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Experiment Driven Development for Ruby
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README.rdoc

Vanity is an Experiment Driven Development framework for Rails.

Changes in the verticalbrands fork

Enabling/disabling an experiment through the cpanel. Specify a “default” alternative in the experiment specification; disabled experiments will always show that option. e.g.

ab_test "Price options" do
  description "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the better price of all?"
  alternatives 19, 25, 29
  default 25
  metrics :signups
end

While disabled, experiments will not be tracked as participants and metrics will not be recorded.

Experiments start off disabled. You will have to enable them, either programmatically or through the cpanel. This will affect currently running experiments (i.e. they will be disabled).

If collecting is off, experiments are always seen as enabled. A finished experiment will always be disabled. The following table summarizes experiment states:

collecting | active | enabled | showing     
--------------------------------------------
    T     |    T    |    T    | alternative <- only case when data is collected
    T     |    T    |    F    | default
    T     |    F    |    T    | (not possible, !active => !enabled)
    T     |    F    |    F    | outcome
    F     |    T    |    T    | alternative
    F     |    T    |    F    | (not possible, !collecting => enabled && active)
    F     |    F    |    T    | (not possible, !collecting => enabled && active)
    F     |    F    |    F    | (not possible, !collecting => enabled && active)

If your database already ran the normal vanity migration but doesn't have the enable/disable feature, run the update generator:

$ rails generate vanity:update
$ rake db:migrate

More Dashboard Features

  • Reset an experiment by clicking the 'reset experiment' button associated with that experiment. This will delete all collected data and restart the experiment from scratch.

  • Manually complete experiments and set the outcome by clicking the 'complete' button next to the option to be set as the outcome.

A/B Testing With Rails (In 5 Easy Steps)

Step 1: Start using Vanity in your Rails application:

Rails 2.x configuration

Rails::Initializer.run do |config|
  gem.config "vanity"

  config.after_initialize do
    require "vanity"
  end
end

Rails 3 configuration

Add to your Gemfile:

gem "vanity"

If using a relational database, run the generator and migrations to create the database schema:

$ rails generate vanity
$ rake db:migrate

Add to your application controller:

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  use_vanity :current_user
end

Step 2: Define your first A/B test. This experiment goes in the file experiments/price_options.rb:

ab_test "Price options" do
  description "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the better price of all?"
  alternatives 19, 25, 29
  default 25
  metrics :signups
end

NOTE: If using a metric as above ("signups"), there needs to be a corresponding ruby file for that metric. Inside the "experiments" directory create a "metrics" directory with a file called "signups.rb". The contents of the file can describe the signup metric, refer to the "Metrics" Vanity documentation page for an example.

Step 3: Present the different options to your users:

<h2>Get started for only $<%= ab_test :price_options %> a month!</h2>

Step 4: Measure conversion:

class SignupController < ApplicationController
  def signup
    @account = Account.new(params[:account])
    if @account.save
      track! :signups
      redirect_to @acccount
    else
      render action: :offer
    end
  end
end

Step 5: Check the report:

vanity report --output vanity.html

Rails 3

There is currently an issue with report generation. The vanity-talk Google Group has a couple posts that outline the issue for now. This is one of the posts: groups.google.com/group/vanity-talk/browse_thread/thread/343081a72a0cefb6

If you are collecting data (in development you need to opt-in to this by setting Vanity.playground.collecting = true in environments/development.rb) you can view experiment results with the vanity dashboard instead of the report.

The vanity dashboard setup instructions with Vanity work for Rails 3.x except the route is different. A Rails 3.x-style route would look like this:

`match '/vanity(/:action(/:id(.:format)))', :controller=>:vanity`

Registering participants with Javascript

If robots or spiders make up a significant portion of your sites traffic they can affect your conversion rate. Vanity can optionally add participants to the experiments using asynchronous javascript callbacks, which will keep almost all robots out. To set this up simply do the following:

  • Add Vanity.playground.use_js!

  • Set Vanity.playground.add_participant_path = '/path/to/vanity/action', this should point to the add_participant path that is added with Vanity::Rails::Dashboard, make sure that this action is available to all users

  • Add <%= vanity_js %> to any page that needs uses an ab_test. vanity_js needs to be included after your call to ab_test so that it knows which version of the experiment the participant is a member of. The helper will render nothing if the there are no ab_tests running on the current page, so adding vanity_js to the bottom of your layouts is a good option. Keep in mind that if you call use_js! and don't include vanity_js in your view no participants will be recorded.

Contributing

  • Fork the project

  • Please use a topic branch to make your changes, it's easier to test them that way

  • To set up the test suite run bundler, then run `rake appraisal:install` to prepare the test suite to run against multiple versions of Rails

  • Fix, patch, enhance, document, improve, sprinkle pixie dust

  • At minimum run `rake appraisal test`, if possible, please run rake test:all

  • Tests. Please. Run rake test, of if you can, rake test:all

  • Send a pull request on GitHub

Credits/License

Original code, copyright of Assaf Arkin, released under the MIT license.

Documentation available under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

For full list of credits and licenses: vanity.labnotes.org/credits.html.

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