Calling all designers!

(…and bloggers, authors, and web admins…)

We are pleased to announce the launch of Myna for HTML – a simple new way to integrate Myna on your web site using 100% pure HTML. No coding required!

Up until now, integrating Myna has required some coding knowledge. This meant Myna was excellent for developers but posed a barrier for people who don’t code.

All that has changed – Myna for HTML is integrated directly into our dashboard so absolutely no programming is required. All you need is a little knowledge of HTML and CSS and a burning desire to optimise your website. (A Myna account will come in handy, too.)

Using Myna for HTML is a simple three-step procedure:

  1. copy-and-paste a snippet of code from our Dashboard;
  2. tag up your variants and conversion goals using HTML 5 data attributes;
  3. there is no step 3.

Full documentation is provided in our help pages, complete with live demos of common use cases. As always, if you need any help integrating Myna on your site, please get in touch!

New client library: Python

Just a quick post to let you know that there’s now a client library available for Python.

It uses the built-in httplib to allow you to suggest and reward your Myna clients. It has no external dependencies and has been tested in Python 2.7.

Here’s a link to the github repository, which includes some basic documentation so you can get started. We’ll add some more detailed information to the main site pretty soon.

A/B testing and the parable of the missing keys

My wife misplaced her keys yesterday. I politely enquired why she couldn’t put her damn keys in the same place every time she came in. She opined that if I wanted to be useful I should do less work with my mouth and more with my eyes. And so we set to work finding them.

As we searched, my mind naturally turned to A/B testing. It was clear from the start that we had two different strategies for finding the keys. She exploited her knowledge of where she had put her keys in the past, and her actions immediately prior to losing the keys. I explored more or less at random, arguing that her approach was proving unsuccessful and we should abandon our prior assumptions. Either approach on its own is inefficient, but together we were able to cover a large portion of the house in a relatively short period of time.

The exploration-exploitation dilemma lies at the heart of Myna. Myna constantly balances exploiting the variants that have worked well in the past against exploring other variants to see if they are in fact better. Myna can make an optimal tradeoff due to the power of the algorithms, and the relatively simple structure of the A/B testing problem.

Designing A/B tests involves a similar balancing act. We can exploit our knowledge of prior tests and best practices (such as these) to guide us when creating our own experiments. However, we must be cautious not to rely on those common tests too heavily. What has worked before, or for others’ customers might not work now or for ours. Similarly, exploring any and every idea that pops into our minds may be very interesting, and potentially bring dramatic results, but this has to be balanced with the risk of confusion or wasting time.

As you can see, once you start looking for it, you’ll find the exploration-exploitation dilemma everywhere.

My keys

No prizes for guessing who found the keys. (PS: it wasn’t me.)

New and improved documentation

Earlier in the week, we sent out a short survey to our awesome beta testers, asking them what they would most like to see added to or improved upon in Myna.

One of the common responses was a request to improve our documentation. So, we’ve done it, and you can access the new and improved documentation from the ‘help’ tab above, or from this handy link.

We’ve made lots of changes, improving significantly on the organisation and layout, and adding a shiny new demo page for the javascript client library, complete with code samples.

Demo page for the Javascript client library

We’ll continue working on the documentation to make sure it’s as complete and helpful as possible. We hope that this initial change will make it easier and faster to start A/B testing with Myna.

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding the documentation (or anything else), please let us know using our contact form.

Thanks!

Oxygen Accelerator

Greetings from Myna HQ!

It’s been a veritable whirlwind of excitement since our last post.

Firstly, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve been accepted onto the Oxygen Accelerator program at BSP-A. This is a 13-week bootcamp for startups, providing access to mentors, introductions to investors, and (importantly) office space.

The information and advice we’re receiving is golden, and we’re having an absolute blast. We’ll admit to being a bit nervous about being locked in a room with a gang of hungry startups, but they’re a great bunch, with some fantastic ideas, and we really do wish them well on their way.

And if nothing else, we have a captive audience.

tweet from Upcloo

 

While we’re absorbing information like a pair of parched sponges, we’re also hard at work on Myna itself. We’re working on some refinements to the UI and reporting features, and rolling out changes to the support system – our help pages are getting a bit of a polish, and we’ve just given our internal metrics tracking a significant boost, integrating with Mixpanel.

We also seem to have adopted a small robot.

Tiny robot, Myna's Oxygen mascot

Isn’t he cute?

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