Why use the Visual Design Studio

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The Visual Design Studio is our next-generation tool for building and editing Guides. It includes:

  • An easier interface for styling Guides, a library of flexible layouts, and the ability to mix and match and quickly toggle between Guide types.
  • An improved method for tagging pages and features, allowing for more precise heat map metrics and contextual information.
  • Streamlined localization tools, making it easy to speak your users’ native language.
  • Extensive customizability, including the option to edit the underlying code.

The Visual Design Studio was released on February 18th, 2019. This article covers its benefits and answers some Frequently Asked Questions.

What are the benefits?

The previous Guide designer, referred to as the "Classic Designer,” leverages an iframe to deliver your app preview. Customers before February 18th, 2019 most likely used this experience.

In contrast, the Visual Design Studio entirely reimagines how you build guides, upgrading the Classic Designer with a more intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Its benefits include:

Ease of Use

  • Create guides without having to code! Add and style content via a point-and-click experience.
  • Behaviors, such as “advance,” “submit polls,” or “dismiss” buttons, can easily be added or configured via dropdown styled options within the Visual Designer.
  • Polls can be styled via the Designer without using code. Add multiple polls to a single guide step and save them as part of Layouts (formerly called Templates).


  • Transition a lightbox type Guide into a tooltip, a banner, or even a walkthrough without having to start over. You can also retain your content and styles with each change as needed.
  • Create a variety of Layouts for numerous use cases by saving an existing Guide as a Layout.
  • Keep content-writers on the rails by locking down the styles, while still giving them the freedom to customize the content.
  • Retain access to custom Guide code for the ultimate flexibility.


  • Instead of placing your application within an iframe, the Visual Design Studio launches directly over your application, giving you more screen space to create Guides.
  • The new Building Blocks (excluding those containing the “code block”) push packaged and intentional data into your application and then translate that data into your Guide rather than executing HTML/CSS/JS directly on your site.
  • Application administrators can disable all code access (HTML/CSS/JS) for advanced use cases.

Resource Management

  • Review and configure Guide content and settings without the need to launch the designer every time. The optimized Guide details page allows components of the Guide to be updated from the settings page.
  • The Resource Center (formerly known as the Guide Center) is manageable outside of the Designer so it can be built via a similar point-and-click experience. This means it can easily house much more than a select list of in-app Guides.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum agent versions needed to use the new designer?

Any and all access to Visual Design Studio (Guides, pages, features) requires a minimum production agent version of 2.15.0. Additionally, access for the Resource Center by subscription admins will require a minimum production agent version of 2.16.0. Need to update your Agent Version? For more information, see Pendo agent settings

Can I migrate my Classic Designer Guide Templates into the newer Guide Layouts?

Due to the fact that the Classic Designer and the Visual Design Studio are fundamentally different, Classic Templates cannot be migrated automatically into the Visual Design Studio’s Layouts at this time. However, Layouts are more flexible than Classic Templates so you may find that you won’t need all of your previous Templates.

Do you need to create a Guide with an existing Classic Template today?

Feel free to keep creating Guides in the Classic Designer as desired. The Classic Designer will remain available for the foreseeable future so you can maintain your existing Guides and Templates as you see fit.

Will the Classic Designer be retired?

The Classic Designer will remain available for all users indefinitely. We believe our users should use the tools and workflows that work best for them, and many people are used to and prefer the experience building in the Classic Designer. Furthermore, a Guide built in Classic Designer needs to be managed and updated with that designer, so there are no plans to retire or sunset the Classic Designer. While new development will focus on improving and iterating on the Visual Designer, Classic Guides will be supported in any new contexts like the new Resource Center.

If you have any further questions, be sure to reach out to your Pendo Representative.

What if I have questions or feedback?

You can join others in the Pendo Slack channel #visual-designer. We also provide support through typical channels, including our Pendo Customer Success and Support teams.

Learn More About Visual Design Studio

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