FAQ for Developers
What is Appcues?
Appcues is an in-app user engagement platform meant to empower your non-technical colleagues. It allows them to create targeted modals, guided tours and other types of user experiences without having to burden engineering with the implementation. Someone from marketing, product or support can create and publish a flow to the right user at the right time.
The platform is made of two parts:
- A web application used to design and publish flows—modals, guided tours, etc.—without any code.
- An in-app SDK that delivers flows to your application for the intended users.
How does this help my team?
As an engineer, how often do you get these kinds of questions?
- "Can you add a modal in the app when someone signs in for the 4th time?" — The marketing team
- "We just launched a new feature. Can you come up with a few tooltips that teach someone how to use it?" — Some product manager
- "People keep getting confused by this. Can you add a little beacon to call out this text, but only for admin users?" — A support rep
You're a team player and want to help, but these kinds of tasks aren't a good use of your time. You should be working on the hard problems—building distributed systems, upgrading your frontend framework, fixing critical bugs. Likewise, your non-technical colleagues don't enjoy bothering you either. They know you have an endless backlog and are in the middle of an important sprint.
Everyone just wants to be able to do their own job effectively.
If your team was using Appcues, they'd be able to do those tasks and much more, immediately and without requiring help from you.
How do I install Appcues?
Note: To view the guide, you will need to be invited to your team's Appcues account. We bill based on monthly active users of your application, so this won't affect your team's pricing package.
Installing Appcues involves a few steps:
- Adding our SDK to every page in your application where you want to use Appcues
- Re-initializing Appcues upon page loads
- Passing a unique user identifier and additional user properties
- Tracking events (optional)
Does this affect the performance of my application?
Improving app performance is an important concern for a mature engineering team, and third-party tools should be measured with the same, if not higher, standards as internal libraries.
The Appcues SDK is designed and operates in a way that minimizes the performance impact of installing it in your application. The SDK is delivered by a content delivery network (CDN) called Fastly, the same one used by Github and Twitter, to ensure rapid loading times.
The SDK can be loaded asynchronously to further lessen the impact on page load times, and our team constantly monitors the loading performance to make optimizations.
You can view our track record and current performance from the Service Status page.
Is Appcues secure?
Can I install without sharing any PII?
Appcues recommends choosing opaque and hard to guess user IDs, such as a UUID.
Choosing user IDs that are easy to guess, such as sequential numbers or email addresses, introduces a couple of potential problems with the security and data integrity of your installation.
1. If an ID can be guessed, someone could upload false or junk profile information to your users' profiles. This could potentially introduce targeting errors for those users.
2. If you use personalization, someone could spoof their user ID in order to qualify for flows that don't belong to them, allowing them to retrieve the data fields used to personalize those flows.
For these reasons, Appcues recommends choosing a user ID that is difficult to guess, and not based on any data that could easily be looked up online, such as the user's name or email address.