Impersonating Frontend Users

Gain a better understanding of the member experience with "Impersonate User"

Lane Gibbs avatar
Written by Lane Gibbs
Updated over a week ago

Curious about what your members see when updating their profiles or registering for an event? The "Impersonate User" feature allows you to view everything through a member's eyes!

How do I impersonate a user?

From the Frontend Admin Bar

When logged in as a full admin, navigate to the frontend of your site. From there, you can find the "Impersonate User" button on the top admin bar.

After pressing this button, you'll be prompted to enter a user's name. Once you've selected your preferred person, hit Impersonate User.

From a Backend Member Record

Alternatively, you can start an impersonation session from the backend. First, navigate to the member record of the particular user you'd like to impersonate. At the very top of their record, under their name, you'll see the option to "Impersonate User".

You can click this to begin an impersonation session provided the user meets certain requirements. More specifically, they must have a user account and should not be a fellow admin. If they do not meet these requirements, the option to "Impersonate User" will be grayed out and un-clickable.

What can I see when impersonating a user?

Once you start impersonating, you can view every page that's accessible to your chosen user, including their Member Compass!

Additionally, a notification that you are in impersonation mode will replace your top admin bar. You can end the impersonation session by hitting the X on this notification.

You will lose the ability to access any admin features while impersonating. If you attempt to navigate to a page ending in /admin, Novi will redirect you to the Member Compass until you exit impersonation mode.

What is off-limits?

Practically everything in impersonation mode is identical to the user's experience. However, you cannot perform actions that impact a member's profile or transactions, including:

  • Saving profile or page changes

  • Completing checkout for a product or event ticket

  • Making payments

If you attempt to carry out any of these actions, you'll be met with the following warning:

You are impersonating a user. For security reasons, you cannot perform this action.

Other Notes

  • You will be logged out of your admin account when impersonating. As soon as you end your impersonation session, you'll be logged back in as an admin.

  • Actions taken in impersonation mode will still appear in your website logs. However, the logs will read "Impersonated by [YOUR ADMIN NAME]," rather than listing the impersonated user's name.

  • Single Sign-on (SSO) integrations that the user may have set up will not authenticate while you are impersonating them.

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