, users can redisplay the guide after a set period. While a guide is snoozed, the repeat interval is paused. The repeat guide only becomes active again and checks for its next display time after the snooze period has elapsed.

In Pendo, when a guide is displayed through the Repeat Guide or Snooze functionality, it counts as a single display instance.

Example Scenarios

Here are some example scenarios of how throttling and guide order might work with repeat guide display and snooze guide.

Example 1

  • Throttling setting: One guide display allowed per day.
  • Guide sequence:
    • First: Guide A, with a Snooze option set for 30 minutes.
    • Second: Guide B.

User flow:

  • 13:00: Guide A is shown. The user opts to Snooze, delaying the guide for 30 minutes.
  • 13:30: Guide A reappears. This time the user closes it without using the Snooze button.
  • Next day at 13:30: Guide B is scheduled to display.

The Throttling countdown is reset each time a guide appears automatically.

Note: Manually activated guides do not trigger this reset.

Example 2 

Guides are not necessarily displayed in the order they’re set. The system prioritizes guides that are eligible for display first based on user navigation and time intervals.

  • Throttling setting: One guide every 10 minutes.
  • Guide ordering setting:
    • Guide A: Linked to page A.
    • Guide B
    • Guide C: Linked to page B.

User flow:

  • If a user lands on page B, guide B is shown first.
  • Staying on page B for 10 minutes triggers the display of guide C.
  • If the user navigates to page A after 10 minutes, guide A is shown for the first time.

Example 3

  • Throttling setting: One guide can be displayed every 10 minutes.
  • Guide ordering setting:
    • Guide A: With a snooze button set for 2 hours and configured to repeat every hour.
    • Guide B

User flow:

  • Guide A is initially displayed. The user opts to snooze it, activating a 2-hour delay.
  • After 10 minutes, guide B is displayed, aligning with the throttling setting.
  • Guide B is closed by the user.
  • 2 hours after being snoozed, guide A reappears due to the snooze duration ending.
  • The user closes guide A.
  • 60 minutes after closing guide A, fulfilling the one-hour repeat interval, guide A is displayed once more.

Throttling and ordering in mobile guides 

Pendo's SDK supports ordering and throttling. You configure them in the same way as you configure them for web apps.
 

Mobile ordering

If there are two guides competing on the same screen or when the app launches, the one with the highest priority is displayed. When users close this first guide, they don't see the next guide in priority immediately. Pendo does not display in-app messages one after the other on small screens. The next guide in priority is displayed when users reopen the page or relaunch the app.

Mobile throttling

Override throttling for a single guide is still not supported. All guides adhere to the throttling rules.

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