Tag Archives: interactive

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.

Employee Training Simulations using Decision Trees

Because Zingtree is such a powerful interactive tool, it is a prime resource for creating and implementing training programs, simulations, guides, evaluations and more. You can take advantage of the Zingtree platform to create a program based on an existing decision tree, design your own from scratch, or take the process step-by-step; the choice is yours!

Training Your Employees

As with all training programs, yours should be relevant to your company or the position, easily digestible, and appropriate to the person using the simulation. Providing these kinds of tools for different types of positions, situations and learners is important if what is being taught will be incorporated into common workplace practices.

How to copy a basic training program:

1. Sign in to your account and go to the Zingtree Gallery.

2. Go to Training and find the Training Simulation template, then click to Play the tree. From here, you’ll be able to Copy or Examine more closely.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.14.33 PM

3. Rename your training program to fit your needs, add a description, and Copy when ready.

4. Modify the decision tree content to generate your own customized training simulation!

Using the Wizard

To create an advanced training program from scratch, try using the Zingtree Wizard tool. With the Wizard, you’ll be able to fill out simple forms to generate your customized decision tree as it guides you through the creation process. You provide the questions and answers that your employees will see in the program, and the Wizard goes through each scenario asking for more information.

Using the Designer

For those who enjoy getting down to a fine point with design, try drawing your training program visually with the Zingtree Designer. With the Designer, you can drag new nodes into the drawing area, and connect them with labeled arrows. Each nodes correspond to a page in your tree, and the arrows represent the button choices from each node.

 

 

 

Performing Employee Evaluations

 

Once training is completed and your employee has settled into his or her rhythm, it’s important to keep up with evaluations to test their knowledge and progress.

For decision trees created with employee evaluations in mind, we’ve coupled Zingtree’s robust logic with a scoring system that can allow you add a value to each answer, and later act upon the total weighted score. Explore our Evaluation examples to preview existing creations, and copy any of the projects to make into your own.

Hungry for more examples and inspiration? Head to the Zingtree Gallery for all the decision trees you can copy and use to fit your needs. 

Tree Search API

Some of our customers with a lot of trees have asked us to incorporate a tree search feature into Zingtree.  This is handy for both internal use (Call Centers/Agent Scripting), as well as external use (support and troubleshooting). The goal is to make it easy for someone to find the proper tree.

Our Tree Search uses two pieces of information to locate trees: the tree Name, and the tree’s Tags.  Both of these are found in Settings.

Agent Interface

For internal use, our Agent Portal now includes the ability to find trees in two ways:

  • You can filter trees by tags from a drop-down list.
  • You can enter text to search.

Zingtree Hosted End-User Interface

For external use, you can have a search form where your end-users enter a search term, and any trees with Names or Tags matching the search term are displayed as links.

The easiest way is to use a Zingtree hosted search form.  Go to your Organizations and Billing page, and locate the Hosted Tree Search link at the bottom of the page. Click this link to open the search form.  You can share this URL with your customers.

An example using the Zingtree Gallery is here.

Tree Search API

If you want to include Tree Search on your own site, you’ll need to make use of our simple API. You can see a demo of the API in action here.

The process is:

  1. Locate your API Key at the bottom of the Organizations and Billing page.
  2. Create your search form.
  3. When the search is submitted, call our API like this:
    http://zingtree.com/api/tree-search.php?apikey={your API key}&search={your urlencoded search query)
  4. The API returns a JSON object of trees that match the search query. The JSON has the tree ID, and the tree name. The data looks like this:
    {"815089605":"Agent Script - Set Appointment",
    "164166011":"Pet Rock Demo",
    "666464897":"Simple Sales Funnel Demo",
    "506992892":"Training Simulation Template",
    "867287049":"Zingtree Tour"}
  5. Parse the JSON data to make links for each tree.

We’ve built a PHP sample to illustrate one way to implement this API. Download the example source code here.

You can try the sample here.

 

Zingtree Terminology: Understanding Your Decision Trees Pt. 1

Behind every great Zingtree decision tree is a powerfully built system. Understanding how these interactive decision trees work on a more fundamental level can help you to generate more effective, better customized trees to fit your needs. If you’re new to Zingtree, this glossary of basic terms will help you understand how our system works.


Buttons

These are the clickable actions an end-user takes when interacting with a tree. You can see examples of buttons below in “buttons style” and “panels style”.

Buttons Style

Buttons are the traditional display method of your decision trees’ interface. With this design, your customers will see answer options shown as clickable buttons. Each individual button answer will lead to a separate path respectively, depending on your customer’s selection.

Link Nodes

Following up the Q&A nodes for most-utilized are Link Nodes, which can allow your customer to click through to another web page, such as a scheduling system, how-to video and more. The action of opening this new page is tracked automatically in your Zingtree Reporting for that specific tree.

Nodes

A node is a page an end-user sees while using your tree, or an action that occurs.  Question Nodes and Answer Nodes show information, and give choices where to go next. Other kinds of nodes perform actions like sending an email, linking to a web page, opening another tree, or acting upon a session score.

Panels Style

We developed a second user interface style that you can adopt for your custom decision trees. The Panels style displays the same information as the traditional Button style does, in a fresh way that is optimized for longer answers. Each panel answer will lead to the next step in the path depending on your customer’s choice.

You can try out both Buttons and Panels style in the Zingtree Gallery to see which method is right for you.

Question Nodes, Answer Nodes

Old fashioned Q&A nodes are by far the most popular. As the name implies, Question nodes allow you to ask a question to your customer and provide one or more answer buttons. On the other hand, final Answer nodes propose a solution for your customer and contain no buttons. You can add unlimited nodes and grow your decision trees as big as you want!

Trees

Interactive Decision Trees are why we’re in business. They form the logic and structure of the knowledge you wantto share with others.

Trackable, customizable and dependable, Zingtrees are set up using three basic methods: Wizard, Designer, or right from scratch. After completing and saving your custom interactive decision tree, it can be embedded in your web site, or hosted by us. You can edit, preview and update your Trees whenever you’d like.

Here’s what one of our example trees looks like:

Tree Nodes (Sub-trees)

For larger, more complex projects, Tree Nodes (or sub-trees) come in handy to break down your decision tree in a more digestible way.  Simply put, you can have a button open another tree.

You’ll find that these sub-trees can occur naturally during the planning stages of complex trees; by containing themes in different trees, and later linking them into one final tree using Tree Nodes, you can concentrate freely on one step at a time.

 


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Zingtree Terminology series coming soon. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact the team!

Updates: Collaborators and Billing

Thanks to your suggestions, we’ve had a slew of great ideas for updates. Most recently, we’ve focused on how we handle the roles of multiple people in an organization all using Zingtree. Here are the highlights:

  • Add/manage Collaborators has moved to the drop menu under This Tree, and on the main page of tools.
  • Unassign (remove myself as collaborator), is now called “Remove Me”, and it found under manage Collaborators.
  • The Collaborators screen shows YOUR permissions for the current tree.
  • For payments and billing, there is now a single person in each organization that manages that function. Just this person gets email notices of receipts, too. This “Billing Administrator” can assign the role to someone else.

We also fixed a couple of small bugs, and did some usability studies and enhancements – all very subtle.

As always, please share your great ideas with us!