Category Archives: How To

How-to and tutorial articles.

The Most Simple Ways to Build an Interactive Decision Tree

Zingtree’s decision tree platform makes it easy to offer your end-users an interactive way to find answers, optimize workflows, and a whole lot more. Below, we’ll walk you through how to make a basic decision tree using our most popular methods of creation in order to help you get a closer, step-by-step look at how it’s all done.

How to Use the Wizard

The Wizard is our most-used creation tool, offering simple prompts to build your tree, question by question (and answer by answer). It’s one of the easiest ways to work through an accurate flow for your customers or users.

1. Log in to your Zingtree account, go to My Trees and select Create New Tree. Choose the option to fill out forms with the Zingtree Wizard.

2. After naming your decision tree, choosing your ideal display style and providing a description, just click the Create Tree button to move on to the next step.

3. Once you start the Wizard, you’ll see an entry screen that will prompt your first question and answer options, along with some body content to give users context.

You’ll also be able to see a live preview of what the decision tree will look like, off to the right:

When you’re finished setting up your first question, click Save and Continue.

4. You’ll next be asked to fill out an unfinished part of your decision tree. Click to Offer a Solution, and fill out the form presented to you. Since this is a solution node, you won’t need to ask any other questions.

Click Save and Continue again when you’re finished.

5. Next, you’ll continue to fill out more questions and answers to reach the end paths of your decision tree. For greater selection, try providing more answer choices.

6, Next, you’ll see a page with an overview of the sequence you’re building. In this case, choose to Offer a Solution. This will be the end of one of the paths in your decision tree for your end-user.

7. Continue to complete the rest of the forms that the Wizard prompts. When you’re all done with the interactive building process, the Overview page will appear to show you every node and path in an easy-to-digest way.

Watch our tutorial video for more information about the Zingtree Wizard. 

How to Use the Designer

The Designer tool is another great way to create decision trees in a more visual way. Presented in a white board-style screen, you can easily build out every node, connection and pathway, while being able to see a high level overview the whole time.

1. Log in to your Zingtree account, go to My Trees and select Create New Tree. Choose the option to visually draw out your decision tree with the Zingtree Designer.

2. Once you start Designer, you’ll see the white board-style screen like the one shown below. Click on the green box for Node #1. This will be your starting node – the very first page your end-users will see.

2. Next, you’ll see an edit window appear on the right hand side. Change the Title, Question and Content areas to fit your tree needs.

Next, add another question by dragging a New Question node into the drawing area. Click the green box for the new question node, and edit it like the first time.

3. Drag a Final Answer node answer node into the drawing area, and edit it.

After adding your first questions and a Final Answer node, the Designer area will show everything like this:

You can drag as many question and Final Answer nodes into the Designer drawing area as it makes sense for your needs, and label them respectively.

5. After adding the question and answer nodes to your decision tree, it’s time to link them together. Hover over node #1 until you see a large dot appear, then drag it over to its connecting node.

After finishing linking all of your nodes correctly, it’ll look something like this:

6. The next step is to create the buttons your end-users will click, by editing the connecting arrows. Click the connector – in our example, titled “Check the Weather” – and an edit form will appear. Change it to look like the form below:

After you connect the rest of the choices in your tree, and relabel the connecting arrows, your decision tree will look something like this one:

Watch our tutorial video for more information about the Zingtree Designer. 

The Finished Decision Tree

No matter the route you take to get there, you’ll end up with the same stunning, super-powerful decision tree. Click through our demo tree below, and examine it within the Gallery to check out even more.

 


Have any questions about getting started with Zingtree decision trees? We’d love to speak with you anytime!

 

This article was originally published on September 14, 2016. 

Single Sign-On for Zingtree Decision Trees

security-blog

We’ve had several requests to incorporate Single Sign-on (SSO) into Zingtree, as a means of restricting access to trees.  Many customers have sensitive corporate processes or procedures encapsulated in their trees, and ensuring these trees are accessible only to certain employees can be invaluable.

Single Sign-on is a service provided by many vendors, including Okta, Microsoft (Active Directory / Azure), Google (G-Suite), Salesforce and more.  These services are known as Identity Providers.  A single log-in through an Identity Provider gives a user secure, authenticated access to applications provided by Service Providers like Zingtree.

Once you log in through your Identity Provider, you don’t need to re-enter your login credentials. SSO is a very convenient way to secure access to your applications, while not burdening end-users with extra hurdles.

Zingtree supports any service that is SAML 2.0 compliant, which is a common standard.

Set Up Overview

Configuring SSO requires your Identity Provider and Zingtree to share information with each other:

  1. Your Identity Provider needs information about Zingtree.
  2. Zingtree needs information about your Identity Provider.

SSO just needs to be set up once for your organization. Once you have Zingtree and your Identity Provider successfully working together, you can mark any of your trees as “SSO restricted” via the Settings tool to require a login to get access.

Configuring Zingtree for SSO

To start, in the Zingtree top menu, go to Account, Single-Sign-on. You’ll see the parameters (specific to your organization) to share with your Identity Provider:

Configure your Identity Provider with these parameters.

Next, click the blue button to Enter Identity Provider Data into Zingtree. The following screen appears:

Copy the rest of these settings from your Identity Provider.

If you’re ready to test, make sure Enable access restrictions on specified trees is checked.

Click Save Identity Provider Settings when finished.

Testing Your SSO Setup

Once you’ve set up your Identity Provider and Zingtree for SSO, you can test from Zingtree as follows:

  1. In Zingtree, go to Account, Single Sign-on.
  2. Click the orange Test Setup button at the lower right of the page.

From here. you can test logging into your Identity Provider from Zingtree.  If you’re already logged in, the test will just return your email or other identifier from your Identity Provider.  If you’re not yet logged in, the Identity Provider’s login screen will appear, and then you will be returned to the Zingtree SSO test page after logging in.

Enabling SSO on Your Trees

Once SSO is working properly from your test, you can restrict access to any tree as follows:

  1. Go to My Trees, and select the tree that you want to require SSO login.
  2. Click the Settings tool.
  3. Check Require Single Sign-on (SSO) Login to Access.
  4. Click Update Settings.

Release Notes

SSO has been tested with a variety of Identity Providers.  If you’re having trouble configuring with a specific service, please let us know!

Embeddable Decision Trees for WordPress

There’s no getting around it – we love WordPress! As a powerful piece of software that enables people around the world to spread and share ideas, build amazing websites and more, we understand the need to be as integrative with this ever-popular tool.

Zingtree’s robust toolkit allows WordPress users to directly embed interactive decision trees into any web page needed, making it easy for customers and end-users to navigate through any process on your site in a simple question-and-answer flow.

Many of our amazing customers are already taking advantage of this plugin, by hosting powerful, customized decision trees directly on their respective websites! See if you could survive in the wild with this interactive journey built by Live Out There, then check out a robust and helpful troubleshooter decision tree from Screen Time.

Here’s how to get started with your own WordPress-hosted decision tree:

1. Download the plugin and install it into WordPress.

2. Use your Zingtree decision tree’s specific short code (which will appear like this) in your post:

[ zingtree id=”851580502″ ]

Hint: To locate your short code, login to Zingtree and go to My Trees. The ID number to the left of the decision tree title is your code.

Installation Video

Some more examples: 

To customize with a persistent button that will immediately take the user to whichever node you’d like while displayed in “panels” style, enter a short code like this:

[ zingtree id=”148196706″ style=”panels” persist_names=”Restart|Submit Ticket” persist_node_ids=”1|5″ ]

To hide the name of the decision tree, as well as the “back” button, enter a short code like this:

[ zingtree id=”148196706″ hide_title=”yes” hide_back_button=”yes” ]

Get the WordPress Plugin!

Don’t want to embed into WordPress? Zingtree can host your decision trees for you! Learn more here or contact us today.

This article was originally published May 2015.

How to Use Existing Login Credentials to Restrict Access to Decision Trees

security-blog

Some of our customers have asked for an extra level of security for their trees, such that only people authenticated via a corporate intranet can access it. This article shows how it’s done, for ANY login system on ANY intranet.

Universally restricting access is accomplished by having an internal server access the tree via a server-side include, rather than via a user’s browser via embedded code in the page. This means that all accesses of the tree come from a single corporate IP address or range. Zingtree has an IP filtering option for any tree, so it’s easy to restrict access and use whatever authentication processes are already in place on the corporate intranet.

The method described here can work with organizations using SSO (Single Sign On), or any other login system.

Here are the basics:

  1. Restrict access to your tree to just the IP address of your server(s). This is done via Zingtree’s Settings tool.
  2. Create a web page for the tree to display on your internal server. This page will include the necessary JS and CSS files to show the tree. Load your tree using a server-side call, instead of embedding it into an iFrame or linking to a URL hosted at Zingtree.com.

Examples

Here’s PHP source code for a simple server-side include.

See how this page appears.

Technical Details

The example above is written using PHP, but any server-side scripting language can be used.  Our demo is a template around which a URL for a tree can be loaded. This template contains all the CSS and JS files needed to display a functioning Zingtree decision tree.

Zingtree is built on top of Bootstrap 3, so the basic Bootstrap files are loaded.  There are a few custom controls as well included in the template.

You can swap out the PHP with Python, Ruby, Perl, or any other scripting language you choose.
Have any questions or comments about making your trees more secure? Talk to us!

How To Use One Tree for End-Users and Employees/Agents

updates-blog

We’ve had requests to make it easy to use one tree for both end-user support and internal agent usage. Rather than maintaining two separate trees, being able to have one source of content and show (or hide) parts between agents and end-users can be extremely helpful. So, we’ve introduced two new template tags that allow this to happen.

Demo

The Dual Use Agent and End-User Example Tree from the Zingtree Gallery shows how this type of tree is built and operated. You can switch between End-User and Agent views by opening the Show More Display Options link.

Creating Agent-Only or End-User Only Buttons

The first node in the demo has a button labelled “Other Options for Agents only”.  This button only appears when agents are viewing the tree, but not for end-users.  Here’s how this magic is done:

  • If you prefix the button label with AGENT_ , only agents will see that button.
  • Prefix a button with USER_ to show it to just end-users.

Creating Nodes with Dual Content

In the content area for any node, you can insert special tags that make the text visible to just agents, or just end-users.

To show content for agents only:

Surround the content with [[AGENT-ONLY]] and [[/AGENT-ONLY]].

To show content for end-users only:

Surround the content with [[USER-ONLY]] and [[/USER-ONLY]].

You can access these template tags from the content editor in any node:


Example

If your node content area looks like this…

This is the content for a node.

[[AGENT-ONLY]]Agent stuff shows here[[/AGENT-ONLY]]

[[USER-ONLY]]User content shows here[[/USER-ONLY]]

An end user will see this…

This is the content for a node.

User content shows here

And your agents will see this…

This is the content for a node.

Agent stuff shows here

How to Preview

The updated Preview tool lets you see content views for agents or end-users:

Implementation

Your agent-only content will appear in trees accessed via the Zingtree Agent Portal. You can also make this content appear by adding the following parameters to the URL for Zingtree hosted or embedded trees:

&agent_mode=1&apikey=YOUR_API_KEY

Substitute your API key for YOUR_API_KEY in the URL. You can find the API Key from the API page, or if you have multiple organizations at the bottom of the Organizations and Billing page.


Do you like this new feature? Or have any other comments? Please share with us!

Zapier Decision Tree Integrations with Zingtree

zingtree zapier integration

Our Zapier app makes it easy to send data collected during each Zingtree session to more than 500+ applications supported by Zapier. In case you haven’t heard of it, Zapier is a tool that simplifies data exchange between various web applications. We’re big fans.

Here are some cool things you can do with Zingtree and Zapier:

  • Send data collected in a Zingtree session to Salesforce, Zoho, Highrise, or any other CRM.
  • Add an email address entered in a tree into Mailchimp.
  • Send  yourself an email or SMS message when a customer reaches a critical node in a tree.
  • Save new customer information in a Google Sheets row.
  • Create Trello cards from trees, and include customer notes and session data.
  • And tons more!

When using Zapier, you create “Zaps.” A Zap has a “trigger,” which is the source of the data, and an “action,” which is where the data gets sent. Most of our customers want to send data from Zingtree to another app, so we’ll demonstrate how this is done here.

Before starting, you may want to examine a demo tree from our Gallery that gathers data and sends it to Zapier, or copy it to your account.

How to Set up Zapier for Zingtree

The Zingtree Zapier app is currently invite-only. But if you’re reading this article, you’re invited!

  1. Create a free Zapier account at Zapier.com.
  2. Go here to accept an invitation to use the Zingtree app. The invitation appears:

    Accept the invite.
  3. You’ll be prompted to make a new Zap:
    Click Make a new Zap.
  4. You’ll be asked to choose a Trigger App, which is the source of the data exchange.
    Search for Zingtree, and select Zingtree (Beta).
  5. You’ll be asked to choose a single trigger.
    Click Save + Continue.
  6. Next, you’ll need to connect your Zingtree account, and a tree to Zapier.
    Click Connect a New Account. 
  7. You’ll be asked for your Zingtree API Key, which you can find here at the bottom of this page. Also enter the Tree ID that will be sending data to Zapier.
    Click Continue when finished.
  8. Change the name of the account, then click Test.

    You should see “success.” Click Save + Continue.
  9. Next, Zapier will attempt to retrieve any variables or sample data from your tree. If this is a new tree, you may want to run through it once and gather some data.
    Click Fetch & Continue.
  10. You’ll see some of the stock data that Zingtree always provides, as well as any custom data for your tree. Again, if you don’t see all the data you expect, do a test run through your tree, and enter some data at least once. This will make the rest of the process easier.
    Click Continue.

Set up the Action App – Email Example

So now you’re done with the Zingtree part. Congratulations! Next, you need to set up an Action App, which will receive data from Zingtree. Let’s set up email delivery as an action, as follows:

  1. Search for email, and choose Email by Zapier as an action app.
    Select Email by Zapier.
  2. This app has just one action.
    Click Save + Continue.
  3. Fill in details for the outbound email. You can insert fields from Zingtree in the body of the email as well.Click Continue when the email is set up correctly.
  4. You’ll see  a preview of what to expect.
    Click Create & Continue to save the action and send a test email.
  5. You should see another “success” screen.
    Click Finish when the email appears as you like.
  6. Name your Zap Zingtree to Email, and turn it on!

Your Zapier Zap is all set.

Making Zingtree Send Data

The final step is to tell Zingtree when to send all the data collected in a session to Zapier. This can be triggered from one or more nodes, when they are seen by the end-user of your tree.

  1. From Overview, Edit Node, edit the node that you want to trigger sending data to Zapier.
  2. Go to Send Message to, and pick Zapier: Zingtree to Email. This is the new Zap you created.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Now try a test from Zingtree. Using Preview or the Publish tool, navigate your tree, and when you reach the node that triggers the send, you should see something in your inbox. IMPORTANT: Make sure to use https in your published Zingtree URL when using Zapier.

Once you get your first Zap done, it becomes easy and addictive to hook Zingtree to the other applications that your business depends upon. So keep going!

Have any questions? Contact us anytime!

The Visual Designer: Drawing Out Your Decision Tree

Everyone prefers their own way of creating, and it can come in many forms. To address this, we built Zingtree with a few different ways to design and construct an interactive decision tree.

For the more visual learner, the Zingtree Visual Designer allows you to draw out your decision tree. This “white board” style lets users to create nodes, along with their connections, and see the nitty gritty details of how the tree functions.

Here’s how to get started with the Visual Designer:

1. Once you log in to your Zingtree account and start Designer, you’ll see a screen that looks like the one shown below, with one node already in place as a green box. This is the very first node your users will see and interact with.

2. Click on Node #1, and you’ll see an edit window pop up on the right hand side. You can edit the Title, Question and main Content segments to your liking.

3. Drag new nodes into the design area – these correspond to the pages in your decision tree. Again, select the green box to edit each node’s Question, Content, etc.

4. When you’re ready, add a Final Answer Node and edit to fit your needs. These will appear in blue, to differentiate from your green Question Nodes.

5. Continue to create these Questions & Answer Nodes by dragging new nodes into the design area, and then connect them using labeled arrows. The connecting arrows represent the button selections from each node.

6. Finish linking all of your nodes using this method, and you’ll end up with a finished product that looks something like this image below. Often times, Zingtree users only use this mode as a way of assembling their decision trees. Please keep in mind that things can get confusing for more complex trees that require more nodes.

For a more in-depth tutorial, watch this video to see how to build the example tree above using Zingtree Designer:

 

 

To view more ways of building your decision trees, check out our Zingtree Design Tutorials.

Create Decision Trees using Google Sheets

sheets-blog

Did you know that Google Sheets can be used as a decision tree building tool? Using a specific layout, you can easily import any Sheets document into Zingtree, and turn it into a fully functional interactive decision tree.

Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer a lot more decision tree related functionality than Google Sheets.

Here’s how our example tree used in the tutorials appears in Sheets:

You can get started now by copying this example and modifying it:

Get Example from Google Sheets

 

Overview

Zingtree can create decision trees from Google Sheets, or any similarly formatted tabular source. Your spreadsheets just need to be set up in a specific way for this to work.

Here are the rules:

  1. The first row is for column headings. This is important, as it tells Zingtree what type of data is in each column. Make sure to use the column headings as described below.
  2. Column A is for the node number. Usually this is sequential. It’s required. The heading must say “Node“.
  3. Column B is for the title of a node. Your trees will be easier to read if each node has a descriptive title. The heading must say “Title“.
  4. Column C is for any content that appears in the content area.  This is imported as plain text, but you can add formatting, images, and videos later using the Zingtree editing tools. The heading must read “Content“.
  5. Column D is the question that is being asked. You can leave this blank if you want an answer node. The heading must be “Question“.
  6. If you want to include node tags in your tree, insert a column with a heading of “Tags“. This is optional.
  7. The last columns are for the button choices.  The heading over the first button column must be “Buttons“. You can have several columns of buttons.
  8. For the button columns, you can make them link to other nodes by adding the node number in square brackets.  In the above example, cell F2 has a button labelled “Yes” that links to node #2.  ( Yes[2]  )
  9. If you want to add a comment to any node, insert a cell on the right that starts with an exclamation point character (!).

Note: Columns can be in any order, but the column headings must contain the proper text like “Node”, “Question” etc.

You can also make Link Nodes and Tree Nodes with special text in the content column:

  • Example: To make a Link Node that goes to Google, the content area looks like this (see cell C8 in the example):
    LINK: http://google.com
  • Example: To make a Tree Node that opens tree ID #123456789, the content area will be (see cell C7 in the example):
    TREE: 123456789
  • Example: To make a Tree Node that opens tree ID #999999999 at node #3, the content area should be:
    TREE: 999999999,3

Once you’ve finished your tree, it needs to be exported as a TSV file. This is also known as tab-separated values, or tab delimited CSV.

You can also just copy and paste cells from Sheets into Zingtree. Sheets copies tab delimited data to the clipboard automatically.

Build Your Tree

To start, open this file in Sheets, and make a copy for your personal use. This is an enhanced demo from our “what to wear” example.

Now start modifying it.  Make sure to keep top row column headings in place. Keep questions in the question column, content in the content column, etc.

When you’re done, you can import your work into Zingteee via copy and paste, or by exporting to a tab delimited (TSV) file.

Import via Copy and Paste

This is the easiest way to import your decision tree into Zingtree:

  1. In Sheets, select the entire range of cells for your tree, and copy to the clipboard (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C).
  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import via Copy and Paste tool.  (You can also get there via My Trees, Create Tree, then select Import from Google Sheets.) A screen like this appears:

  3. Choose Google Sheets as the source.
  4. Enter a name for your tree
  5. Paste the data copied from step 1 into the data area. (Use Ctrl+V or Cmd+V).
  6. Click Import and Create Tree.

You’ll see your new tree in the Zingtree overview.

Import via a TSV file

For larger trees, you may find it better to upload a file instead of copying and pasting. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. In Sheets, go to File, Download As, and select Tab-separated values (.tsv, current sheet).

  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import File tool. (You can also get there from My Trees, Create Tree, and then choosing Import from Google Sheets.)

  3. If you want to overwrite an existing tree, select it via Replace Tree. Otherwise a new tree will be created.
  4. Click Import File, and locate the file you created in step 1.
  5. The new tree will appear in Zingtree.

Notes:

  • You can use this process to import files from any tab delimited CSV format.

Any questions? Reach out to us anytime. 

Create Decision Trees using Microsoft Excel

excel-blog

If you’re comfortable using Microsoft Excel, you can build the first draft of your Zingtree decision trees using a spreadsheet and then easily import them into Zingtree.

Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can modify it and enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer a lot more decision tree related functionality than Excel.

Here’s how our example tree used in the tutorials appears in Excel:

Overview

Zingtree can create decision trees from Excel, or any similarly formatted tabular source. Your spreadsheets just need to be set up in a specific way for this to work.

Start now by downloading and modifying this example .XLS file:

Download Example for Excel

Here are the rules:

  1. The first row is for column headings. This is important, as it tells Zingtree what type of data is in each column. Make sure to use the column headings as described below.
  2. Column A is for the node number. Usually this is sequential. It’s required. The heading must say “Node“.
  3. Column B is for the title of a node. Your trees will be easier to read if each node has a descriptive title. The heading must say “Title“.
  4. Column C is the question that is being asked. You can leave this blank if you want an answer node. The heading must be “Question“.
  5. Column D is for any content that appears in the content area.  This is imported as plain text, but you can add formatting, images, and videos later using the Zingtree editing tools. The heading must read “Content“.
  6. If you want to include node tags in your tree, insert a column with a heading of “Tags“. This is optional.
  7. The last columns are for the button choices.  The heading over the first button column must be “Buttons“. You can have several columns of buttons.
  8. For the button columns, you can make them link to other nodes by adding the node number in square brackets.  In the above example, cell F2 has a button labelled “Yes” that links to node #2.  ( Yes[2]  )
  9. If you want to add a comment to any node, insert a cell on the right that starts with an exclamation point character (!).

Note: Columns can be in any order, but the column headings must contain the proper text like “Node”, “Question” etc.

You can also make Link Nodes and Tree Nodes with special text in the content column:

  • Example: To make a Link Node that goes to Google, the content area looks like this (see cell D9 in the example):
    LINK: http://google.com
  • Example: To make Tree Node that opens tree ID #123456789, the content area is this (see cell D8 in the example):
    TREE: 123456789
  • Example: To make a Tree Node that opens tree ID #999999999 at node #3, the content area should be:
    TREE: 999999999,3

Once you’ve finished your tree, it needs to be exported as a TXT file. This is also known as a tab delimited CSV.

You can also just copy and paste cells from your Excel document into Zingtree. Excel copies tab delimited CSV data to the clipboard automatically.

Build Your Tree

To start, download our “what to wear” example tree, as an Excel .XLS file.

Open this file in Excel, and start modifying it.  Make sure to keep top row column headings in place. Keep questions in the question column, content in the content column, etc.

When you’re done, you can import it into Zingteee via copy and paste, or by exporting to a TXT file.

Import via Copy and Paste

This is the easiest way to bring your decision tree into Zingtree:

  1. In Excel, select the entire range of cells for your tree, and copy to the clipboard (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C).
  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import via Copy and Paste tool.  (You can also get there via My Trees, Create Tree, then select Import from Microsoft Excel.) A screen like this appears:

  3. Choose Microsoft Excel as the source.
  4. Enter a name for your tree
  5. Paste the data copied from step 1 into the data area. (Use Ctrl+V or Cmd+V).
  6. Click Import and Create Tree.

You’ll see your new tree in the Zingtree overview.

Import via a TXT file

For larger trees, you may find it better to upload a file instead of copying and pasting. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. In Excel, go to File, Save As, and select Text (Tab Delimited) as the type.

  2. The file name will become the name of your tree. Click Save when finished.
  3. In Zingtree, go to the Import File tool. (You can also get there from My Trees, Create Tree, and then choosing Import from Excel.)

  4. If you want to overwrite an existing tree, select it via Replace Tree. Otherwise a new tree will be created.
  5. Click Import File, and locate the file you created in steps 1 and 2.
  6. The new tree will appear in Zingtree.

Notes:

  • You can use this process to import files from any tab delimited CSV format.

Any questions? Reach out to us anytime. 

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Zingtree: 8 Hacks For Success

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 10.17.52 AM

Our interactive decision tree tool is a must-have for any business looking to skyrocket their customer service through self-help, organizations hoping to logically deliver answers, and even contact centers to guide their customer-facing agents through how-tos and support.

No matter what you use Zingtree for, getting your first tree deployed can be daunting for some. So have no fear, here are our top tips for breaking into the awesomely helpful world of Zingtrees:

1. Sketch Out a Roadmap

Remember in school when you’d sit down and brainstorm out a strategy? Just like that! Whether it’s in list, mind map or spreadsheet form, getting down the touchstones you need your tree to cover before you start building your tree is crucial and will make building your nodes and connecting them in a flow much easier. Compiling an outline is essential and will make the creation much more streamlined.

2. Go With What’s Already Been Built

We’ve expanded (and promise to keep expanding) our Gallery. In here you will find a handful of pre-made Trees that you can edit and customize to fit your needs. Simply click the “Copy” button to create a replicate version. Also, see the top navigation to filter by your specific need. Check out our examples, and hopefully one will be great inspiration for you to start your own!

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3. Start With The Visual Designer

We all know that there are different styles to learning, creating, coding and strategizing. For this reason, we’ve equipped Zingtree with a robust Visual Designer that allows for a “white board” to create nodes, connections, and truly see the Tree as it’s being built. Some Zingtree builders only use this mode as a way of aesthetically assembling their decision trees. Visually, however, it can get confusing for large, complex trees – but for getting started, it’s perfect!

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4. Use Placeholders When Undecided

When you’re on a roll mapping out your decision tree you’re bound to run into a speed bump here or there, especially when dealing with conditional node flows. In practice, this means if you need two nodes connected you need to create both nodes before you create the connection between them.

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If you’re stumped on the additional nodes, we recommend that you create simple untitled / undefined nodes to help you continue through the process. You can always go back to that node and edit appropriately as needed.

5. Go Back With Snapshots

A very helpful feature we’ve built into Zingtree is Snapshots. Snapshots allow you to review edits and go back to previous versions of your tree – helpful when creating trees with multiple revisions. To find this tool, select More Tools > Snapshots. You can see any other team members’ work and revisions, not to mention, recover that past version.

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6. Make A Backup As You Go

If you’re ever nervous about losing your place or the data within your Zingtree, we recommend exporting the tree to a file on your PC or Mac. This also works well if you’re making a whole new round of edits that you’re not 100% sure about.

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Backups are a great way to not only save your work but also collaborate on different versions of the same idea, especially for teams working with multiple versions for reference and cross-examination. To find the Exporting feature, select More Tools > Export.

7. Big Copy Edits With Exporting

Another exporting trick! If you have large, bulk changes that you need to make with the text within your tree (say, a URL throughout that’s totally changed or an updated product name), simply export and open it with a text editor platform. Using the “Find & Replace” tool within the text editor, swap out the old text portion with the new.

8. Sub-Trees for Even Bigger Zingtrees

If you know you’re going to have a large project ahead of you,  prepare more than one Zingtree to ease the pain in constructing one whole decision tree. In fact, when you’re in the planning stages, you will find these sub-trees occur naturally in complex decision trees. By containing themes and varying elements in different trees, and then later, linking them up into one final tree using Tree Links, you can concentrate on one element at a time!


We’d love to hear your tricks and tips for starting a Zingtree. Feel free to share on our Facebook Page!