Website Optimization Update

While it’s seemingly been quiet on the website optimization front, we’ve been very busy behind the scenes. Over the last few months, Laura Mesa has coordinated the design of 5 A/B tests that we’re now in the process of implementing (3 on the First Run page and 2 on the IE download page).

Additionally, we’ve expanded the scope of our testing efforts. Look for tests to go live on and this week!

In the remainder of today’s post, I’ll discuss a few experiment results and share our website optimizations plans.

Experiment Results
Getting Started
In this test, the Marketing team wanted to determine how adding Firefox tips and tricks to the Getting Started page would affect user behavior.

Unfortunately, after running an A/B test, we didn’t see any improvement in visits per user, pageviews per visit, average time per visits, or bounce rate. For the most part, the differences were minor. The only statistically significant decrease (at the 99% confidence interval) was in visits per user.

First Run Design #1
In the first of 3 A/B tests on the First Run page (bottom image), 6.3% more users interacted with the page and total interactions increased 82.4%. The early results are encouraging, but we need to run the test longer to achieve statistical significance.

Note that the design with more interactions per user isn’t necessarily better. Our final analysis will focus on specific outcomes (i.e. Personas installed and clicks on the “stay connected” buttons).

StumbleUpon Promotion
For this test, we hypothesized that promoting a specific Add-on would be more effective than promoting Add-ons generally. Currently, both the experimental variation and control promotions have a .7% click through rate.

In addition to running tests, we used our (highly recommended) website optimization tool to run two simple surveys. With the first, we learned that 47.8% of users open new empty tabs from the new tab button, 30.4% open from the file menu, and 21.8% open from a keyboard shortcut.

With the second, we learned that 46.9% of First Run visitors are first time users, 8.5% used Firefox for under 1 year, and 44.6% used Firefox for over 1 year. The response rate for both surveys exceeded 15%.

Have an idea for a survey you’d like to run on Let us know in the comments!

Upcoming Tests
Two Additional First Run Designs
We will launch 2 additional A/B tests on the First Run page. Both use tab oriented designs.

IE download page
We will test at least 4 new designs for the the IE download page. We are still in the design phase, but expect to push the first experiments live next week.

IE Multivariate Test
In addition to testing entirely new designs, we want to understand which current design elements are most effective. Accordingly, we will run a multivariate test, switching in and out 4 page elements. Look for a blog post discussing the results soon.

AMO Landing Page
In our first test, we will measure how the featured Add-ons promotion affects bounce rate and Add-ons installed per visit.

SUMO Landing Page
The SUMO team wants to know whether we should reword article titles as questions. Our first SUMO test will do just that.

In addition to running these tests, we plan to test the download confirmation page and run 3 A/B tests on the Update page.

Many thanks go out to Laura, John Slater, Steven Garrity, Royal Order, and everyone else involved in this process! Next up, I’ll suggest a streamlined process for proposing and running tests.

10 responses

  1. Dwayne Bailey wrote on :

    I really enjoying reading these posts and seeing how the little tweaks make a big difference.

    We do Firefox localisation in South Africa. I’m always interested in issues related to language. I for one am interested in seeing how pushing something like an Afrikaans spell checker to the fore for a first time South African user (or an upgrading user with no spell checker installed) affects downloads of that extension.

  2. John Slater wrote on :

    Great stuff – thanks for sharing the latest details. Looking forward to doing much more of this…

  3. Tony Mechelynck wrote on :

    Why StumbleUpon? Its concept seems too privacy-invading to me, too much akin to the Alexa sidebar, Google ads, or anything powered by doubleclick. I’d rather have promoted Adblock Plus instead.

  4. Blake Cutler wrote on :

    @Tony More details are to why we used StumbleUpon are available on the Add-ons blog (

    I like your suggestion though! I try featuring Adbock Plus in a future test.

  5. atlanticoptimize wrote on :

    Sometimes we use Google website optimizer for multivariant testing. Thanks for sharing your results.

  6. David Tenser wrote on :

    Great summary of all the hard work you’ve put in to this. I’m excited about the possibilities here and can’t wait to use this for SUMO!

  7. Rex Dixon wrote on :

    Would love to see some exact data that you could share/upload to A/B Tests. Would be great to see some numbers on all the hard work you do here!

  8. Vuvuzelas wrote on :

    Great post, keep up the good work!!

  9. Karthikeyan Ramnath wrote on :

    What do you use to perform your multivariate testing? I google’s solution/implementation a bit restrictive, and was looking for options.

  10. Blake Cutler wrote on :

    @Karthikeyan – we use SiteSpect ( and have been very please with both their technology and support.

    If you don’t want to spend any money, Google Website Optimizer is hard to beat.