I’ve had a chance to play around with a brilliant new tool, released from beta just recently, called Optimizely. Optimizely is a tool which allows anyone to alter the layout and elements on a web page with no knowledge of web development whatsoever. I was impressed by how easily you can get started by just entering the URL of the page you wish to work on. The tool loads the page inside its own and allows you to play with any of the elements on the page. You can resize, move or remove each element, allowing you to create dramatically different page layouts and designs without creating anything new.
To go a step further, you can upload new images to replace old ones, change the destinations of links, and if you have some html skills you can edit. Again, this opens up fantastic opportunities to create new versions of a page without needing any support. We came across a few issues. It is not easy to change which elements are layered on top which is problematic when buttons disappear behind other items. The tool’s capability is limited by the way the website is built – we couldn’t do anything with a webpage that was essentially an image and a button. Implementation is almost as easy as the page editing. There is one line of code that needs to go on the page you wish to test! The tool will automatically measure engagement on the page, so any links, actions etc. will result in a success. I would argue that this is not a very good measure of success for 90% of my clients, but in that case you can specify a URL as a success by placing the code on the success page too. Simple. The tool has its own results page with confidence built in and you can test up to 2000 visitors. We are just finishing our first test and haven’t had any problems at all. The winning page variation is currently 74.2% better than the original. Money well spent.