The Happy Valley release introduces two major improvements to the Frosmo Control Panel: a completely redesigned modification UI and an improved content template workflow.

For the Frosmo Platform component versions in this release, see the changelog.

Major changes

New modification UI

The modification UI, which you use to create and edit modifications in the Control Panel, has been completely redesigned for improved usability and a smoother workflow. The redesign also introduces a more powerful integration with templates and comes with a few conceptual changes.

Here are the highlights:

For more information about modifications, see Feature: Modification.

The new modification UI will not be available to all customers on Happy Valley release. For more information, see Availability on release.

Create by use case, not type

Modifications are now categorized by use case, or simply "case", rather than by type. Types, namely basic and cached, no longer exist as such. When you create a modification in the new UI, you start by selecting the case for the modification. The Frosmo Platform currently supports the following cases:

Creating a modification in the new UI (left) and in the old UI (right)

Figure: Creating a modification in the new UI (left) and in the old UI (right) (click to enlarge)

Existing type-based modifications created in the old modification UI are converted to conform with the new UI as follows:

  • If an existing basic or cached modification uses the multi-armed bandit feature, the modification is converted to a multi-armed bandit modification.
  • If an existing basic or cached modification does not use the multi-armed bandit feature, the modification is converted to an A/B test modification. This applies even to modifications that only have one variation.
  • Cached modifications are converted to the appropriate case (as described see above) with content preloading enabled.
  • Legacy recommendation modifications, which are incompatible with the new UI, are not converted. Instead, opening a legacy recommendation modification in the Control Panel opens the old modification UI.

Frosmo handles the conversions on Happy Valley release, when we enable the new UI for sites.

Smooth, centralized workflow

In the new UI, configuring a modification is built around the following workflow:

  1. Define the visitor segments that you want to target with the modification. If you want to target all visitors, do not define any segments.
  2. Define the placement for the modification.
  3. Define the content for the modification.
  4. Optionally, customize the schedule and define the advanced settings for the modification.

You perform each step from a single, shared settings view. Moreover, in defining the segments and the placement, you can either select existing resources, or create and select new ones, without ever leaving the workflow and the modification UI.

Easy access to all resources related to building a modification

Figure: Easy access to all resources related to building a modification (click to enlarge)

Content preloading

In the new UI, the cached modification type is replaced by the content preloading advanced setting.

When you enable content preloading for a modification, the modification content gets loaded in the browser as a part of the custom script, decreasing the delay in rendering the modification. In short, the modification now functions like the cached modifications of old. Unlike with cached modifications, though, you can always disable content preloading for the modification, after which the modification content is again retrieved from the Frosmo back end.

Enabling content preloading in the advanced modification settings

Figure: Enabling content preloading in the advanced modification settings

Content types and settings

Modification variation content involves the following new key concepts and settings:

Figure: Variation content settings for each content type: custom, template, original (click to enlarge)

Variation preview

You can now easily preview variations directly from the Control Panel. To preview a variation, all you need to do is define a preview URL for the associated placement, and then select Preview from the variation quick menu in the modification settings. The preview opens the specified preview URL and displays the variation on that page.

The preview uses Frosmo Preview to display the variation, so you can preview both active and inactive variations, and the modification itself can be either active or inactive. The preview always retrieves the modification content from the Frosmo back end, so the content preloading advanced setting has no effect, if enabled. In addition, you don't have to be in the target audience defined for the modification to see the variation.

Previewing a variation from the Control Panel

Figure: Previewing a variation from the Control Panel (click to enlarge)

New look-and-feel

The layout and organization of the modification UI has been overhauled to better serve the workflow, and the visual style has been updated to match the rest of the Control Panel. The UI also now uses the sliding modal windows introduced for other key features in the Goodnews Bay release.

Modal windows in action Modal windows in action

Figure: Modal windows in action (click to enlarge)

Improved template workflow

Accompanying the new modification UI, creating and using templates in the Control Panel now follows a workflow that more clearly separates the template work from the modification work. In this new workflow, the coding happens when creating and editing a template, while using the template in a modification mostly involves filling out predefined fields in a graphical user interface.

In other words, as a rule, you no longer need to write JSON code for a variation that uses a template. This makes it easier to have developers focus on templates and non-developers on modifications. The only exception to this are templates that do not define a content options schema but that nonetheless require content options to be set. For these templates, you still need to define a JSON object in the variation.

Learn more about how the separation works in the Control Panel:

For more information about templates, see Feature: Template.

The improved template workflow will not be available to all customers on Happy Valley release. For more information, see Availability on release.

New in templates: Schemas

To support the new workflow, templates now include two new settings:

Both schemas use JSON Schema.

The template editor also provides a live, interactive preview of the content options UI as rendered based on the content options schema and content options UI schema.

Content options schema and content options UI schema Content options UI preview

Figure: Content options schema and content options UI schema, and content options UI preview (click to enlarge)

New in modifications: Content options UI

In the old modification UI, if a template used Mustache tags, not only did you have to provide the replacement values ("template defaults") in a JSON object in the variation, but you also had to know what the correct JSON properties were. The UI provided no information about the expected values.

In the new modification UI, the variation settings include a graphical content options UI, which allows you to easily define whatever values the template content requires to be defined. Under the hood, the template still uses a JSON object, which the content options UI generates, but the code is completely hidden in the modification UI.

Content options UI for a variation

Figure: Content options UI for a variation (click to enlarge)

Availability on release

The new modification UI and, by extension, the improved template workflow will not be available to all customers on Happy Valley release. The new UI is incompatible with a custom template solution used in some modifications on certain sites, which means that the new UI cannot yet be enabled for companies to which those sites belong.

We're working to convert the affected modifications to use the standard template solution. Once we've converted all modifications for a company, we'll enable the new UI for that company. In the meanwhile, the company users have access to the old modification UI.

If you do not see the new UI in the Control Panel on release day, this issue affects your company. If you have any questions, contact your Frosmo representative.

Bug fixes