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iOS 8 is upon us. While developers have been busy brainstorming and building creative ways to use new features like interactive notifications, Touch ID APIs, app extensions, and other exciting changes (which we’ll dig into later), the tech world is waiting to hear from a very important stakeholder in this release: the user.

Whenever developers introduce major changes to the user experience, user’s behavior will react in one way or another.  When rolling out new features — whether it’s a standard update or addition of a brand new feature from an iOS release — it’s essential to test the changes to understand the impact they have on your users.

Here are some suggestions for experiments developers can try on new features in iOS 8 that will directly impact the day-to-day user experience. All of these suggestions can be implemented with Optimizely for iOS – we’ve tested it and can confirm it’s fully compatible with iOS 8.

Interactive Notifications

interactive notifications in iOS 8

iOS 8 allows developers to design interactive notifications.

Apple is finally joining the party Android started a while ago around interactive push notifications. iOS 8 will allow developers to embed actions into push notifications. Users will no longer need to open the Facebook app to like a post; they can do it straight from the notification. This feature changes the game for app opens and engagement. It could mean fewer people are actually opening apps. If developers go hog-wild with notifications, users will also get annoyed.

Which actions will be most engaging? How many notifications is the right amount? This is new territory, user behavior is unknown and that’s why it’s always important to test into the optimal approach you’re considering.

Use Code Blocks in Optimizely for iOS to test different types of actions and copy for your notifications so you can measure how different iterations perform.

App Login with Touch ID 

App login with Touch ID in iOS 8

In iOS 8, app login is possible with Touch ID.

In iOS 8 developers can now use Touch ID to let their users log into their app. Typing in a password introduces a lot of friction into the signup flow, but Touch ID is also a new technology that isn’t perfect every time.

Just because Touch ID is available for app login, doesn’t mean it’s the best option for every user. Set up a simple A/B test to see how leading with one option vs. another impacts sign-ins and sign-ups. Depending on who your audience is and how they use your app, you may be surprised by the results.

Let’s face it, Touch ID doesn’t always work as promised. It’s important that your app respond before your users start to get frustrated and consider abandoning. Try testing different options for help text and UI elements to guide your users to a successful entry.

Extended Sharing Options

iOS 8 now lets developers share content from their apps with a new sharing options API. This release comes a big question: where will developers embed sharing actions? and what type of actions with sharing surface?

Extended sharing options in iOS 8

iOS 8 lets developers share content with a new sharing options API.

We recommend experimenting with different places in your app you can surface the option to share. Make sure you pick a consistent place that makes sense for users as part of their interaction flow. This can be hard to know for certain, so we recommend brainstorming some options with your team and testing as many as you can.

The types of actions you surface in your sharing options is also really important. Too many actions will clutter the experience and confuse people, threatening drop off. Think about the high-value actions you want your users to take. Start by highlighting only those. Then, progressively test into adding other actions based on user feedback and team ideas. If you start to see adding actions are negatively impacting your engagement, you know you might be going too far.

Go Forth and Test

There’s a lot for developers should be excited about in iOS 8, and we’re excited to see the great experiences that developers start delivering as part of this release. Optimizely for iOS is a great way to experiment with these new features, to make sure your users have a delightful, engaging experience with your app.

Learn more about Optimizely for iOS or upgrade to the latest Optimizely for iOS SDK.

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