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The Results of Our Own Home Page A/B Test

Did you notice our new home page?

addthis-new-homepage-nov-2014

We are constantly testing and fine-tuning our home page (we practice what we preach when we say perform A/B tests!) and this is the result of our latest project. Our goal was to pinpoint the best way to tell our story. In other words, how do we best layout our home page to benefit our users? Here are the steps we took to get to where we are today.

Step 1: Content Creation

We wrote some copy. Reviewed the copy internally. Wrote it again. Approved it internally. Laid it out in a simple template and presented it to users. Collected feedback. Repeated.

This might seem like a lot for Step 1 of the process, but it’s truly how we did it. We went through at least 8 variations of copy—all with different approaches on how we talk about our tools, what we do, and why you should use them. When something resonated with our test users (more on that below) we deemed it good enough to then tweak again for another test. Exhausting, isn’t it?

Step 2: Layout

Once we pinpointed the copy we wanted to use, we played around with possible design layouts.

We tried putting descriptions above the testimonials and below. We asked ourselves a lot of questions to help figure out what we needed to do. Did we want long scroll or have everything above the fold? Would video help tell the story or distract from the focus? Do colored buttons matter or are text links enough? Where should we place the call-to-action buttons?

We tested multiple layouts (as I am sure you can imagine) until we found one that allowed us to get the best response from our users.

addthis-homepage-release-wireframe-sketches

Step 3: Users Tests

Outside of testing our actual home page, and showing a different message and layout to visitors, we also used a site UserTesting.com. It cost a little bit of money, but the responses and feedback are genuine and really allow you to get a great pulse on how your visitors act when they’re on your site. You can see video of them interacting on your site and hear their questions during the process.

Step 4: Finalize the Design

Once we collected and analyzed responses, we sliced and diced design and content to pull it all together. This is where we put more time into copy and design. Everything we had learned up to that point played a role in the UX of the new home page.

Below is the result—or better yet, see it in action!

addthis-new-homepage-longer-nov-2014

We’re thrilled with how it came out, and we hope you guys love it too. That’s not to say we we won’t run more tests—because we will. We know you can never stop learning. Even though this home page may have tested the best against our past designs, it doesn’t hurt to run another round of testing to uncover even more of what we can be doing.

So, in the spirit of collecting feedback, let us know what you think!

  • That Web Look

    This is great advice and something I’d love to do with all our clients. What sort of results did you see? Obviously the design is great, but how did the figures come out?

  • N1kko

    Looks great one thing I did notice sign in with email button cuts off on iphone safari

  • ELSAYEDISMAIL

    IT IS EASY TO SHARE FCEBOOK AND ANOTHER WEBSITES

  • Excellent!

  • Beautiful website, inspiring! It has a clean design, practical, functional and different, congratulations!

  • TRWebDesign

    If budget allowed, I would be doing AB testing the whole way thru, starting with Step 1. I might not even submit variants to an internal review since I’m not after the opinion of my employees, but my users. And they might surprise you.

  • I love the humility behind discussing a web project like this. And I love how you guys place a premium on user feedback. The customer is truly the hero and has been understood, mentored and helped. I think I like the design very much.

  • For the sake of testing, what would happen if you removed the 3 buttons
    (Continue with Google, Continue with Facebook, Continue with email)
    and instead have one huge button saying “Sign up” or “Get Started” (more tests needed for what would appeal to the user) and underneath saying “Its free, get started in minutes…” (again you should come up with something better here)?

  • The new home page – great idea and really nice design.

  • G.

    First thing I noticed was the white jagged corners of the “continue with …” buttons… Looks like it’s been cut out lazily. So much work, but no attention to the little details. Too bad…

  • Patrick Kass Hanna

    Great work!

  • Can you have more than those 3 on 1 Home Page? Like all the pages you deal with in and out every day?

  • Sorry, we’re not understanding Sue. Can you clarify your question?

  • Why, thank you!

  • That’s interesting, N1kko. Can you email us a screenshot? help@addthis.com

  • Nice write-up. I’m curious to see the other designs and which elements of the design were more effective in your A/B testing.

  • Shannon

    Thanks! We’re excited about it too – and we’re excited to keep testing!

  • Shannon

    Hey Andrew – we had a lot of designs that were really simple with a lot of testing elements. We pulled elements from each test that worked and blew them out in order to get to this design/copy. In essence, we found that examples of the product worked well, testimonials worked well and crisp, clear copy is the way to go!

  • Shannon

    Thanks for letting us know! We’ll take care of that!

  • Shannon

    Great ideas! We actually tested one large CTA but found that giving people the option to have simple registration options resonated well. But, as I said, we’re always testing, so don’t be surprised if you see this sometime soon :)

  • I would like to thank you for your idea – create new Home page… I will try to do it same on my pages :)

  • Randal Oulton

    I hate to rain on the parade but when I came here today to grab some stuff quickly i went WTF, lol, it was a nightmare to find stuff, it’s probably just me and maybe I’ll figure it out eventually but I actually found the previous incarnation extremely intuitive from the first day I used it. I would say the design is one of those great “look at” designs, but not so great for content creators who actually need to find stuff and do stuff. For instance, your design just let me choose a menu item and go to another page, losing all this comment with no warning. I fear functionality has been sacrificed ? Anyway, I see everyone else likes the look of it, I’m just talking about the actual usability :}

  • Shannon

    Hey there – thanks for the feedback! Would love to hear more about what you were specifically looking at, as we’re always trying to improve. Were you looking for a tool or support articles? We want to make things as simple to find as possible while delivering the value of the tools clearly and distinctly so if you feel like we missed something, I’d love to know!

  • Hera

  • Richard

    I’m confused. The homepage looked pretty cool with all this stuff. Why is it so incredibly ugly now? The grey text on white physically hurts to look at. For serious.

  • Shannon

    Good feedback… as you might imagine, we’re still running tests on this and your feedback is def. appreciated!

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