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Task Extensibility

Use Setup Tasks to provide a first-class on-boarding experience for merchants

As a plugin author you'll often have one or more set up tasks you want to guide your user through to get the most out of your plugin. The challenge is making sure users see your tasks, and also making sure they complete them all.

The WooCommerce home screen is a consolidated landing space for users to get their store set up and effectively manage day-to-day operations for their business. Adding setup tasks to the task list alongside the usual setup steps will draw users to complete your tasks and also help them keep track of how far through the setup process they are.

We've built the user experience for you, so all that's left is just to plug your tasks in!

Getting started

In this post we'll talk briefly about the setup task list and go through the steps to create your own setup task for display in the WooCommerce home screen.

If your extension has a setup task associated with it, you can display it in the task list, this will prompt a merchant to go through important steps required to setup your extension.

screenshot-one wordpress test-2020 12 02-17_01_48

Step 1: Register your task in PHP

The first thing you'll need to do is register the task on the PHP side. So you'll need to add your callback to the filter woocommerce_get_registered_extended_tasks.

In PHP it will look like this:

add_filter( 'woocommerce_get_registered_extended_tasks', 'pluginprefix_your_method_to_register_the_task', 10, 1 );

And the method to add your task will be like this:

function pluginprefix_your_method_to_register_the_task( $registered_tasks_list_items ) {
	$new_task_name = 'your_task_name';
	if ( ! in_array( $new_task_name, $registered_tasks_list_items, true ) ) {
		array_push( $registered_tasks_list_items, $new_task_name );
	}
	return $registered_tasks_list_items;
}

Step 2 - Add the task in JavaScript.

Now you have to add your task to the tasks list in JS. So you have to add a filter to woocommerce_admin_onboarding_task_list with your task.

The code will look like:

const myTask = {
	key: 'example',
	title: 'Example',
	content: 'This is an example task.',
	container: <Task />,
	completed: false,
	visible: true,
	additionalInfo: 'Additional info here',
	time: '2 minutes',
	isDismissable: true,
	onDismiss: () => console.log( "The task was dismissed" ),
	type: 'extension'
},

addFilter(
	'woocommerce_admin_onboarding_task_list',
	'plugin-domain',
	( tasks ) => {
		return [
			...tasks,
			myTask,
		];
	}
);

The extended setup tasks will have:

Name Type Required Description
key String Yes Identifier.
title String Yes Task title.
content String No The content that will be visible in the Extensions setup list.
container Component Yes The task component that will be visible after selecting the item.
completed Boolean Yes Whether the task is completed or not.
visible Boolean Yes Whether the task is visible or not.
additionalInfo String No Additional information.
time String Yes Time it takes to finish up the task.
isDismissable Boolean No Whether the task is dismissable or not. If false the Dismiss button won't be visible.
onDismiss Function No Callback method that it's triggered on dismission.
type String Yes Type of task list item, setup items will be in the store setup and extension in the extensions setup.

Summary

In summary you only need to:

Register your task on the PHP side.
Your PHP file should have these things
/**
 * Register the task list item.
 */
function register_task_item() {
	 add_filter( 'woocommerce_get_registered_extended_tasks', 'pluginprefix_your_method_to_register_the_task', 10, 1 );
}

add_action( 'admin_enqueue_scripts', 'register_task_item' );

/**
 * Unregister task.
 */
function pluginprefix_deactivate() {
	remove_filter( 'woocommerce_get_registered_extended_tasks', 'pluginprefix_your_method_to_register_the_task', 10, 1 );
}

register_deactivation_hook( __FILE__, 'deactivate_task' );
Add the component, the filter addition and the task list item configuration on your JS side
And your JS file
/**
 * Create your component that will be visible after clicking the task list item.
 */
const TaskComponent = () => {
	return (
		<p> This is a component </p>
	);
};

/**
 * Configure the task list item.
 */
const myTask = {
	key: 'example',
	title: 'Example',
	content: 'This is an example task.',
	container: <TaskComponent />,
	completed: false,
	visible: true,
	additionalInfo: 'Additional info here',
	time: '2 minutes',
	isDismissable: true,
	onDismiss: () => console.log( "The task was dismissed" ),
	type: 'extension'
},

/**
 * Add your item to the tasks list.
 */
addFilter(
	'woocommerce_admin_onboarding_task_list',
	'plugin-domain',
	( tasks ) => {
		return [
			...tasks,
			myTask,
		];
	}
);

More help

To get an example of the extended setup task list in your site, you can clone the woocommerce-admin repository and run this command from inside the root directory:

# This is just to ensure all the needed dependencies are installed.
npm install
npm run example -- --ext=add-task

And activate the plugin: WooCommerce Admin Add Task Example.

The code that creates the extension is here.

An extension setup task like below will be created.

Features

  • Every task needs to be registered (through the filter woocommerce_get_registered_extended_tasks).
  • Every time a new extension task element is added the list will be shown, even if it was hidden before.
  • The Dismiss functionality will show an Undo snackbar and trigger the onDimsiss callback.
  • The onDismiss prop will be a method that is triggered just after pressing the Dismiss button in the task item.
@manospsyx

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@manospsyx manospsyx commented Feb 25, 2021

This looks beautiful, folks. A few questions/comments:

  1. Is a build step needed for the JS file (I see some ES6 in there)? If yes, it would help to point to a resource about building the plugin before distributing/packaging it.
  2. When re-using a Component, it would help to link to the documentation of that Component. Ideally, that documentation should link to more examples of how it is used or integrated out there in the wild.
  3. What steps are required to integrate all of this in an existing plugin? Are any additional build steps needed? One of the questions we've had was how to integrate the build process for new JS code into our existing build systems. The most sane answer I have heard has been to... package all of this pre-built code as an external dependency. Remember that the main consumer of these guides will be folks who have been writing PHP and vanilla JS, and learned how to code in their Inspector.
  4. Most developers will probably want to do something more with a task like this, for example ask the user to go somewhere and configure some options. It would help a lot to give developers a few pointers about where to go next. Linking to existing task-lists in core, or tasks added in existing Woo extensions would add a lot of value to this tutorial. Integrating these new experiences into existing Woo extensions and documenting the process will encourage people to deliver value through them. It sure takes some extra time to do this consistently, but the impact of awesome work like this will be much greater over time. The majority of developers in our ecosystem design + code by example, and even the best of us need a good kick to get rolling -- "dogfooding" helps us all build extensibility into our code earlier, lowers the barrier for others, empowers others to deliver more value through our work + encourages participation/contributions. I remember seeing some code similar to this example in Storefront (?) -- if yes, it would help to include it in a "Next Steps" section. If other similar work is planned in Woo's own ecosystem of plugins, prioritize a couple of those tasks, stay internally updated on the progress of those, and circle back to this doc (or create another) to document the outcome.

Keep it up!

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