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Built by Wes

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Wes Feller
Software Engineer @ CommandBar
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February 26, 2024

Introducing: RudderStack integration 💜

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We're super pumped to announce our integration with Rudderstack today.

We're sure you already know about them, but as a refresher, RudderStack is a Customer Data Platform that lives on top of your data warehouse. In short, RudderStack takes data from where it is collected (like your website or app) and delivers it to all the different tools you use, translating it into a language they can understand. Starting today, CommandBar is one of those tools.

What does this mean for you, a RudderStack customer?

It means you can now configure your settings to set up CommandBar as a destination in RudderStack.

Our friends at RudderStack wrote up a very helpful doc on how you can quickly do this.

Check it out here.

What does this mean for you, a CommandBar customer?

It means you can do more of what we love to preach: target, target, target.

Once you've enabled the integration (as shown below), you can start using client-side events data to make your nudges meet the right users, at the right time.

your image alt text

There are many ways this could look like (depending on what data you collect and from where), but here's an example of a use case:

User clicks a button for a specific feature in the app, triggering an event -> Event is sent to RudderStack and CommandBar at the same time -> CommandBar triggers an experience immediately to let the user know about new functionality of that feature.

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January 15, 2024

🎯 Bringing content in one place and more targeting

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The first CommandBar updates of the year are here.

You might know about our obsession with easy-to-use, non-annoying software. Many of the features we ship are built with your users in mind. But that's not to say we don't care about you (we do 🥹). 

From time to time, we want to make sure that how you're setting up experiences in the CommandBar app is as clear as possible. So as a follow-up to our dashboard decluttering from December, we've done some more cleanup to help you find things easier.  But first... 

🥸 Let's talk atrocious product tours

Info for "Building product tours that don't suck" workshop

We're doing a deep dive into real-life examples of great and not-so-great product tours (we promise not to name and shame... much). Join us to learn how to build tours that your users don't dismiss immediately (or drop off before step 2).

Sign up here.

Now, onto the...

Product Updates

💫 Content, content everywhere

Traditionally, content you were bringing into CommandBar lived in many places (you were able to add stuff from HelpHub tab, Integrations, etc). This caused confusion. And we hate user confusion. So Maggie and Thomas brought everything together, in one place, under the Content tab.

Why should you care?

This makes it easier for you to find where to upload and sync things like help docs, website scrapes, answers, videos, and custom docs.

It also makes it easier for you to edit, sort, or filter this content (such as making a source available for training only or making it private).

🎯 When targeting nudges, you can now trigger “On event tracked” based on more detailed properties of the event. For instance, if a user clicks a button, instead of just responding to any button click, you can target the response based on specific properties of that event, like whether the button was for "checkout," "start now," or "pay now." Shoutout to Paul 👊 and keep your eyes peeled for more hyper-detailed tracking coming soon.

⏳ Wes added a new trigger for nudges: after time on page lets you define a period of time before you nudge a user with an experience (i.e. Show your shiny new feature 10 seconds after your user opens the app. You know, so you don't startle them.)

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December 29, 2023

🦅 UI improvements, launch week, and prey birds

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Humblebrag alert. While most teams get lazy before the holidays, we were in full beast mode last week and launched five features that make nudges less annoying. That's on top of our regularly scheduled product improvements.

The CommandBar team also got together at our HQ in San Francisco to learn competitor empathy with the help of Peregrine Falcons. If that sounds unhinged, it's because it was. This LinkedIn post from our CEO, James, will clarify it.

I wanted the team to feel what it was like to have an apex predator rush towards them at full speed. I felt this would help them understand what it feels like to be in a competitive deal against CommandBar. “How are they moving so fast?” “Why are they so intense?” “I need to get out of here.”

🗓️ Launch week

We want you to stop annoying your users this holiday season with intrusive, untimely pop-ups. Here's how:

  • Snooze: your users can choose to snooze a nudge for a later time so they can still benefit from its contents without letting it get in the way.
  • Rage clicks: choose to display a nudge whenever your users seem frustrated and are repeatedly clicking an area on your product. This way, you can point them to the right place to get help.
  • Strike tracking: track users who seem annoyed based on how many times they've quickly closed a nudge without having had the chance to read it. You can use this dashboard to experiment with your nudges (customization, triggers, targeting) and improve your strike rate.
  • Rate limits: choose to limit the number of product tours, announcements, and surveys your users will see in a given period.
  • Draggable nudges: allow users to move around a nudge until they're ready to interact with it.

✅ HelpHub improvements

Kudos to Shannon for ensuring HelpHub now gracefully collapses when nudges or checklists are activated. RIP cluttered screens.

🍫 Simulate mode toolbar enhancements

Simulate mode for a nudge

Thanks to Wes, the toolbar now shows step counts in simulations, and a nifty pencil icon for quick edits. Making tour building twice as fast and half as frustrating.

😵‍💫 Nudge-ception handled

Nudges triggering other nudges will now show a simulate mode bar for those lost in the nudge matrix.

🔃 HubSpot two-way integration

We're now syncing data in both directions.

✨ Unified action menus

Maggie has worked her magic, and now there's a consistent, organized menu for actions across nudges, checklists, and more.

That's it for today. We'll see you soon.

March 22, 2023

Pinned nudge improvements

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Over the past couple of weeks, we've shipped a few nudge improvements centered around pinned nudges. These make the pinned nudge's positioning much more intuitive — for example, now, pinned nudges are no longer hidden if half or more of its beacon is hidden. Additionally, clicking on a pinned element will now advance a tour in previews. We've also shipped some other improvements around nudge positioning when they're close to the page's borders to make sure that they are legible and intuitive for your users.

March 14, 2023

Standalone editor improvements

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We've been working to make the standalone editor more consistent when used with Questlists and nudges. Now, when using the standalone editor, nudges and Questlists won't show up unless they are previewed.

To get a nudge or a Questlist to preview, head into the "Nudges" or "Questlists" tab and click on the nudge or Questlist you want to preview. Then, it'll show up.

This reduces clutter in the editor and makes it easier to focus on the widget you're trying to edit.

February 14, 2023

Product Tours

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We just released a huge new feature: Product Tours!

Product Tours allow you to chain together nudges to walk users through your product or a piece of your product. Essentially, product tours are nudges that are triggered upon completion of a previous nudge.

Product Tours are a little different than Questlists — with Questlists, a checklist appears that the user can step through to onboard or gain familiarity with a feature. Product Tours are different in that they don't have the checklist component — they just allow a user to step through quickly, without having to worry about checking the items off. They're great for showing off something to the user quickly, without burdening them with a "to-do" list.

Here's what they look like in the editor:

You'll notice the "Add Step" button at the bottom that can be used to add as many steps as you'd like.

Product Tours are available now from the Nudges tab in the editor. Give them a try and let us know what you think!

December 12, 2022

Nudge form factors

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We have a big new feature: nudge form factors! Now, nudges can take on new form factors, including modals, popovers, and pins:

  • As a modal, the nudge will pop up in the center of the page and overlay all other elements on the page. With this form factor, the user must click out of it to proceed. Use this form factor to show important messages that users need to take action on. This is also the simplest form factor - the nudge just shows up in the middle of your screen.

  • As a popover, the nudge will hover over the page, but other elements on the page can still be clicked. Popovers can appear in the top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right of the page and will push other nudges to the side when they appear. Popovers are great for most notifications, like "toast"-style popups — users can either dismiss them or click a button that you have provided. Also, note that popovers are draggable — for example, you could put a video or image in the nudge, so users can see rich content without exiting their existing UI flow.

  • As a pin, nudges will "stick" to elements on the page. This is similar to a popover in that you can add a button to it, but it can be used to point out buttons, inputs, etc., that the user should pay attention to. These are great when combined with Questlists — they can be strung together to form an onboarding flow. Additionally, these are great for pointing out new features to users.

As before, you can create multiple nudges for many different scenarios in your app. Try creating a nudge, and let us know what you think!

November 13, 2022

Nudge improvements: A new UI, CTAs, and draggability

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We're working on improvements to nudges, and these are some of our latest enhancements:

  • A new UI: We have a new, more intuitive interface for creating nudges. Look out for more changes here in the near future.
  • Call-to-actions on nudges: You can now define a CTA on the nudge. This will present a clear next step for your users and can drive more clicks to your commands.
  • Draggability: Lastly, nudges are now draggable. Users can click to drag a nudge around. This also opens up some interesting use-cases going forward. Stay tuned!

Add a nudge.

October 12, 2022

Nudges

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A nudge is a popup you can show to users to inform or encourage them to take action. Nudges can be triggered by a command execution, or when specified conditions are satisfied.

Nudges are perfect for delivering contextual information or actions to your users. For example:

  • Inspire users on a specific page to take an action (e.g. invite friends when on the followers page).

  • Surface relevant documentation to users when they visit a specific page.

  • Let users know they can make a follow-up action, like after executing a command.

Nudges are completely customizable, either using our SDK or by customizing the styles in the settings tab.

To get started with Nudges, take a look at our help doc.

September 18, 2022

Help document commands

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Help centers are treasure troves of useful content for your users. The challenge is surfacing help content to users at the moment they need it. We developed help integrations to let users access help content via CommandBar, with only a few minutes of set up. After releasing this, we noticed some friction and drop off because users had to leave the tab to access the help document. Now, users can view help docs directly in CommandBar!

  1. Open in bar: If enabled, users can open a help document in the bar on execution, without leaving the page. Though they'll still have the ability to open the document in another page.

  2. Preview: If "preview" is enabled, we’ll display a preview in the right-hand side of the bar when the command is focused.

A few notes:

  • Commands created via a help integration will sync to CommandBar using this new command type.
  • With that said, you can use this command type for any HTML content, not just help documents.
September 11, 2022

Product playground

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CommandBar is a very visual product, so we built a new way for you to see all the features we've built and how they interact with each other: check it out at https://product.commandbar.com/.

Update (2023): the product playground is deprecated.

September 4, 2022

New help integrations

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Help docs integrations are one of the quickest, easiest ways to empower your users with CommandBar. With just a few minutes, you can connect CommandBar to your help center and give your users instant access to your help docs. By popular demand, we have recently added integrations for the following providers: Freshdesk, Wix, WordPress, Insided, GitBook, Ghost, and ReadMe. We also still have our original integrations with Zendesk and Intercom.

If you use a help center that is not supported, please let us know!

May 30, 2022

CommandDetails: May 2022

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Here are some of the more subtle (but important!) details we shipped in the month of May.

  • Some of the most frequently asked support questions relate to setting up CommandBar in SSR apps (especially NextJS apps). We wrote a guide on this.
  • We made it easier to access the settings for a category in the Editor.
  • We improved the interface editors use to set up default keyboard shortcuts for commands. In particular, the recorder now works much better on Windows!
March 30, 2022

CommandDetails: March 2022

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Here's a list of some of the smaller details we shipped this month, bottled for CommandBar connoisseurs.

  • Enable search by customized shortcut. If an end user customizes a shortcut, we'll now let them query commands using that shortcut.
  • Added autocomplete to the availability and recommendation condition editors. This makes it easier to reference context keys that are already defined (no more was it "context.userID or context.username?")
  • If you've defined a router function for reloadless navigation, whenever you create a new navigation command CommandBar will default to using the router.
  • When filtering by a major category, the results list will be fully expanded by default (an end user won't have to select "see more" to expand the category...since there's nothing below it.
March 3, 2022

Interpolate context into category names (plus fallbacks!)

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You've been able to interpolate context into command names for a while, but until now it wasn't possible to do the same thing with category names. No longer!

Use the familiar {{}} syntax to interpolate context into category names. This is useful when you want the category name to be personalized to the user or content the user is viewing.

Also, wherever you interpolate context, you can now provide a fallback value (using Handlebars syntax) to use in the event the context key used isn't available.

February 27, 2022

CommandDetails: February 2022

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Here's a list of some of the smaller details we shipped this month.

Companies utilizing our startup pricing program to get CommandBar credits (see details here to see if you're eligible) will now see those credits on the billing page. Added a way to prevent context loader functions from being called on page load or when CommandBar is closed. // Will prevent loader from being called on page load or bar close

window.CommandBar.addContext(key, []);

window.CommandBar.addContext(key, loader);

Fixed a bug preventing records from loading when categories have infinite scroll enabled When setting default keyboard shortcuts from the Editor, we now show a special warning when your shortcut uses a browser-reserved shortcut, which cannot be processed by CommandBar unless your app is shipped as a desktop application.

January 30, 2022

CommandDetails: January 2022

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Here's a list of some of the smaller details we shipped in January 2022.

We shipped some performance improvements that make CommandBar open much faster than before. Valtio-inside. We shifted our state management infrastructure to Valtio which has made CommandBar much easier to develop on. You'll see this show up as a faster flowing changelog :) Option filtering now supports "truthy" boolean operators (it used to coerce "true" to a string). Admins can now login and signup using Google auth, in addition to setting a custom password.