'Tech Talk' webinar on Guides


In this post, you'll be able to find materials from our 2022 webinar series Tech Talk.  This particular session focused on Guides and was presented on:

  • November 3, 2022 12:00 PM ET
  •  September 1, 2022 12:00 PM ET 


The webinar content will help you answer these questions:

  • How are Pendo guides structured? 
  • What logic is used to determine when and how a Pendo guide will be displayed to an end-user?
  • When should I consider using a custom code block in my Pendo guides?
  • What advanced guide settings should I know about?
  • What are some common things to check when a guide or guide step isn’t displaying?


Who should review these materials:

  • Everyone responsible for building Guides at their company on an ongoing basis. 


Webinar materials:



  • Update

    The slides and recording from our session on Guides can be found below: 


  • Thanks to everyone that joined us for our recent Guides Tech Talk. There were a ton of great questions that came in through the chat so we wanted to post those questions and short answers to them here. 


    1. Can we loop a guide? We have a setup guide where clients will select from a dropdown go through the guide steps, and then go back to the dropdown, select another option, and go through the guide steps again. Is this possible?

      Yes, this should be possible. One common way to accomplish this workflow is to use the ‘Go to Step’ guide button action so that the button on the last step of the guide navigates the user back to the beginning step of the guide. More information on Guide Button Actions can be found at - https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032204131-Guide-Button-Actions

    2. Can we set up a specific date on when the guide should be deactivated?

      Yes, this is definitely possible. On the guide details page, there is a scheduling section that allows you to schedule both a start and end time for the guide. More information on scheduling can be found at - https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360031864612-Guide-Details-Settings-Visual-Designer-#4-scheduling-0-6

    3. Is there a way to use the same guide on multiple pages? So say a site has a similar feature that is not coded the same way, so it needs to have the same guide used in multiple places. I'd prefer not to duplicate guides if content needs to be updated later.

      Yes, this is definitely possible. To do this you will create one page tag that encompasses all of the URLs you need to be included for that specific guide. We have a Tech Corner video that walks through creating a rule like that - you can find that video at https://academy.pendo.io/tagging-pages-in-pendo-with-multiple-page-rules

    4. For a guide with automatic activation, if a user views the guide from a permalink, will it still be displayed automatically on page load if they visit the page at a later time?

      It would not. Because the visitor saw the guide - the guide would no longer be eligible for automatic activation for that user (assuming you have not set up the repeat guide display settings for that guide). More information on Permalinks can be found at - https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032203891-Guide-Permalinks

    5. Wondering if there is any way to have a guide with multiple steps appear automatically on Step 1 but then have Step 2 appear automatically when the “correct” target element is selected?

      The Pendo agent is constantly scanning the page for changes to elements on the page. Assuming that step 1 of the guide has advanced, and step 2 is tied to a specific target element - step 2 will appear as soon as that element appears on the page.

    6. Is it possible to show multiple target elements above the backdrop?

      Unfortunately, this is not currently possible - but would make a great feature request. Please feel free to use the Pendo Resource Center to submit a feature request if you would find this functionality helpful.

    7. Can we use permalinked guides so the guide only displays to users who specifically clicked the link?

      Yes - this is definitely possible. To do this you will simply need to turn off all of the activation methods of the guide. Once the activation methods are turned off you can set the guide to a status of ‘Public’ and any user that fits the guide segment can access that guide through a permalink. More information on Permalinks can be found at - https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032203891-Guide-Permalinks.

    8. Are there size restrictions for embedded media?

      While we don’t have set limits on the size of embedded media overly large file sizes will delay the time it takes for the guide to display to end users (since that content needs to load before the guide can display). In general, I would just recommend thoroughly testing the guide after adding media to it to make sure you aren’t seeing any delays.

    9. Do you have additional information on how to ensure guides appear in your resource center library? Some of my guides appear all the time, but others only appear on certain pages (even when they are public), I'd like to learn how to control what appears within the guide for my users better.

      The most important thing to keep in mind is that for the guide to appear in the resource center that guide has to be eligible to display to that user in that specific area of the application. This means that a guide set to appear on a specific page will only appear in the resource center when the user is on that page. More information on the resource center can be found at - https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360031866712-Resource-Center-Overview
  • Thanks for joining us for the Nov 3rd session on Guides. Please reference the first comment for the recording & slides.

    Below are some of the great questions & answers we received during the session today:


    Question: Are there any beginner resources I can reference?

    We have some videos available in Pendo academy. You can access that via https://academy.pendo.io/. I would recommend taking a look at Pendo Essentials as well as the Tech Corner videos. Also, we have a New User Overview here: https://academy.pendo.io/new-user-overview. Please Note: If your Pendo subscription is in the EU instance, please change the domain in the above links to academy.eu.pendo.io


    Question: What is NPS?

    NPS is a standard industry metric, and you can learn more about Pendo’s NPS capabilities here: https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360033527151-Set-up-NPS-Survey


    Question: I thought I saw where you just launched banner guides for mobile too, no?

    I believe that is something the product team is currently working on but hasn’t been released yet.


    Question: Is there a way to insert our own HTML/CSS/JS?

    Yes, via a custom code block. You can learn more here: https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032204051-Using-Building-Blocks#custom-code-0-29


    Question: If our site only has a few page URLS, but many different elements, can we still differentiate that different guides will display on different elements on the same page URL?

    Yes - that should be possible as long as there are different CSS selectors available on the different elements on the same URL. If your application is built on a single-page framework you may want to consider implementing the Location API to give different pages different URLs (sent to Pendo). More information on that can be found at - https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/community/posts/8430991458715-Tech-Note-Transform-the-URL-collected-by-Pendo-using-Location-API-web-only-


    Question: Can you skip a guide step conditionally? Like lets say some features aren’t visible to all users but you don’t want to create separate guides based on one missing step.

    Not with default functionality within the Visual Designer. However, you can use custom code via the custom code block. Our Professional Services team has provided this code snippet example: https://github.com/pendo-io/snippets/tree/master/guides/goToGuideStep/skipStepNoElement

    However, you will have to use this  code example at your own risk. Our Support team isn’t able to provide support for it. If you need assistance, you would need to purchase time with our Professional services team.


    Question: HTML element matching is proving to be my biggest challenge.  Not an easy way to see if the user has the option / access to the feature and then not do the guide if they don't.

    It might be worth looking into the code snippet at https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032204051-Using-Building-Blocks#custom-code-0-29 to see if that might work for you. If not you might want to adjust how you create and segment guides - setting up separate guides for different audiences based on the features they have available.


    Question: Can we trigger another guide once someone clicks on close button ?

    We have a button action of ‘Launch Guide’ that you could use as the dismiss button in a guide - and it would launch another guide. To use this you would turn off the dismiss x in the upper right-hand side of the guide and set a dismiss button with 2 actions (dismiss and launch another guide)


    Question: How can we make it so a guide can activate until dismissed a # of times.  I find the feature, but it has a bottom limit of 1 hour before it will trigger again.  I want a user to see the feature everytime they log in if they exist in a segment until they dismiss it twice or three times.

    You are correct that what you want currently isn’t possible with our repeat guide display feature.  I would recommend submitting this as a feature request to our product team so that they can further expand the capabilities of the repeat guide display feature.


    Question: Can you make the Resource Center Badge smaller (there is a pixel limiter in UI) through Global CSS?

    I haven’t tried it myself, but it may be worth trying. Many things that aren’t possible via the default options in the Visual Designer can be achieved via Global CSS.

    A few things to keep in mind for Global CSS:

    1) Make sure to submit a feature request so our Product team knows people want to do X via default functionality (instead of having to resort to Global CSS as a workaround)

    2) You'll want to be extremely careful and make sure you're narrowly targeting only the desired element. Please note that Global CSS is applied to your application and has the ability to modify its styling if CSS selectors are not scoped correctly. It is quite powerful and should be used with appropriate caution. Changes to your global styles can affect all existing guides.


    Question: Is adding spellcheck to the visual guide designer on the roadmap?

    I’m not aware of spellcheck being on the roadmap. If that’s something you’d like to see, please submit a feature request!


    Question: Can you have a delay on guide until end of session?

    Pendo doesn’t really have the concept of sessions. You would want to set the guide to be activated based on an activity they are likely to do at/near the end of the session. Whether that is a particular page they are on or a button they may click. 


    Question: Can you activate a guide on an n-th time a visitor comes to the page? E.g., I don’t want to show them a CSAT the first time they’re here. Instead, I want them to use the page 10 times, and on the 11th time show them my CSAT

    You can segment guides by application usage. So you could segment a guide to visitors that have seen x page at least X number of times. 


    Question: For prioritizing guides, it’d be helpful to search through them. Is search on the roadmap?

    Search is not currently on the roadmap for the guide ordering page (as far as I know) so I would recommend voting on it as a feature request if you have not already. 


    Question: We are aiming to recruit research participants, using Pendo tooltip guides attached to particular elements, and letting them schedule a Zoom session with me as UX researcher.

    That’s a great use case for guides. We have an example showing guides for Research participation on this site: https://www.pendo.io/guide-showcase/ 


    Question: Many of our users don’t get metadata passed to Pendo, so its tough for us to segment effectively, how can we rectify this so every user comes through with metadata?

    There are a few options for adding metadata to Pendo, including:

    • Having your devs add it to the data being passed to Pendo via the installation
    • Connecting to Salesforce/Hubspot
    • Adding it via API.

    You can learn more here: https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360031832072-Visitor-and-Account-Metadata


    Question: ​​any word on adding multi-select checkbox option for surveys? All we have now is radio buttons and dropdowns... feature request already exists

    Unfortunately, we don't have any updates at the moment. 


    Question: So… with localization, you’d add the the XLIFF file to the Custom Code block?

    The xliff file is separate from the guide content. It is uploaded on the guide details page.   Check out this article: https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360031866452-Localization


    Question: If someone dismisses a guide (without completing) will they be able to re-access it in some while still on url or would it not appear again until they re-access the url another time?

    It depends on the guide activation. If the only guide activation method is automatic, the guide won’t appear again if the user dismisses it. 

    Some options to consider are: Repeat guide display or adding the guide to the Resource Center so the user can activate the guide whenever they need a refresher. 

    Learn more about guide activation here: https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360031864692-Guide-Activation-Options-Visual-Design-Studio


    Question: Do you have any framework to how to properly map out a workflow before inputting it into Pendo?

    I don’t believe we have any pre-created templates for this but I might recommend checking out a couple of the other guides related videos at academy.pendo.io (or academy.eu.pendo.io) for some additional information.


    Question: There are programmatic functions (like OnGuideDismissed()) that I would like to implement into guides. Is there any way to use these functions within a guide? I had to use a custom code block with a html button and javascript to call the function (this gets complex and isn't well documented how to do it)

    Many of those functions are already built into button actions. For example a ‘dismiss’ button calls pendo.onGuideDismissed() can you tell me more about your use case that falls outside of a custom code block. 


    Question: Any word on being able to segment using CONTAINS in the Role? E.g. user1 has roles "User, Administrator, Master User", user2 has roles "User, Amazing adminis, M User" We want to do CONTAINS "admin" once and be done, now we have to individually list each role name out which gets hectic when variations get up above 50/100+

    I don’t believe we have any changes on our roadmap related to using contains rules in list metadata. The option you referenced (passing individual role fields) is likely the best option. 


    Question: For a feature we have in beta, I'm planning to use a one-step Pendo Guide both to solicit feedback (passively) and for people to request support if they run into a problem. I plan on making this guide show up once someone clicks a 'Support' button. (1) It doesn't seem possible to edit the Guide title and description though - is that possible? (And I don't think my organization has access to the Pendo Feedback feature so that's out of the question). (2) Any thoughts about whether this will work well, or suggestions to improve my course of action? (3) Also - I'm not sure if it's possible to see granular results, i.e. wanting to see who has sent in some feedback and what exactly they said. Will I be able to see that?

    You should be able to edit the guide title within Pendo. If you’re just collecting feedback about a feature, a poll guide in Pendo should be sufficient.  If using a Pendo poll, you can see the responses under the ‘Guide metrics’ tab for the specific guide. 

    Check out our poll options here: https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032204051-Building-Blocks#open-text-poll-0-16


    Question: Common content within guides. We’re having trouble maintaining consistency with certain definitions. Do Pendo Guides support variables which insert content (best case for us, from a Git repository) (Or will Pendo support such features in the future?)

    We do support saving guide steps as layouts so one option would be to create layouts with the common content and have guide builders reuse those layouts. We do not currently have any plans on connecting guide content to external repositories. More info on creating a layout can be found at - https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032205951-Creating-a-Layout


    Question: How do you omit staging from analytics?

    You can do this by adding the staging domain to your exclude list - info on the exclude list can be found at https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032209171-Listing-101-Exclude-and-Include-Listing


    Question: How can I add guides into the Resource Center ?

    Make sure that you have either a Guide List module or Onboarding module added to the Resource Center. Then click into the specific Resource Center module to add guides. Learn more about the modules here: https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360031866712-Resource-Center-Overview


    Question: What if you change the wording of the poll question/prompt?

    As long as it is the wording of an open text poll (or the heading to a poll and not the responses themselves) that is fine. What you want to avoid changing is the text of the multi-choice polls choices. 


    Question: Where do we get the Pendo permalink to launch guide with a URL link button?

    Here’s an article showing how to get the permalink for a specific guide: https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032203891-Guide-Permalinks


    Question: Is there a benefit to using Announcements vs Guides in the What's New Announcement module in the Resource Center? Which should we be using? and is there a reason to NOT use guides in that section?

    The main difference is in how they look visually and some minor functionality differences. The advantage of using announcements is that the text remains in the RC module (without launching a separate guide) and you can get an unread badge that appears to notify user of something new. We use it quite a bit internally so I would definitely recommend trying out the announcements module if you haven't already. 


    Question: Do you have any best practice articles for guides? Specifically, use cases, frequency, content, etc.

    You might find this support article helpful - https://support.pendo.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032207011-Guide-Best-Practices


    Question: Can you make an announcement automatically appear like you can with a guide? or does it need to be through the RC

    Announcements only appear in the Resource center. Unfortunately they don’t get the other activation methods that guides do such as automatic/badge activation/target element.


    Question: Also, I cannot see announcements in the Guides section, only in the Announcements module, and that's creating a little bit of difficulties for our stakeholders to self-serve to see metrics and results

    Unfortunately you’re correct about announcements only being available in the announcements module. I can definitely understand wanting easier access for navigating to them, and I’d recommend submitting a feature request to our product team

  • Question: How is the time calculated for banners without a dismiss button?

    Average time on guide is calculated the same way for all guides, whether they are a banner, tooltip, or lightbox. Pendo shows the average time the guide was displayed (excluding outliers that exceed the average time on guide by more than 10 minutes). 

    If the guide is a banner without a dismiss button, the guide would continue to display until the visitor navigates to another page (that the guide isn't targeted to), the visitor is no longer eligible for the guide segment, or another guide is activated. You would likely see a higher average time on guide for a banner without a dismiss button compared to a banner with a dismiss button. 

    Susan Shevelenko, thanks for your patience! Here's the answer to your question from yesterday's Tech Talk


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