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What I'd Test.

2.9.2009

I've been imagining doing some optimization testing on Woot's new design. This is a bit of an intellectual exercise, and a bit of show-and-tell for designing a web page optimization test.

All tested elements should run concurrently, and for at least a week. Woot's conversion rate is probably highly dependent on what's for sale that day. If a test were run where the display of the elements were non-random (one element per day, for example), the results would be so heavily influenced by the desirability of the item for sale that the element's actual influence on conversion would be impossible to suss out. The site is highly dynamic, but even the dynamic elements can be tested using style changes and JavaScript.

I'd measure the results of 2 different actions - signing up a new user and purchasing the item. There's a good chance that the test elements would influence these events quite differently.

Screen shot of Woot with overlay of optimization test areas
Above is a screen shot with an overlay of the elements I'd test for optimization. (Click for a full size screen shot) For each of these test elements, I'd test the original versus a new idea:

  1. I'd try different colors on this Call to Action button. In subsequent tests, I'd test the language of the button.
  2. I'd like to try a different treatment on this quick production information box. Creative styling (like what I've drawn, only good) that highlights the Call to Action button might prove effective.
  3. Hiding the Discussions box as a test element will tell us whether visitors are being distracted from converting.
  4. This smaller headline might prevent people from seeing the rest of content that would be more convincing.
  5. Same for the larger headline.
  6. I'd test hiding this advertisement box. Once it's influence on conversion rates is identified, we can look at the ROI of the advertising revenue to see if it's worth keeping the ad.
  7. Lastly, I'd try moving this more straightforward and detailed description of the product near the top of the page.

All in all, that's 7 different elements to test. If we test only 2 versions of the Call to Action Button, we can do it in 8 experiments (the unique number of pages displayed) using a fractional factorial array. If Woot's traffic volume and conversion rate support 16 experiments, we can test 4 versions of the Call to Action button, as well as more versions of the other test elements, or a few completely new test elements.

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Tags: landing-pages marketing optimization web-design

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