Slug: intercom-dot-io-and-feature-discovery Date: 2012-03-01 layout: post Title: Intercom.io and feature discovery date: 2012-03-01 14:50 comments: true categories:

This is really a two-part post squished into one post, and it’s pretty nerdy

After a recent - really good - customer experience with sprint.ly that was started over their Support channel, I looked around and discovered they were using Intercom for their support/outreach tool. I created an account (free while in beta!) and started messing with it for Pushcode.

Intercom does a fabulous job introducing you to new features byt doing three things:

  • Tease you at the bottom of the screen with a message: “You should enable secure mode to protect your users”. There’s a “No thanks” link to make it go away, and a progress bar based on how many of these recommendations you’ve actually implemented.

intercom.io teaser

  • If you click: Intercom pops you to a screen that shows you exactly the javascript code (even customized with your app-specific ids) to add to your page to enable the suggested feature.

intercom snippet

  • Finally: when you’ve got the code implemented they can tell from the traffic coming from your site that you implemented it, and they adjust that little progress bar.

It’s amazing. I want to implement every feature they throw at me. More, please.

The nerdy part

Intercom provides PHP and Ruby sample code for generating the MD5 hash required by one of their security features:

  user_hash: '<%= Digest::SHA1.hexdigest('randstring' + current_user.email) %>'

Pushcode is written in Django and Python, and of course I know how to MD5 a string in python, but it’s doing so in a template is not a built-in. I implemented a simple template filter that does it for you:

Feel free to grab the code and improve on it (though it’s pretty stinkin’ simple).