What is strict and non-strict mode in the user flow report?

Analytics new Coming in version 13.0.0

When you use filters in the user flow report, data that you see may be not what you expect. It’s because, by default, Piwik PRO reports all events that happened on the visitor path. We call it strict mode. So when a visitor performs other events before the filtered event, Piwik PRO will not catch it as an interaction.

The strict mode mode may sometimes be unhandy, and you may want to skip events that happened before the filtered event. This is when you can use non-strict mode.

Let’s look at a few examples.

A visitor performed a session with the following events:

  • Page view: /home
  • Page view: /product-tour
  • Button click: /product-tour
  • Page view: /sign-up
An example of visitor journey on the website.

We’ve set up the user flow report with the following conditions:

  • Key interaction: Event type = page view
  • Next interaction: Event type = page view, Event filter = Page URL contains /sign-up
Settings in the user flow report in Piwik PRO.

Strict mode will show the following data:

  • Key interaction: page view
  • Next interaction: empty
Strict mode in the user flow report in Piwik PRO.

Piwik PRO shows empty for the next interaction because it sees a page view /product-tour as the next event, which doesn’t meet the set conditions.

Non-strict mode will show the following data:

  • Key interaction: page view
  • Next interaction: page view /sign-up
Non-strict mode in the user flow report in Piwik PRO.

In non-strict mode, Piwik PRO omitted a /product-tour page view and button click on /product-tour — events that happened before the visitor viewed the sign-up page — and shows the page view on the sign-up page.

Turn on strict or non-strict mode

To turn on strict or non-strict mode, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics (new).
  2. Navigate to Custom reports.
  3. Create a new user flow report.
  4. Toggle Strict mode or Non-strict mode.
Strict and non-strict mode in the user flow report in Piwik PRO.
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