Recipe: Increase Feature Adoption

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The competitive software market encourages companies to develop innovative features that engage, delight, and retain their users. Companies allocate a range of organizational resources, from engineering manpower to marketing budget, to feature development and release.

The rush to build new things can leave existing features behind. Long-term, strategic gains are abandoned for short-term profit. Additionally, the pace at which new features are released means that teams don’t have time to evaluate how existing features are being used, or if they’re being used at all.

By increasing feature adoption, you can ensure that the most important features in your application are visible and used by your customers. Positive business outcomes include:

  • Increase awareness and adoption of new features.
  • Identify opportunities to focus development resources.
  • Reach a target number of end users that have adopted the new feature.
  • Uncover features that are rarely, if ever, used.

Step 1: Identify what features need increased adoption

Look at the interactions your users have with the features in your application. For information on how to use Pendo to understand which features are most or least used by users, see Viewing Feature Data

Form a hypothesis based on what you're trying to understand. Consider the following questions:

    • What existing features represent the majority of clicks by our end users?
    • Is the newly-released feature being adopted by our end users? If so, what is the week-over-week gain in adoption?
    • Are we meeting our target thresholds? For example, feature X represents the culmination of many development hours. To justify the work, the feature must have Y amount of clicks or Z percentage of Visitor or Account interaction within the first month of release. 
    • What features aren't being used by our end users?
      • Are there other ways to accomplish the same task in the application?
      • Do we have an opportunity to deprecate this feature?


Step 2: Set specific goals

Once you've identified a feature in your application that you'd like to highlight to increase adoption, set some specific goals for what success looks like for your business. 

Use can set goals within Pendo to visually track your progress towards increased feature adoption. For more information, see the Goals article.

Use ongoing goals to give you flexibility to reach your target over any span of time, measured on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Use time-bound goals to measure your feature adoption progress over a specific window of time.

Goals are configured on a per-feature basis, and can be viewed from a feature’s details page. You can also view your progress through the use of a Dashboard widget.



Step 3: Highlight a feature

Once you've identified a feature that you'd like to highlight, and associated goals for its adoption, you can create a tooltip Guide to draw visitors' attention to it (Option 1), or create an Announcement in the Resource Center (Option 2).

Option 1: Deploy a tooltip Guide to highlight a feature

The instructions that follow involve building a tooltip Guide for a web-based application using one of our default layouts. You can use other layouts to suit your needs.

1. Log in to Pendo and navigate to Guides from the left-side navigation.

2. Select + Create Guide from the top-right corner.

3. Select your application from the dropdown menu.

4. From Default Layouts, select the layout called "Tooltip: Start From Scratch".


5. Give your tooltip Guide a name. It might be helpful to include the name of the target feature in your Guide name.

Note: You can create a temporary name and change it later. Check whether you have an existing naming convention with your internal Pendo Guide admins.

6. Select Manage in my app at the top of the Content section.


7. Enter your page URL, and select Launch Designer. This opens Target Mode in the Visual Design Studio.

The Visual Design Studio is the name of the designer for building in-app guides. Target mode allows you to anchor your Guide to a particular element in your page. For more information, see Guide Activation Options – Visual Design Studio.


8. Target the feature you want to draw attention to.

Once you've selected your element, the Edit Container appears with the Location tab open. For more information on the options available to you, see Understanding Visual Design Studio.

9. Add content to your tooltip. For information, see Using Content Blocks.


10. Save your progress and navigate back to your newly created tooltip Guide in Pendo.

11. Define your intended audience by selecting Edit in the the Segment section. When you've chosen your segment, select Save.

For an existing feature, you might want to only show the tooltip Guide to users who haven’t interacted with the feature before. You can also build segments that target new visitors by targeting those with a Time Since First Visit: <30 days.


12. Preview your tooltip Guide and, when you're ready, set your tooltip Guide to Public using the dropdown menu in the top-right of the page.

Option 2: Announce a feature in the Resource Center.

The Resource Center is a centralized location in your application for providing access to in-app support, Feedback, and Announcements through integrated modules. For more information, see the Resource Center Overview

You can create an Announcements Module in your Resource Center to deliver in-app notifications to your visitors. As with in-app Guides, you can apply segments to your Announcements so that you can target your communications appropriately. For more information, see the Announcements Module Overview.

Step 4: Measure success

Build a report to measure your progress towards feature adoption.

Use Data Explorer to monitor the efficacy of your campaign to increase feature adoption. Data Explorer is Pendo's data visualization tool, which can be found by navigating to Behaviour > Data Explorer in the left-side navigation.

From here, you can build a Feature Adoption report based on Feature Clicks over time. This shows you whether adoption of your feature has increased since implementing your tooltip Guide or Resource Center Announcement. For more information, see the Data Explorer article. Bar_Graph_Matthew.png

You can also create widgets for your Dashboard. 

1. Open the Dashboards tab from the left-side navigation.

2. Find and select your dashboard from the list.

3. Select + Add Widget in the top-right corner.

4. Choose the appropriate widget and customize your widget with the desired information.

Use the Page/Feature User Over time widget to visualize data for your feature, alongside other pages and features in your application. Use the Feature Adoption widget to show you which areas of the your application users find the most valuable. Fore more information about the Feature Adoption widget, see the Feature Adoption Analysis Widget article.


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