Why A/B Testing and Creativity Go Hand in Hand
We're not going to pretend otherwise - it's always nice to get a namecheck! And this one from Eric Seufert is particularly welcome given that we're all big fans of his work over at Swrve. And it might surprise you to know we're on board with his conclusions on A/B testing as well.
Just as a reminder, here's what Eric had to say, or at least some of what he had to say:
The hidden cost of A/B testing are born from an intellectual over-reliance on iterative, incremental improvements; this over-reliance blinds the organization to fundamental, existential shortcomings in the product.
We agree 100%. And the quote (and article) is a great shot across the bows of those who appear to believe there is some conflict between creative, original thinking and data-driven design.
We're always careful to remind potential and actual customers that Swrve (or any other A/B testing and in-app marketing solution) isn't going to make a poor app into a great one. That's not how it works. But what it will do is make sure that all the hard work you've put into the general awesomeness of your app or game is properly rewarded with the in-app revenues you deserve. In other words, we believe A/B testing and data-driven design can deliver ROI on your development effort and acquisition spend.
We can all think of examples of terrible apps that are never going to amount to anything. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. But equally, there are plenty of examples of great games and apps that despite being loved by users don't turn that love into dollars. That doesn't make for a sustainable business. It isn't acceptable to craft a fantastically playable game that fails to monetize due to simple, easily tested and changed attributes that have not been given the attention they deserve.
So as a service provider in the A/B testing space, we're all for the creative types who come up with killer mobile app concepts. We certainly would never claim that the approach we recommend would replace the need for them. In fact we dedicate ourselves to helping them reap just rewards for their work.
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