This article will help you:
  • Understand how mobile optimization can have an impact on your mobile business
  • Create an Android or iOS experiment using the Optimizely Visual Editor
  • Create variations, target the experiment, allocate traffic, set goals, and preview the experiment

Welcome to Optimizely! in this article, we'll get you set up and walk you through how to create an experiment for your mobile app in Optimizely's mobile Editor.

What is mobile optimization?

Put simply, mobile optimization is the process of discovering how you can deliver an experience that achieves your conversion goals -- like increasing daily active users (DAUs), in-app purchases (IAPs), downloads, registrations, ratings/reviews, or revenue.

Optimizely enables you to do this through A/B testing (running multiple versions of your experience to compare which is most effective) and delivering personalized, targeted content. We have a more in-depth description in our Getting Started Guide for Web, but let's focus on how optimization can make a big difference for your app.

Mobile usage is quickly outpacing web traffic in many areas, which means that increasingly, your main touchpoint with your users and customers is their mobile device, not their desktop. But, unlike the web, your releases are dependent on the App Store, which could make it tougher for you to stay agile while still providing the best possible experience. This is where testing and optimization fit in:

 
Tip:

Wondering what mobile app testing is all about? Check out our mobile optimization strategy guide and testing ideas for mobile apps!

Have more questions about Optimizely's mobile functionality? Visit our FAQ or check out our iOS SDK and Android SDK install guides if you're a developer.

  • Acquisition is tough, so lifetime value (LTV) matters. By testing multiple experiences, you can discover what changes most affect engagement and retention through causal (not correlative) relationships.
  • App store approval cycles mean that you need a "kill switch." Platforms like Optimizely make it easier for you to modify and remove content that impairs the user experience.
  • Less code to maintain. When you make changes using a mobile optimization platform, you can modify content simply, without much (or any) code.
  • Mobile is real-time and high-touch.  Unlike on the web, mobile users usually have a constant connection to their device, which makes apps stickier than the web. Optimizely enables you to implement real-time feedback and personalize content to increase stickiness and value.

Editing modes

Optimizely provides three mechanisms for crafting A/B tests:

Visual Editor

Modify your app without touching any code to change text, colors, and reposition existing elements. For example:

  • Make CTAs more prominent
  • Hide distractions or obstacles to your user flow

Live Variables

Modify the variables that govern UX and functionality including design, process flow, and when/how the app requests feedback. For example: 

  • Change in-game physics
  • Display different number of articles
  • Request permissions at different times
  • Modify default search sorting

Code Blocks

Introduce new elements and change the sequence of content loads. For example:

  • Add floating modules
  • Change registration flow

This guide will walk you through setting up an Android and iOS experiment using the Optimizely Visual Editor. If you are using Interface Builder or Storyboards, the Visual Editor will be ready to use. However, if you are creating your views programmatically, some advanced setup (iOS and Android) is required.

Setup and implementation

To get started, you will create an Android or iOS project from the Home page and work with your developer to install the Optimizely SDK.

 
Important:

Have you or your developer already installed the SDK and set up your mobile project? Then skip this section and start creating your experiment!

Installing the SDK enables you to connect your app (running on a device or simulator) with your Optimizely account. Once you make the connection, you can immediately use Optimizely's Visual Editor to make changes to elements in your app.

Here's what that process looks like:

  1. Go to the Home page, click the project menu icon () next to your project name, and click New Project


     
  2. Select either an Android or iOS project, give it a name, and click Create project.
     
  3. From the Home page, look in the Settings tab to find your project ID and API key, which you'll use during implementation.



     
  4. Click on Install the SDK to begin, or email the instructions to your developer - they will be able to view the instructions whether or not they have an Optimizely account.  You can either install the SDK using CocoaPods (recommended for iOS),  Gradle (recommended for Android Studio users),  Maven(recommended for IDEA/Eclipse users),  or manually. If you're unfamiliar with how to install our SDK, send our iOS or Android guide to your developer.You will know if your SDK has been successfully installed when your Home page signals that Optimizely has detected your application and you can create a new experiment.
  5. (Optional) Optimizely provides rich analytics on our mobile Results Page, but you can also integrate with your mobile analytics framework (Android, iOS) to slice and dice your experiment data against the data you track in your analytics platform.
  6. (Optional) Set user roles and permissions to control levels of access to your mobile experiments. You can do this from the Collaborators tab in Optimizely.
 
Important:

Always remember the following when you edit an Android or iOS experiment.

  • When connecting to the Editor, make sure that you have the correct project code in your application.
  • The device can have only one connection active at a time with the Optimizely Editor.
  • Your app (with the Optimizely SDK and project code installed) must be running while you launch and edit any mobile experiment.
  • If your app is live in the app store, you will not be able to connect to Optimizely's editor to create experiments.  If you would like to enable this functionality, you can have your developer follow the instructions here.  Note that if you enable this functionality, all your users will be able to put your app into edit mode if they draw the Optimizely 'O' in the app.

Congratulations! Now you have Optimizely configured to create a mobile experiment. In the rest of this article, we'll walk you through how to actually create an experiment. Read on to find out how!

Build an experiment in five steps

Optimizely makes it easy to create your first A/B test. Check out how to build a mobile app experiment in five steps

  1. Create a variation
  2. Create audiences
  3. Set traffic allocation
  4. Set goals
  5. Preview your experiment and launch it

To learn more, check out this 20 minute video on building an experiment from 0 to launch. It also covers key strategies for mobile optimization.

What's next?

Once you launch your experiment, you’ll start collecting results!

Optimizely's Results Page provides detailed, statistical data that helps you understand how visitors navigated each experience or variation in your app. Check out this article on interpreting results to learn more about viewing and interpreting your results.

Here's a sneak peek of the results page:

Once Optimizely has enough data, it will declare a winner out of all the variations to show you, with real visitor data, which version of your page is best at driving the conversion goal. Aren’t you glad you tested?

That's the end of our Getting Started Guide for mobile Optimization, but as you create your first experiments and learn more about experience optimization, we encourage you to further check out the Knowledge Base for more detailed technical and strategic guidance.

 
Tip:

Want to learn more about mobile optimization? Check out this thread in the Optiverse community, where experts have answered a series of questions about testing in mobile.