Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Improving Website Usability with A/B Testing

Category: Testing

Dare Obasanjo pointed us to Improving Website Usability with A/B Testing:

The good folks on the Microsoft Experimentation Platform team have published a paper which gives a great introduction to how and why one can go about using controlled experiments (i.e. A/B testing) to improve the usability of a website. The paper is titled Practical Guide to Controlled Experiments on the Web: Listen to Your Customers not to the HiPPO (PDF link) and will be published as part of the Thirteenth ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.

Ben and I got to see Fidelity’s UX lab, and watching the user testing is a real treat. The users always surprise you. Always.

It is interesting to compare A/B results on Ajax upgrades to sites. I saw a classic example where an application through up a modal form. The error messages were on the layers below, which was under the modal div.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:32 am
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What’s really interesting is the title from M$, “…Listen to Your Customers…”

I gloss over everything they put out (today was the Photosynth tryouts) because I just don’t beleive they can really ever change their mindset. It must come straight from the other BillG judging how he interacted with Jobs in those D videos. His ‘goodbye’ at the end was less than cordial, whereas I found Steve to be a genuinely cool guy.

btw: yes, I’m on an XP machine.

Comment by BillyG — June 6, 2007

Funny, I’m a mac user, and I thought Bill Gates came off as more likeable than Steve Jobs in that talk, because he was more genuine.

Comment by Joeri — June 7, 2007

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