With autolaunchers, you can automatically launch topics on your website. This is a very effective solution to launch announcements and updates to users upon logging in or playing onboarding guides for new users.

Before you create an autolauncher

In this article, we won’t talk about building guides as such. If you haven’t created your onboarding guide yet, take a look here for instructions.

Creating an autolauncher requires several features to be enabled or implemented. This article will provide instructions on how to enable each feature to create an autolauncher for new users.

Implement people tracking

When you enable people tracking, Inline Manual will start tracking your website or application users. With that data, you can access reports to see who they are, and their behaviors. You can use these reports to discover where they are from, which tutorials they completed, and their latest activity. Enabled people tracking is required to automatically play your walkthroughs.

To enable people tracking and allow Inline Manual to gather information about your users, you need to first enable analytics. Next, add information about the logged in user as part of the boot process.

  window.userObject = {
    uid: "1", // Only this field is mandatory
    email: "john@doe.com",
    username: "johndoe",
    name: "John Doe",
    created: 1360610467,
    updated: 1433168312,
    roles: ["admin", "editor"],
    group: "Doe & Partners Inc.",
    plan: "Gold"
  InlineManual("boot", window.userObject);

Your application should replace the values set above with the currently logged in user id. The uid is the only field that is required and can be anything that is unique for the current user - a string, integer, number, e-mail etc. You can also add your own custom attributes. If you need to pass, for example, company info, you can create a custom attribute and send that information.

The created and updated fields are in UNIX Timestamp format in seconds.

To use variables from your application, replace the values with the variable name. For example:

  window.userObject = {
    uid: app_uid,
    email: app_email,
    username: app_username,
    name: app_name,
    created: app_created,
    updated: app_updated,
    roles: app_roles,
    group: app_group,
    plan: app_plan

To check if people tracking is enabled correctly, go to Inline Manual portal and see if, under the Site -> People tab, there are any users profiles gathered. Alternatively, use the Status in the Authoring tool.

Now it's time to create Segments.

Create segments

Segments allow you to categorize users into specific segments, that you can then target. There are 2 default segments that you can use: New Users and Everyone but new users. However, you can create new segments with a different set of parameters.

To create a segment:

  1. Login to Inline Manual portal with your e-mail and password

  2. Go to Sites and choose the site you want to create a segment for.

  1. Go to the People tab. You will see a list of all your active users along with 2 default segments: Everyone but new users and New users.

  1. You can create a new segment or add rules to segments you created previously. Choose if all rules have to be met (and) or just some of them (or).

  1. Click + Add parameter button to add more rules. You can add multiple parameters. Add relevant rules based on the data you send to us. Refer to people tracking for more information. Set up Field (eg. role) and Condition (eg. contains: Admin).

  1. When all parameters are set, click the Save segment button.

  1. Name you new segment and click Save.

  1. The new segment appears on the list under Segments.

  1. If you want to edit the segment use the pencil icon, and if you wish to delete the segment, use the trash bin icon. You can also delete parameters or add more and update the segment.

Can't determine new users by created/registration date:

The default New users segment may be a simple choice but might impose an issue. Newly created users may see the topic if they stay signed in to the application but might miss it if they suddenly sign out or leave. Once they get back, the rule Created within 30 minutes will return false and the topic won’t launch for them anymore.

You can use the First seen rule for this, or you can send info from your platform that they are new as part of one of the fields. Note that the player will be checking the First seen information on the time when the user is seen after the Inline Manual player is implemented. So for example, a user logs in a day before the Inline Manual player has been implemented then logs back in a day after the player has been implemented, then that will be the first time that the user has been seen by the player.

You can abuse fields from people tracking e.g. roles or groups to send other information that is not available from the default people tracking fields.

Create an autolauncher

To create an autolauncher:

  1. Login to Inline Manual portal with your email and password.

  2. Go to Sites and choose the site you want to create an autolauncher for.

  1. Go to the Automation tab.

  2. Click + Create new autolauncher to add an autolauncher.

  1. It will open a form that you need to fill in with relevant data. Choose a Topic that you want to apply to an autolauncher.

  1. Define your audience. Start with deciding if all rules have to be met (and) or just some of them (or). Then, you can choose an already existing segment. But you can also add additional parameters. You can add up to 20 parameters.

    If a Topic has its availability set to a certain Segment/s, this needs to be the same in the Autolauncher audience. If the Autolauncher audience is not duplicated, the Topic will launch but it will not be visible. This is not needed if you are using the latest version of the Beta Player.

You'll see a preview of a list of your users. Please note that a new user will appear in the database of Inline Manual within 2-3 minutes.

  1. Now, you can add user environment rules. You can add Element and Current URL rules with AND/OR conditions. You can add multiple parameters, eg. you can add a parameter that an element X is visible and that the user is on a specific URL. The autolauncher will then launch only if these conditions are met.

Within the Element rule, you need to provide a CSS selector of the element.

Within the Current URL rule, you need to provide a part of the URL or the whole URL.

  1. Choose a Number of plays - how many times the autolauncher should play the selected topic. By default, the autolauncher is set to play only once. If you want to launch the autolauncher several times, enter the specific number. If you want to play it again and again, enter 0.

  1. With Play again after, you can set up autolauncher to play topic multiple times. This setting allows you to set a minimum time interval to start the topic again. If you set it to 24 hours, the autolauncher will launch again after the 24 hours interval.

  1. Check Play only if topic wasn't completed. Checking this option (checked by default) will make the autolauncher play only if it wasn't completed (the user didn't go through the whole walkthrough to the end).

  1. You can also check Allow users to dismiss this autolaunched topic. Choosing this option allows your users to opt-out from the autolaunched topic. If the user has chosen to dismiss the autolaunched topic, the topic will not be launched automatically in the future whether the user has completed the topic or not.

Now if you want to, you can take advantage of advanced activation rules.

  1. You can select a Language. The autolauncher will activate only when InlineManualOptions.language is set to appropriate language code (ISO 639-1 code e.g. en for English).

  1. You can select a Device. The autolauncher will activate only on particular device category. Choose from All, Mobile or Desktop.

  1. You can also set up URL Match. Please note that if you set up rules above in the User environment, you don't need to set up the URL match again here. User environment settings give you more flexibility as you can create multiple rules with AND/OR conditions and add element visibility to that too.

  • Pattern - Launcher is activated only when URL matches this pattern. Enter absolute URL with * as a wildcard: e.g. ://.example.com/*, :///some/path, :///?aa=&bb=123#xxx
  • Match (regex) - enter regular expression that should match.
  • Not match (regex) - enter a regular expression that should not match.

  1. With scheduled publishing, you can set up auto-publishing and auto-expiration dates.

  1. If all set confirm adding an autolauncher with the Create button.

  1. Create and deactivate button means that your autolauncher will be created, but inactive (paused). You can use this feature for creating "drafts."

Test with the status tool

Once your autolauncher is set up, you can check for inconsistencies using the Inline Manual Status Tool. This tool checks the overall status of the player on your website, along with other features like segments, variables, automation and more.

The main sections that need to be checked on the results are the segmentation and autolaunchers.

You can find the whole guide about troubleshooting autolaunchers here.

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