Thursday, 22 July 2010

Use of Awards endorsement in web pages

In the past we've included any awards the company or product have attained based upon the assumption that they can only be a positive thing to have on the web page. Well I finally got around to measuring exactly what effect the use of an award logo had when added to a page. Basically I had concluded an earlier optimisation exercise on a landing page using Maxymiser and tweaked the winning page combination to show an award logo instead of the image of two people. I let the adapted test run for 3 weeks and the winning combination fell from a 9.96% uplift to minus 4.05% thus showing that the use of award imagery in this context was ineffective. Click on the image below to enlarge for a summary of what happened.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Is Fatwire any good?

Looking for information on Fatwire and MVT testing? 

fatwire If you didn't know Fatwire is a content management system...

We have been doing MVT and AB testing on a Fatwire (FW) website for the last 10 months. FW dictates that your website is constructed through a series of templates which dont lend themselves to conventional mvt tagging; well not easily anyway.

We decided upon using Maxymiser as a testing solution primarily because their one touch solution could be worked into the header of the websites master template, thereby enabling us to conduct tests across site with zero (any I really mean zero) IT department input from then on. Putting Maxymiser (or any third party testing tool)  tagging in the header means it needs to be in a site-wide 'asset' of FW, thus enabling you to conduct MVT or AB testing anywhere within your website. Doing this allowed Maxymiser to then render out alternative/test content on top of your 'restrictive' Fatwire content.

If you want to be consistent with your Fatwire templates, you really need to come up with test variants based on the content restrictions of your current, available templates. This is a high level choice to make. Personally because Maxymiser could render any designs I liked over the top of the current suite of Fatwire templates we had, I decided to go with page designs and content that didn't bear much,if any,  resemblance to the Fatwire content beneath. This was because I wanted to see what gains could be made by testing alternative layouts and use any uplifts as leverage with our IT department in getting new templates built, becauseI could prove the benefits of doing so.  Additionally while your running an MVT test over the top of the Fatwire you are effectively 'making hay while the sun shines'. By that I mean that even while your running a test, nine times out of ten, because your layouts are not restricted by the Fatwire template business rules, you're already going to benefit in customer conversion during the test period alone which you wouldn't have got otherwise. I will talk about using your testing tool as a CMS in a later post. It's a bit controversial : )

In all honesty if I had the choice I would not be working with Fatwire at all, especially not the very old version we have. It's effectively a step backward in terms of web design, it's highly restrictive in terms of design flexibility. The illustration I've taken to recently using if that a one man band building an e-commerce website in his bedroom using something like Microsoft Front-page, actually has the potential means to add 90% more functionality to his website than someone using a traditional content management system such as FW. Think about that. If you have some JavaScript based web service or dynamic content you want to have a go with using, just by way of a trial, with FW, how much heartache do you have to go through to get that tagging, or JavaScript included into your website body header or body? If it's not a major hassle to you or your IT department then fair play but you're probably not the norm.

Anyway here's my true feelings about good old  FATWIRE laid bear through the medium of satirical animated video.....