The “dark box”: a simple analogy to understand Zendesk Views

Whether it’s Zendesk or another help desk software that includes this kind of feature, a View is basically a filter to present specific tickets.

To set up a Zendesk View, this means you’ll need to input your condition(s) to subsequently identify specific tickets you want that View to show you and/or your agents.

This explanation isn’t always clear to a lot of people, however, so I’ll share the analogy I use to get this one out of the way.

All Zendesk tickets live inside a dark box

Imagine a dark box where all your tickets live. Every now and then, a slot opens, and a new ticket goes inside.

It doesn’t matter if the ticket channel is email, web widget, social network, API, and so on. All your tickets go inside the box.

Although you know all tickets are in the box, you can’t see anything. So you pierce a hole in the box, and light shines in a specific angle, illuminating some of these tickets, which you can now visualize. You just created a View.

Light through holes on the box will shine on specific tickets

This ray of light might not show you all the tickets you need, though. It depends where on the box you made the hole (the side and/or angle), and/or how big the hole is… That is, it depends on your View conditions.

In practical terms, a View that has the conditions Status is less than Pending, and Channel is Email, is very different from a View where Status is less than Solved, and Channel is Email (the former will show you less email tickets than the latter).

And in the end, it’s not about how many holes you make on the box, it’s about if they’re in the right place, and/or if they’re the right size.

It’s probably not the best analogy, but it usually does the trick whenever I have to introduce this simple function of the Zendesk Support tool.

I’d love to know what tricks and tips you use for this or any other Zendesk-related element, so please feel free to share in the comments below.