Create a Mobile Guide 

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This article outlines how to create a mobile guide.

Note: We highly recommend previewing and testing a guide before publishing it.


To use the Visual Design Studio, you need one of the following permissions:

  • Pendo Administrator Permissions
  • Pendo User Permissions with at least the
    • Create Guides from Layouts
    • Manage Published Guides
    • Create Guides & Layouts from Scratch

Create a guide

To start creating a mobile guide:

1. Ensure that the mobile application is integrated with SDK 2.x. Verify this by going to Subscription Settings > an “Integrated” label should be visible on an integrated App. 



2. Select Guides from the left-hand navigation menu.

3. In the Guides page, click Visual Design Studio and select Create New Guide.

4. Select the relevant mobile App from the drop-down menu.


5. Select any available mobile layout templates and rename the Guide. 

Tip: As you will most likely have multiple Guides, it’s best practice to have set naming conventions and use groups for easier searches.

Customize guide content

  • To open the Visual Design Studio to edit the guide, click Manage in My App


Tip: You can hover over the Guide preview to see the Manage in My App option to launch the visual designer.

Edits to the Guide can be made from within the Edit Container box. The container's default settings are set by the app's theme.

1. To edit the container settings, change the theme to Custom



2. Once the initial edits are made, click Apply.

3. Hover over the placeholder items within the Guide Preview and click to edit.

4. To add a new building block to the Guide, hover between items until a blue line displays.

5. Click the 'plus' sign to add a building block.


Choose guide transition animation

Select how a guide transitions in and out of each step. To change this go to > Edit Container > Transitions > Animations Type > select Animation Type, Duration, and Direction where applicable.

Tip: The default transition type is 'Appear'. For multi-step, full-screen, or popup Guides we recommend using the slide animation.


Example of Slide Animation 

Note: Transitions are currently not available for tooltips. 

Preview a guide

Use “Preview Guide On Device" to see how a Guide will look on the mobile device. You will be directed to connect a device and the guide will show on the device.

It is extremely important to test how the guide looks on an actual mobile device prior to publishing since the visual designer is just a “web preview” of the guide. 

mceclip4.pngPreview your Guide on a real device or an emulator

Note: During ‘Test full flow on device’ Pendo disregards segments and throttling rules and shows the guide each time. Any target elements, pages and activation methods set as part of the guide must be present for this preview method.

Guide activation methods

Select how a guide will be activated. Available activation options can be found in the action bar >  Activation Settings:

  • App Launch: When the app launches.
  • Page View: When the user views the pages you defined.
  • Target Element: When the user clicks the feature you defined.
  • Track Event: When the Track Event you defined is being called (SDK 2.7+) 
  • Launch Guide From Guide: In order for a guide to be launched from another guide (SDK 2.10+), there is no need to set a specific activation method (you can leave all activation methods unselected). This option can also be combined with other activation methods.  

Select the activation type for your mobile guide


App Launch - Guide is launched to segmented visitors as soon as the startSession method is called and the mobile session starts.

Common Use Cases:

  • Show "What's new" on the new app version
  • Start a new user onboarding
  • Version Sunsetting

Page View - Select the pages in the App where the guide will appear. Either select an already-tagged page or tag a new page by selecting the Tag New Page button. In this case, a device will need to be connected (connect a device ) in order to capture a new page. If you select multiple pages, the guide will be activated when one of them is viewed for the first time.

Note: Different guide steps can have different pages set for activation. Deep links or organic user navigation with tooltips are recommended to navigate the user to the next step in the guide on a different page.


Select an already tagged mobile page for guide activation or tag a new page

Common Use Cases:

  • Guide new visitors on a specific section in your app
  • Notify visitors that a specific app screen is under maintenance 

Target Element - after selecting the desired page, select an element that will activate the guide.  by clicking it in the screenshot. If the UI element has not been saved, you will be prompted to save the new UI element. 

Target Mode - Select an Element

Common Use Cases:

  • Add a help button to your app to show contextual help, set the frequency to show every time.
  • Onboard a specific feature

Track Event: Select the Track Event to be used as the guide trigger. Once the Track Event is called, the guide is displayed to the segmented visitor. See Track Events for more information.

  • This allows you to launch guides whenever and wherever you want, if on a process completion, server response, etc.

Test guide on device 

To verify the selected activation is working as expected, use the ‘Preview Guide On Device’.

There are two options that you can use to test your guide:

  • View Step Design - This allows you to view how your guide steps look on a mobile device. 
  • Test Full Guide With Activation - This allows you to test the activation methods and flows that you have designed for your guide. 
Note: ‘Preview Guide On Device’ will disregard segments and throttling rules. Mobile guides also do not have the concept of a "staging" environment when testing guides. If you would like to test your guide in a mock live scenario, most users will segment their guide to the current visitorID they are using for testing. 

Once you finish working on the guide, save your changes using the top right-hand Save button and select Exit to leave the designer, or select the down-down icon next to Save and select Save and Exit.

Segment and schedule a guide

When you’re satisfied with your Guide, navigate to your Guide’s Detail Page to adjust the guide’s segment & scheduling.

  • Select the segment of users who will receive the guides. The default segment is ‘Everyone’. You can see how many users are included in your selected segment and what is the number of the eligible visitors.
  • Schedule when your Guide will go live (and, if needed, when it will no longer be active).
  • Eligible Visitors: Sometimes the number of eligible visitors is smaller than your segment. Why is that?
    Some of your users might still be using an old app version with an old SDK version. In this case, Pendo's new features may still not be available for these users.

Important: Guide segments will include visitors that have been excluded from analytics, unless explicitly not included in the segment. 

Publish and validate a guide

To publish your Guide, update the Guide’s status to PublicSince there is no ‘Staging’ option for mobile, never publish a mobile guide without testing its full flow on a mobile device.

Note: If you are included in the guide segment and want to see the guide on your device post publish, you will need to:
  1. Disconnect your device from Pendo (click on the Pendo FAB on your device, and select disconnect -> permanently disconnect)
  2. Close your app and relaunch it (guides are sent to the device at the beginning of the "session").
  3. If you are included in the guide's segment, you will be able to see the guide in your app by triggering the guide's "activation" criteria.
  4. Note that once a user sees the guide, they will not see it again, unless set to "show every time".
Tip: It is recommended to publish the guide to a smaller "test group" before publishing it to a broader user segment. You can create a Test segment of your team's users (using visitor or account ids) and publish the guide to this test segment. Once you're happy with the results, publish the guide to your broader user segment.

Frequently asked questions

Should I use the same SDK in both test devices and production environments?

While not mandatory, it is recommended to replicate the exact customer experience, unless testing for a future release. Mobile applications use the same API key in testing and production (unless you create a separate development application in Pendo), and there will not be a distinction in the data collected if you do use the same SDK/API key. This can affect your analytics. However, you do have the option to utilize the Exclude list to filter your own data from analytics.

Should I get an SDK for each development and production environment?

This depends on your business needs, but for more information, please reach out to your Account Manager. 

Can I test a mobile guide with only an IP address?

No, we currently do not have an out-of-the-box option to do this. Alternatively, you can create a test segment that segments users to the development app version. 

What counts as a guide being dismissed and not eligible to show again?

In some cases, your users may put your app in the background on their phone; by pressing the home button on Android or swiping up/Touch ID button on iOS.  When this happens, if a guide is displayed, the guide will not dismiss and will be expected to show again when they launch your app again. Your guide is considered dismissed (and not expected to show again) when clicking on a button with a dismiss action, clicking the x buttons in the corner, or completing the last step of the guide.

Note: Clicking the Back button on an Android device dismisses the guide.