Product-led discovery at scale

Published Mar 2, 2023

How to de-risk your product decisions using Validate

Validate lets you add your product ideas into Pendo and share them with specific segments of visitors—helping you prioritize what to build next and de-risking your product decisions. You can use Validate to run continuous discovery and quickly test your assumptions in-app, at scale, and with the right visitors. Learn more about how it works here.

The ideas you choose to test in Pendo Validate can be things you’ve heard from your customers, or internally within your own organization. And it’s perfect for product managers and folks working in research or UX.

Ways to use Pendo Validate

Here are some of our top “recipes” to get your creative juices flowing on all the ways you can use Validate in your organization.

Prioritize BIG projects

As product people, there are always big, strategic initiatives we’re thinking about. You can use Validate to understand if bigger pieces of work align with what your customers really want and need before you sink your precious time and effort into something chunky. 

For example:

You could run an “exploratory” idea test: “Would you be interested in…”

Or get help prioritizing the projects you’ve already chosen: “What would you like to see us work on first?”

Frame the content to your visitors in this way and add up to three ideas for visitors to vote, prioritize and comment on.

Prioritize the small things

It’s often the small things that mean the most to your customers. And you can use Pendo Validate to help you get the data you need to make those decisions and changes, fast.


  • Gather data on your ideas for how a feature should be implemented
  • Build evidence to help you decide which improvement you should tackle first

Here’s an example of an Idea Test that asks visitors to help prioritize smaller improvements to the dashboards area of a product:

Test your assumptions

We all make assumptions about what we should build next and why. Validate lets you do continuous discovery by hearing from customers about ideas that you think customers would like to see implemented.

Instead of guessing, spin up a Pendo Ideas Test in minutes to test your assumptions with the people that matter most: your target customers.

Replace opinions with data

As well as challenging our own assumptions, product teams must manage a lot of opinions. It can be hard to push back when a strong opinion about what to build next comes from someone high up, like the CEO. If you need evidence to help make an informed decision, Validate can give you the data you need.

Book discovery calls with customers and follow up—in-app

Using Pendo Validate, you can run Idea Tests and include a handy follow-up step prompting customers to book a call with you, if they’d like. This is a brilliant and easy way to get calls booked quickly. Simply add a Calendly link (or similar) to the copy for an idea or in the Idea Test as shown in the example below:

If you want to send additional in-app communication to visitors who voted on an idea, you can create a segment from an idea then target a guide specifically to them. Simply click on an idea on the Ideas page, and you’ll see the option to create a segment.

Use Validate during a feature launch

Following any new feature launch (whether to beta or GA) is a great time to hear from your customers. In a world where iteration rules, we all know that a launch is only the beginning. 

Place an Idea Test in the areas of the product where you want to gather data on what to work on as a “fast follow” to the main release. You could create an Idea Test for general ideas, or get specific and include an Idea Test launched from a badge next to areas of the product you want feedback on. 

In this example, an Idea Test will launch from this button, in-app. Simply create the button in Pendo and choose to launch the Idea Test from it. Learn more about different activation methods here.

It’s not all about “product” ideas (and remember you can test just ONE idea)

Remember that you don’t always have to test “product” ideas. Validate is really flexible—so you can test other things too. Why not test your marketing ideas? Your in-app language? Names for a new product? Or even what training and content your customers would like to see?

Get creative—Validate lets you reach the right people, in-app and fast. The ideas you add into Pendo can be anything. So dream big! 

Here’s an example of a real Idea Test we used at Pendo to gather interest on a marketing idea.

This example also highlights that you can test just ONE idea to gather feedback and understand whether it’s a “must have” or a “nice to have.” Idea Tests don’t have to be about comparisons or priority—they can simply get you customer data when you need it.


How to target your Idea Tests to the audiences that matter most

The most powerful thing about Validate is the ability to understand which segments of users are interested in each of your ideas. There are a couple of approaches you can take to this:

1. Show an Idea Test to everyone, or a broad group of users

You could show an idea test to everyone and view the results by different segments—using the filters at the top of the page to show the results of an individual or all Idea Tests:

2. Show an Idea Test to a single segment of visitors

Alternatively, it might make most sense to only show the Idea to the visitors that the product improvement or feature is the most relevant to. For example, some of your features might only be available on certain price plans. If that’s the case, just pick your target visitor group as you create (or edit) the Idea Test:


How to make your Idea Tests shine

It’s all about the brand

Validate is built using Pendo’s In-app Guide technology so you can style an Idea Test using the guide themes you set up in Pendo. Add a guide theme that matches your app to give your visitors a seamless and cohesive experience. 

People love pictures

It’s true! Words are great, but are even more powerful when combined with images. Add images to the ideas you plan to use in your Idea Tests. This not only looks good but helps customers visualize concepts, too. 

Get the placement right

There are a lot of options for how a visitor gets to see your Idea Test. The best option will depend on what’s right for you and the particular test you’re hoping to run. You can use any of Pendo’s usual guide activation methods.

For example:

  • Have the Idea Test appear when a visitor hits a certain area of your product
  • Create a badge which shows the Idea Test when it’s clicked. This is great for showing ideas relating to a particular feature or area of your product


Timing is everything

The length of time you run an Idea Test very much depends on your product, use case, and customer base.

How long you should run an Idea Test for

You can change the time an Idea Test runs even after launch—so experiment a little and find what works for you. Remember, you can run multiple tests at once and you can simply end a test when you’ve gathered a good amount of data. 

So what will you test? If you’re doing something cool, we would love to hear from you. Email [email protected] so we can add your use case to this article. Happy validating!