Tagging with the Visual Design Studio

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Tagging is a central part of Pendo Engage (Insights and Guidance). You must tag Pages and Features to get analytics and to build guides. This article provides an overview of tagging Pages and Features with the Visual Design Studio. For instructions on how to style guides with the Visual Design Studio, see Creating a Guide.

Note: This article refers to the Visual Design Studio launched February 18th, 2019. If you became a customer before this date and would like to use the Classic Designer, see Tagging Features Overview (Classic).

Pages and Features are tagged in the Product page of the Pendo UI, which you can access from the left-side navigation. For specific instructions on Pages and Features, see Tagging and viewing Pages and Tagging and viewing Features, respectively.

What "tagging" means

"Tagging" means to create a Page or Feature in Pendo, which can then be used for Pendo Analytics and Guides. "Tagging Pages" is shorthand for defining the URLs that Pendo identifies and represents as Pages in its analytics. "Tagging Features" is shorthand for selecting the UI elements in your application that Pendo identifies and represents as Features in its analytics.

Pages and Features are created based on rules. Page rules match the structure and content of the website URL you want to track as Pages in Pendo. Feature rules are derived from the HTML behind the UI elements in your application, such as buttons or text fields.

You can think of tagging rules as queries or criteria for searching all raw events sent to Pendo and returning only the events that are relevant to your Pages and Features. A raw event is a user interaction with your application. 

The data for your Page or Feature includes only the events that fit its tagging rules. When you segment or filter based on Pages and Features that you created in Pendo, you’re searching every unidentified user interaction (event), and pulling in the information that you’ve defined as useful, grouped into Pages and Features in Pendo.

Visual Design Studio

The Visual Design Studio, also referred to as the designer, is the interface that helps you style and position guides, and tag Pendo Pages and Features. While in the Visual Design Studio, you can switch between Page tagging and Feature tagging using the tabs at the top of the designer.

There are two ways to tag Pages and Features view the Visual Design Studio:

  • Tag side-by-side. Tag Pages and Features in a separate browser window on the right (default).
  • Tag in an overlay. Tag Pages and Features within a moveable window that loads over the top of your application.

Side-by-side mode functionality and settings

This section covers some best practices for tagging in side-by-side mode with the Visual Design studio.


The Visual Design Studio works best with Chrome. If using Firefox, you must allow cross-site cookies in both Pendo and the application that you're tagging.

Screen mode

Ensure you're not in full screen mode. By default, the Visual Design Studio is configured to open in a separate browser window. If your browser is in full-screen mode, the Visual Design Studio opens in a separate tab instead. On a Mac computer, you can enable and disable full-screen mode by selecting the green circle in the the top-left of the browser. On a Windows computer you can enable and disable full-screen mode by pressing F11.


Allow popups on the site that you're tagging to prevent your browser blocking the Visual Design Studio opening in a new window. If pop-ups are blocked, the Visual Design Studio doesn't open.

Storage partitioning

If you're using Chrome and experiencing loading issues even though pop-ups are allowed, copy and paste the following into your Chrome window and disable Third-party Storage Partitioning: chrome://flags/#third-party-storage-partitioning.



Tag your applications one at a time. We only support one instance of the Visual Design Studio in a separate window open per application. Close the window to properly exit the Visual Design Studio.

Best practices

Before you start tagging, you should:

  • Create Product Areas (formerly called Groups). Only Admins can create Product Areas but anyone can use them once they’re created. Avoid adding Product Areas after Pages and Features have been tagged. For more information, see the Product Areas Overview.
  • Create a Page and Feature naming convention, for example, App-Page-Location-Button. Use descriptive names that would allow someone who didn’t tag the Page or Feature to know what it is. For more information, see Naming Best Practices.
  • While not necessary, we recommend tagging Pages before tagging Features, especially if Features exist in particular Pages.
  • Plan for how granular you want your tags to be before creating them. For example, do you want to know every time someone uses any filter, or do you want to know the exact filters that were used?
  • Prioritize which Pages and Features to tag first based on your guide targeting and usage analytics goals so that you can get started as soon as possible. Since Pendo has retroactive analytics, it’s not necessary to tag every Page and Feature immediately.

Deciding what to tag

  • Tag the Pages and Features that you're most interested in seeing the usage and visits for. If seeing the number of clicks for a button isn't useful, then you don't need to tag it.
  • Tag Pages and Features that you're interested in seeing the workflow of. For example, tag the buttons that can show you how many people start ("Create X") versus complete ("Save X") an activity in your application.
  • Tag Pages and Features that help you answer specific questions, such as "Is this feature being used?"
  • Tag Pages and Features that are relevant to your key personas.

Auditing your Pages and Features

  • Add a Rules column in your Pages and Feature lists.
  • Check your Page rules before your Feature rules, since Features can be Page-specific.
  • Look for duplicates.
  • Look for outliers. Sort your list by number of clicks or views and review items with very low or very high numbers.
  • Assess Guide Alerts for missing or mismatched Pages and Features.
  • Focus on parts of your application that are most important or that have recently gone through development changes. View Features by Product Area to help you.

Frequently asked questions

Does it matter if a Page or Feature is tagged first?

If your Feature lives on a particular Page, you should tag the Page first. If you are tagging a Page, you also have the option to tag the Feature. You can switch between tagging either option in the Visual Design Studio.

Do I need to tag a Feature to use it with a guide?

No. When you build a guide in the Visual Design Studio, you must select the Feature that you want to target each step of a guide to. This feels similar to the Feature tagging experience. However, tagged Features are only used for analytics, and can’t be selected when building guides.

What does processing mean?

After you tag a new Feature or Page, or edit the rules for an existing Feature or Page, a label appears in the Page or Feature list and in the Page or Feature details page that notes the event is "processing".

This means Pendo is going back in time through historical events to classify them based on the newly-defined rule. Depending on the amount of data you have in Pendo, this can range anywhere from two minutes to two hours to process. If this exceeds 24 hours, please contact Pendo Support.

I can't open the Visual Design Studio. What should I do?

If you're unable to open the Visual Design Studio to tag your application, see Help launching Visual Design Studio. If you follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in that article and still can't open the Visual Design Studio, please contact Pendo Support.


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