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How To A/B Test Faster With Less Dev Effort

Tagged As: Process

In this post, I will show how you can test page flows, form changes, and more without backend changes. And if you hire an external consultant, an idea can be ready within hours without impacting your development team. So, you can continue to improve your site and A/B test at the same time.

Watch: Summary And Short Demo

Technique 1: Prioritize And Pre-Build Ideas

You should have a list of ideas that is constantly being prioritized and discussed by your team. The next idea should be agreed upon. And ideally the next test should be pre-built, so it can start as soon as the current test ends. Checkout Jakub’s post on prioritization.

Technique 2: Make Changes On The Fly

You can make big changes by injecting code on the front end, so your developers don’t have to deploy anything. You can test new page transitions, rearrange form elements, or even add new “pages”. Images can also be served on the front end without uploading.

As a result, your code remains intact. Your internal deployment schedule is not impacted. All page changes can be removed in an instant from within your 3rd party testing tool.

Technique 3: Build Throw-Away Code

Your developers are used to building things to standards and with the long-term in mind. In contrast, for A/B testing, we build something that looks good as fast as possible. We don’t want to waste time on something we might throw away in a week. To maintain testing momentum, things have to be built quickly. So throwaway code is built, tested across browsers, and deployed as fast as possible. If it wins, then your team can invest time in more elegant solutions.

Technique 4: Deploy Independently And Faster

Developers often work around specific deployment windows, and there is a strict process to pushing code to production. If something needs to be changed, it again takes time. Even uploading an image can take a day or two. In contrast, when we test on the fly, A/B test code resides in the testing tool. The code can be deployed and changed again instantly. Images can be embedded directly as Data URIs without uploading.

If you have an idea for a test today, users can be seeing it same day. And I’m not just talking about simple word changes. Watch the video above for an example.

Hope this helps. Tell us how you have sped up your A/B testing process!

 

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Posted by Vlad Malik on Dec 19, 2016

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3 Comments on "How To A/B Test Faster With Less Dev Effort"

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Tehmina

Hi Malik

Please can you share examples of some throw away code ?

Tehmina

Some use cases will help

Vlad Malik

Hi Tehmina. I provided an example in the video. The variation I built is a hack using iframes. If this variation worked, that code would be thrown away.

There is no specific use case or specific code. ANYTHING you want to do in ANY use case, you can do the proper way or in a hacky, faster way that works well enough to be tested.

So the question is what do YOU want to do? Then, do that in the fastest way that gives a good enough result.

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