Why isn't a step showing?

You’re building a flow, everything seems to be correct, but when you go test your flow, it gets stuck mid-way. 

Why isn’t that step showing? What is happening with your flow and how can you fix it?

This article will provide you with some quick tips and tools to help you figure out why a step isn’t showing and serves as part 2 to the article ' Why isn't my flow showing?'.

There is one main troubleshooting tool that you can use to understand why a flow/step isn’t showing (it's also used by our support team!): 

  • Appcues debugger - this tool helps you get context about the status of your installation and about what is happening while your flow is showing (or not showing!)

How do I open the debugger?

Right-click on the Appcues Chrome extension and choose "Debug flows on this page" or call Appcues.debug() in your browser's javascript console.

Now that you know what the debugger is and how to access it, trigger your flow and open the debugger while testing the flow to understand why the step isn't showing.

While your flow is showing, you will see the name of the flow and details about the group and step (under the section 'Showing flow').

Below is an example of the context provided by the debugger while a flow is running.

In this example, the flow gets stuck when it reaches part 3 of step 2 with the error ' Content omitted'. This is a common error that can happen when your tooltip/hotspot is anchored to an element that isn't unique or valid. In order to fix this, open the flow in the builder to manually build a new selector for that step or to add more filters to it like in the GIF below. Learn more about picking the right selector here.

Then, some other errors can also be happening, especially if you have navigation steps in your flow. 

In the example below, we can see that the following step never shows and the section 'Showing Flow' turns grey and says ' Wait for matching page'. This means that the navigation step added to the flow doesn't match where the users are actually going. In the example, we can see that the user is clicking on 'settings', but the debugger is telling us that on the flow it was set up to go to '/about'. 

To fix this, open the flow in the builder and add the correct path for that navigation step (in this case, '/settings'). Another thing to keep in mind is that if there are dynamic elements on the URL, make sure to use wildcards/custom properties correctly. Our doc about building flows across pages provides a good overview of how to set them up properly.

Another error that can happen when there's a page change is a ' Tracking pages' error. In the example below, we can see that the section 'Tracking Pages' goes red and never recovers. Upon expanding the section, we can see that the last tracked URL is different from the current URL, meaning that Appcues isn't tracking page changes. In order for Appcues to work, it needs to know the current page the user is on. 

When this error occurs, it indicates that there is an issue with the Appcues.page() call and the installation. To fix this, your developers will want to check and make sure there's an Appcues.page() call whenever there's a page-load in your app. 

If the debugger is  no longer saying 'showing flow' when you get to the step that isn't showing, there could be some reasons for that such as a page refresh or a page change. Here are some checks you can do to verify everything is working as you're expecting:

  • The previous step didn't complete properly: make sure that you're clicking on the targeted element to progress the flow and not elsewhere (for instance, if the tooltip is asking users to navigate by clicking on 'settings' and the user clicks on 'login', that will cause the flow to break).
  • Missing navigation step: Is there a navigation step to match the page the user is going to? Remember to add a navigation step anytime there is a URL change.
  • Incorrect navigation step: make sure the URL the user is going to and the navigation step is the same (ie, the navigation URL has to be different from the URL before the navigation step); if there are dynamic elements update them properly. For this, check out our doc about building a flow across pages.
  • Refresh or page change: an application refresh on the current page or the user refreshing the page will cause the flow to break.
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