It’s really satisfying to see our LearnDash plugins grow and mature. Uncanny LearnDash Groups is still (at the time this article was published) our newest plug public plugin, and with the recent 2.x changes, we have reached a point where development is quite stable. It’s great to see how happy people are with the product too; in the last week alone, customers wrote to tell us that the Groups plugin is “absolutely awesome” (Jonathan B) and a “very useful addition [that I] strongly recommend” (Julia R).
As it is a very complex plugin, however, we know that some users still find it challenging to create great user experiences around it on their sites. Recently we have particularly seen an uptick from customers asking how to make things easier for Group Leaders, especially how they should manage groups both post-purchase and on an ongoing basis. How should I get new Group Leaders to the Group Management page? How do I separate Student and Group Leader experiences? How do I teach Group Leaders what they should be doing? These questions and others do pose a challenge for some of our plugin users, especially because designing the right workflows aren’t necessarily part of the plugin itself.
In this blog post we outline some of the recommendations we often suggest to people, along with some simple code samples that might improve your workflows. Not all of these suggestions are likely to be relevant to your site, but maybe within the suggestions you’ll find some ideas about how the Uncanny LearnDash Groups plugin, along with some complementary solutions, can improve the Group Leader experience on your sites.
Restrict Menus by Role
This is really a key starting point. With our Groups plugin there are some pages only intended for Group Leaders, and it’s important not to expose them to regular students and other roles. For setting this up we like the Nav Menu Roles plugin, which allows you to set up your menu entries so that you can control what people see based on their role. Set up an entry for the Group Management page that only Group Leaders can see; this will help a lot. (If you use that plugin, make sure you disable the Menu Item Visibility module in the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit if you use it; they will conflict otherwise.)
Login redirects are great to get Group Leaders straight to the Group Management page. To make sure other login redirects are overridden and that you target Group Leaders only, we like Peter’s Login Redirect. Set a Group Leader role redirect to your Group Management page and you’re all set.
But what about post-purchase? WooCommerce signs the user in automatically after a purchase but takes them to a confirmation page. If you want to take the new Group Leader (as this applies to purchases of group products only) straight to the Group Management page, add this line of code to the functions.php file of your child theme:
add_filter( ‘uo_redirect_after_checkout’, ‘__return_true’ );
Add a Link to the Group Management Page
An underused shortcode included in our plugin takes users directly to the Group Management page:
[uo_groups_url text="Button Text"]
Just drop that shortcode onto a page (we like Learner Dashboards, or wherever users are most likely to spend most of their time), and it will display a link to the Group Management page. The link is only shown to Group Leaders, so you don’t have to worry about restricting who can see the link!
It’s very helpful to send instructions to your new Group Leaders to help them get started after a purchase. This can be pretty hard though, since you don’t want instructions going to regular students too after buying a course product. Our preferred solution here is to use an integration with a CRM system, as we often have something set up anyway to pass details over and send automated email campaigns. If you do use one, and you turn on the “Automatically include Group Course products in Group License purchases” setting the the Uncanny LearnDash Groups settings page, you can add tags to your Course Products to trigger emails to anyone that buys them. Since that would normally be Group Leaders only, setting up an automation to trigger welcome instructions on those tags is a great way to send communications.
A plugin WooCommerce Follow Ups, could also be used and is simpler, but we prefer the CRM approach if you can do it.
Add Instructions to the Group Management Page
Getting Group Leaders to the Group Management page is easy with some of the instructions above, so if they’re going there anyway, consider adding some instructions to the top of the page.
Get Help From a Developer
There are some other code-based options available, but to execute them properly you’ll need a pretty good Developer. You could potentially modify the WooCommerce receipt email to include instructions based on the products purchased, or modify the confirmation/thank you page to include messaging and buttons based on what the user purchased. Both of these approaches require coding and can be complex to manage.
Whatever options you choose, we hope the guidance above does give you some ideas about how to set up your own workflow for Group Leaders as they manage their groups in the front end. And if you have any ideas that we may have missed, let us know about them in the comments below!