Optimizing Your Tutorial – Setting The Table for an Effective Tutorial

On June 14, 2011

You can have 20 million users download you freemium application, but if only 2 of them spend more than 30 seconds in your app you have a problem! This week we will look at ways to prepare for defining a tutorial and putting in place the framework to effectively optimize your tutorial over time.

Don’t fly blind, analytics is essential

There are multiple ways to optimize the performance of your tutorials but it will be next to impossible without proper analytics in place. There are many “off the shelf” solutions available for tracking metrics such as Apsalar and Flurry. Developers can also take advantage by building their own.  One size/solution does not fit all and it can be somewhat overwhelming when first attempting to secure effective means of data collection. However, if there is one word to the wise it would be this: The more data you have available the more insight you can capture. Make sure you are tracking users behaviors by device ID’s or other unique, non-personally identifiable sources. It’s essential to be able to track user segments and allow for effective cohort analysis.

What to track?

The sky is the limit to what to track and when, but I would suggest prioritizing the material you look to analysis. Here are a few prioritized suggestions:

1)      Find the gaps – Track the funnel and identify any major pain point users are having. If users are making it through steps 1-3 but sharply dropping off at step 4, you know where you need to look for optimization.

2)      Find the positive – See where users are effectively progressing and determine how you might be able to apply the user experience to other parts of the game

3)      Track behavior outside of the tutorial – It’s important to analyze the behaviors of users who choose to exit the tutorial or turn away from the initial “suggested” gameplay progression. See if stricter rules need to be put in place to force user education. Or you might find that users do just fine without your help!

4)      Track user segments – Not all users are the same. Compare the behaviors of users based on the following criteria

  1. Source – Where did they come from?
  2. Device – iPhone vs iPad?
  3. Territory – UK vs US?
  4. Relative App Info – What other apps do they have?
  5. Time and date acquired – 4pm on Tuesday or 2am on a Saturday?
  6. Events Comparisons – If user X gets through level Y, they are Z% more likely to convert to a paid user

Solving the problems

Next week we will speak to specific strategies on how to review your data and take meaningful steps to test your theories based on collected data.

Do you have a question about freemium gaming or a topic you’d like us to explore? Let us know in the comments or catch us on twitter @rechargestudios or @w3i.

Matt Tubergen heads Recharge Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of W3i that invests in the development and marketing/distribution of freemium mobile games.  W3i is a market leader in distributing and monetizing apps with over 500 million apps distributed for W3i clients. Recharge Studios is actively seeking new investment opportunities, if you have a great idea for a game contact us.

Freemium Game Blogs are published in partnership with the series on W3i’s corporate blog.