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Testing New Features on UUA.org

How Potential Features Are Tested and Positioned on Our Main Landing Pages

Changes are instituted to main landing pages of UUA.org based on careful evaluation of data and statistical information as well as examination of proposed changes in light of the purpose and core audience of a given page. Main landing pages include the home page, resources page, and other similar index pages.

Information on a page is intended to fulfill the needs of the audience most likely to use the information. For instance, the core purpose of our home page, which has an audience which is comprised overwhelmingly of newcomers, is to get people to go to the Find a Congregation site. The core purpose of the resources page is to provide Unitarian Universalists with the information and resources they need to be more effectively engaged in Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations, UU life, and building the movement.

The default purpose for any page is to encourage people to learn more about Unitarian Universalism (UUism) and visit UU congregations. Any changes to major landing pages will be measured against whether we can get more people to go to the Find a Congregation page or to find out more about UUism. If we don’t pursue that goal, there must be another clearly-articulated purpose for a page that would inform a change in position of featured elements.

Major initiatives of the Association will be promoted through blog posts, event callouts, and news callouts. (A ‘callout’ is a featured headline, sometimes accompanied by a photo, which leads to more complete coverage on another page in the form of a complete document.)

The home page is the site where those new to UUism discover our faith. If we have new initiatives to promote that encourage newcomers to engage with our faith, we will test the positioning of such items on the home page.

The resources landing page will become the ‘home’ page for returning visitors and our base constituency. If we have new initiatives to promote that speak to UU life and UU leadership, we will test the positioning of such items on the resources page.

Testing of new initiatives or changes in positioning on a main landing page will be conducted in two key ways:

  • A/B testing: two versions of a landing page will be offered to people, served on a random basis. Google Analytics will track user action on the page, to see, for instance, whether having a particular item in a particular position leads more people to click on it, or whether fewer people click on an item below the fold. We will also track how many people look to find a congregation in either proposed version of a page where are other elements are tested.
     
  • A new initiative may be tested through use of a callout on our Home Page and another on our Resources page, to measure which gets more response. This will tell us how many people are clicking on the initiative in either circumstance, to inform us of the best placement for items of a particular sort.

In either case, testing will be conducted for a minimum of two weeks before a change is evaluated and, if warranted, instituted.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, July 22, 2011.

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