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Debug Optimize experiences

Optimize includes a number of features to help ensure that your experiences are running at peak performance, including preview mode, installation diagnostics, visual editor diagnostics, and Google Tag Assistant to validate the implementation of your measurement tags.

The Optimize debugger adds two important troubleshooting features: debugging variants and debugging live experiences. The debugger allows you to see the status of your targeting rules allowing you to achieve more predictable results and higher accuracy. The debugger is also helpful for troubleshooting experiences because you can see exactly which rules are evaluated as true or false.

Name check

Before debugging your Optimize experience you need to be familiar with the following terms:

  • Preview: The ability to preview a variant or the changes on a personalization.
  • Change: A change is a record on the Optimize visual editor changelist indicating one DOM change on the website.

Learn more in the Optimize glossary.

How it works

To troubleshoot an experience it helps to have a technical understanding of how Optimize works. The Optimize runtime is built on a container tag structure that's compiled into JavaScript which runs on your website when you start an experience. Optimize includes two debugging modes that provide technical details about your experience:

Debug a variant

The variant debugger is useful for testing and refining your experiences because it allows you to know exactly how your variant will perform when you start the experience. Once you've created a variant, you can access the debug information by locating the variant row and clicking: PREVIEW > Debug. This will open the Experience preview panel on the bottom of your screen containing relevant information about your experience.

Optimize: container debugger screenshot.

In the example above, the Experience preview debugger provides us with the following information:

  • This is an A/B experiment.
  • The experience ID is _Djiouwhrdoiwhdrjwdfnj.

Additionally, the debugger tells us that the experience was not applied, followed by the results of the targeting rules:

  • 🚫 Operating system equals Windows – failed.
  • ✅ URL contains – passed.
  • 🚫 Browser equals Chrome – failed.
Note: If you minimize the interface, you can reopen it by clicking the Debug button that appears in the lower-right of your website:

Debug a live experience

In addition to debugging a variant, you can also debug a live experience. Debug Live works in the same way as debugging a variant (above) except that instead of debugging a variant, you're debugging the entire experience. Think of Debug Live as debugging all of the running experiences in a container, whether you see them or not. Just as if you visited the website without Optimize.

You can debug a live experience by clicking More > Debug Live in the experience header.

Optimize: Debug a live experience screenshot.

Here's what it looks like:

Optimize live experience debug screenshot.

In the example above, the Live experience debug provides us with even more information:

  • It's using an Activation event: gtm.load
  • There are two events running on the page.
  • The first experience was applied for the event.
  • The second experience was not applied for the event.

For further assistance, please refer to the Troubleshooting section of the help center and the related articles below.

Related resources

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