Guide display alerts

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Guide display alerts surface instances where guide steps did not display for a user. There are lots of complications that may prevent a guide step from displaying. Changes to your application, changes to page rules, element targets that rely on user inputs, or custom code may all result in situations where the guide doesn't display correctly every time or stops displaying entirely.

The Alerts table shows alerts for each guide step that failed to display. The table includes additional details:

  • Type of alert
  • Visitors impacted
  • How often the step failed to display

The Alert Status, Mute, and Notes options are used in the Alert Review workflow to track and communicate the status of alerts that are actively being worked on and silence false alarms.

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Requirements

  • Agent Version 2.41.1 or greater

Respond to guide alerts

When you receive a guide alert, there is a sequence of steps required to identify and resolve issues and follow up with visitors as necessary. The action necessary to fix an alert is going to be entirely dependent on your guide, but the alert type provides a starting point. Visitors impacted and alert rate indicate the severity of the issue, show which visitors did not see the guide step, and how often visitors using that guide did not see that guide step. Alert seen dates provide a time window when the alerts took place. Use this information to investigate the cause of the alert.

Investigate the guide step

Select Triage to mark that you're investigating the alert. This lets other users in your subscription know that this alert is being worked on and helps you keep track of alerts that haven't been reviewed yet.

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1. Look at the Alert Type to narrow down which part of the guide you need to check.

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  • Page Mismatch - the guide step could not display because the visitor's current URL did not match the page selected in Location settings for the guide step
  • Element Missing - the guide step could not display because the target element selected in Location settings for the guide step was not present
  • Other - any cause other than Page Mismatch or Element Missing, may include issues with custom code, applications errors, connectivity problems, etc

 

2. Click on the impacted step to go to the Guide Details page. From the Guide Details page you can see the Page Location and Target Element in the Activation tile which can be used to troubleshoot a single-step guide. You need to open the Visual Design Studio to change these settings.

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For multi-step guides, you need to open the Visual Design Studio to see the settings for a specific step. Find the impacted step in the Content Preview and hover over it to launch the Designer on that step.

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3. If you have Page Mismatch or Element Missing alerts, check the Location tab in Container Settings. Container Settings should open by default when the Designer opens. Make sure you're on the correct page in your application and that the UI is in the correct context for the guide step. For more complicated guides, like walkthroughs, you may need to navigate in your app before you can begin troubleshooting settings.

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  • To resolve a Page Mismatch alert, check if the selected page location still works. Select a new page or tag a new page if the Page Location is incorrect.
  • To resolve an Element Missing alert, check if the target element is present and that the targeting rule identifies the expected element. Re-target a new element if your target element is incorrect.
  • To resolve an Other alert, investigate the guide content. Check custom elements for the guide, like code blocks, to determine if a technical issue may have interrupted the guide. If you can't find any defects in the guide, look for other causes outside of the guide content and settings.

False positives

The sensitivity of guide alerts may result in false positives. Certain guide design choices that are desirable to get the right user experience may accidentally trigger an alert. For example, you can target a guide step for an element that doesn't appear until a user activates it or appears after a process runs in your application, this expected delay might still trigger an Element Missing alert if the element wasn't present before the display error threshold elapsed. In this case, nothing is technically wrong with the guide, the user or application did not respond as expected. In these situations, you can mute the alert to hide it from the Alerts table.

 

Add a note

You can add notes to a single alert to inform other Pendo users in your subscription about additional context that isn't available in the Alerts table. You have details and knowledge about your app that can supplement the alert data and help other users understand the alert. If you have a team handling your display alerts, notify other users that an issue is being handled and avoid doing double work. Add an alert to a muted guide to explain why and save someone from investigating it again.

 

Assess the level of impact

Additional details in the Alerts table are used to measure the severity of the issue. Consider all of the available information and the significance of the guide content when making a decision on remediation and next steps. An alert during a simple feature walkthrough is unfortunate but likely doesn't introduce any risk or carry any consequences. An alert for a critical notification may require further investigation and follow-up. The Alerts table is just a tool to help you maintain situational awareness of your in-app messaging. Your root cause analysis and response processes are unique to your organization.

 

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Visitors Impacted shows the number of visitors who did not see the indicated guide step. Click on the number to see a list of these visitors. From the list, you can click on an individual visitor ID to see their visitor timeline and identify why they might not have seen the step, like clicking the wrong element in a walkthrough or navigating to the wrong page. Download the entire visitor list as a CSV to create a segment for additional analysis or communication to the entire group of impacted users.

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Alert Rate indicates the proportion of visitors who trigger an alert versus the total number of visitors who completed that step. A higher percentage indicates that most users did not have that guide step display as expected. A lower percentage may mean that the alert is isolated to certain users or a false positive.

 

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Alert Dates can help identify the time window when a display issue impacted users. Alerts are only generated by actual visitors attempting to use the guide. The actual defect causing the alerts may have originated earlier than the first alert date and may continue to exist after the last alert date. The timing of an alert may align with changes in your app or Pendo tags that incidentally affected the guide. This can aid in finding the root cause of the display alert. It's important to change alert status to "Resolved" so other Pendo users investigating know that an alert has been addressed.

The data in the Alerts table is limited by the date range set in the filters at the top of the page. The first and last alert date will show the first and last alert within the select date range, the actual first and last recorded alert may be outside of the selected date range. Investigate a wider date range to make sure you've found the entire duration the display issue was present if you think the underlying issue has been present for a long time.

 

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Change the Alert Status to Resolved to indicate that the display issue has been investigated and fixed. The status will stay resolved unless another alert is triggered. If another alert is triggered the alert status will change to Not Reviewed.

 

Top Stats table

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The Top Stats table provides a summary of the number of alerts and their current statuses for the selected date range and app. Muted alerts are removed from the total count.

 

Alerts table

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The Alerts table shows all alerts and impact data according to the filters selected at the top of the page. An alert triggers when a guide step doesn't display within a specified amount of time. A guide step can have multiple alerts, one for each alert type, and a guide can have alerts for each guide step.

Each alert row shows the impacted step, guide name, alert type, alert status, number of visitors impacted, alert rate, first alert date, and last alert date. The columns can be customized and additional columns can be added for total visitors, last updated, activation method, segment, and app. Each column can be sorted. Sorting by visitors impacted or alert rate helps to prioritize the most significant alerts.

Controls on each alert allow you to change the status and mute the alert. Configuration options on the table are used to toggle visibility for muted alerts, group alerts together by guide, change alert settings, and edit the displayed columns.

 

Alert type

Alert types indicate the likely source of the display issue. You should use the alert type as the starting point when investigating an alert.

  • Page Mismatch - the guide step could not display because the visitor's current URL did not match the page selected in Location settings for the guide step
  • Element Missing - the guide step could not display because the target element selected in Location settings for the guide step was not present
  • Other - any cause other than Page Mismatch or Element Missing, may include issues with custom code, applications errors, connectivity problems, etc

 

Alert status

Alert statuses indicate if there are new alerts that haven't been reviewed or if existing alerts are being actively worked by a Pendo user. New alerts display in the table with the "Not Reviewed" status but the "Triage" and "Resolved" statuses are set manually by Pendo users to communicate the status of an alert as it's being worked.

  • Not Reviewed - new alerts that have not been worked yet or resolved alerts that have a new alert that changes the status
  • Triage - set this status to indicate that an alert is being investigated
  • Resolved - set this status to indicate that the alert is fixed, alerts with this status will eventually be removed from the table if there are no new alerts

 

Visitor impact

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The Impacted Visitors, Total Visitors, and Alert Rate columns show the number of visitors affected by the display issue. Alert rate is the percentage of impacted visitors to total visitors.

 

Mute alerts

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If an alert has been investigated and found to be a false positive, the alert can be muted so it's hidden and doesn't continue to display as Not Reviewed whenever another false positive alert is triggered.

Hover over the alert and click the bell to mute the alert. This hides the alert from the table for all users and prevents additional alerts from making the alert visible. The Show Muted Alerts toggle displays all muted alerts in the table.

 

Notes

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Communicate with other Pendo users in your subscription about an alert using notes. You may want to add a note when you start to investigate the alert, when you find the root cause, or when you're fixing the guide to let other members of your team know that the issue is being handled. It's also helpful to add context to a muted alert.

 

Click on Show Notes to open the Guide Activity slide-out.

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Type your note and click Add Note.

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The note is added to a feed of all notes for this alert with a date and time stamp. You can edit or delete your note as needed. An edited note will have (edited) added to the end of the message but the date and time stamp isn't changed.

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Alerts Table Configuration

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Show Muted Alerts displays all muted alerts in the table. The number indicates the current number of muted alerts.

Group by Guide groups alerts for steps within the same guide together so all alerts for a single guide can be managed collectively. Alerts are generated by guide step for each alert type. Each guide step could have up to three alerts, one for each alert type. Grouping by guide can consolidate lots of alerts together. Grouping by guide limits the effectiveness of sorting columns. Alerts are sorted within the context of the guide groups and it can be more difficult to identify the most significant display issues with this view.

Alert Settings contains the Display Error Threshold setting which controls how much time should elapse before a display alert is triggered. The default time is 10 seconds.

Column Settings are used to add, remove, and change the order of the columns in the table. Click on a column header to sort by that column.

 

Frequently asked questions

Can guide display alerts predict when guides will break?

No. Display alerts are reactive and will not catch guide display issues before they occur. Visitor interaction with a guide triggers an alert. We do not have automation in place to automatically test published guides.

 

I have a display alert, but I've tested the guide and there's nothing wrong with it.

There will likely be the occasional false positive when the guide is working properly. The error may have been triggered by unexpected behavior such as a network error, use of code blocks, or complex activation settings. Muting an "Other" alert type to silence false positives won't silence other alert types and you will be still be notified if there are issues with the page or element targets. You can periodically check muted alerts to make sure there haven't been any significant increases in the alert rate.

 

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