My take on Journey Tracking

Introducing LogSnag Tags and Custom Timelines

Before LogSnag, I worked on a product called CheckrideHQ. A two-sided marketplace for student pilots, flight instructors, and examiners. We made booking training sessions and exams easier for student pilots pursuing a private pilot license or a career in aviation.

During the development of this product, one issue that we commonly encountered was the lack of a suitable journey tracking tool for us. We were looking for something easy and dynamic enough for our use case, and we wanted to go much further than just tracking user activities. We also wanted to track the journey and the entire lifecycle of different features of our product, as well as more minor things such as email flows and support tickets.

In addition, we wanted it to be easy to use and to be able to generate timelines without any prior planning or writing any code. We wanted every member of the team to be able to use it for cases like pulling up timelines for a specific instruction or flight session during a support call.

A Simple Solution

During that process, I started building LogSnag as a tool to satisfy some of our needs, such as event tracking, push notifications, user journeys, and a few other things. One of my main goals was to simplify the journey tracking process. In addition, I wanted to redefine how we should think about the process and extend the functionality beyond what's currently possible.

I tested out a number of different ideas to find the best fit for these requirements and finally settled on one.

I found that the best way to think of it is if we think of anything's journey as a series of events for that thing filtered by a thing id. So, for example, the user journey becomes a series of user events filtered by user id, and the support ticket journey becomes a series of events filtered by ticket id.

For example, let's assume we have an e-commerce store that ships physical products to our customers. A common theme is getting support tickets or calls from customers asking for their order status. In such a case, our support team could instantly pull up a timeline for the order and get back to the customer.

Tracking shipment

We can apply this idea to almost anything, and it's even more powerful when we get to use multiple keys and include a full-text search to filter down to even a more specific timeline. All without any code and just a simple search input.

Introducing Custom Timelines

Over the last couple of months, I've been working on this feature which I now call "custom timelines," and I'm excited to share it with you. Starting from today, this feature is available for every user on LogSnag.

Let me walk you through the process of creating a custom timeline.

1. Add tags to your events

As a part of our new release, our API also gets a new optional field called tags. With tags, we can add additional context to our events by adding a list of key-value pairs, and of course, we are using them to create custom timelines.

Tags are a key-value pair that we can define any way we want, depending on our project. We then use these to filter through our events and create custom timelines.

For example, say we have a newsletter and want to create a timeline for each email sent. To do so, we can simply add the user email and the subject of each newsletter to the tags field.

{
  "project": "logsnag",
  "channel": "email",
  "event": "Newsletter Sent",
  "tags": {
    "subject": "newsletter",
    "email": "jane@gmail.com"
  }
}

We will also be publishing multiple other events regarding each email. For example, we track when the email is delivered.

{
  ...
  "event": "Newsletter Delivered",
  "tags": {
    "subject": "newsletter",
    "email": "jane@gmail.com"
  }
}

And, optionally, when it is opened.

{
 ...
  "event": "Newsletter Opened",
  "tags": {
    "subject": "newsletter",
    "email": "jane@gmail.com"
  }
}

Checkout our docs to learn more about tags.

2. Filter and create your timeline

Once we have published these events to LogSnag, we can use the tags to create our timelines.

For example, if we filter by a specific email and subject tag, we can see the entire timeline of that email.

Newsletter Journey Tracking

Via the same method, we could create a timeline for a specific user, also known as a user journey.

User Journey Tracking

LogSnag is use-case agnostic

Ever since starting LogSnag, I have made it a clear goal of mine to keep the features of LogSnag as generic as possible. I want to allow our users to shape the tool around their needs instead of the tool dictating their workflow and use cases.

Thus, it's important to know that, unlike other tools, our custom timelines are not tied to a specific use case and are not designed for a particular product type. Instead, you can use any tags that make sense for your project and create custom timelines that fit your needs.

Conclusion

Over the last month, I have onboarded multiple teams to the beta feature of our custom timelines, and I have been very happy with the result.

These teams have integrated the product into their tools and have told me that it provides valuable insights into their projects. One common feedback has been that it makes their workflows much faster, makes customer support much easier, and has allowed them to improve customer experience and the overall product.

I can't wait for you to try our custom timelines and to hear what you think of them. I hope you enjoy the feature as much as we do, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

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