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Figuring if we can use Optimizely the way we want

oadaeh 06-22-16
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Figuring if we can use Optimizely the way we want


I'm new to Optimizely, and I'm trying to figure out how to use it.

The way we were planning on doing it was to do something similar to changing the page content/code based on the URL, whether differences in the path or a query parameter.  Based on my reading and searching, I don't think we can use it the way we were planning, but maybe I missed something somewhere.

It looks like the way to create and execute a test is to create an experiment in the UI/code editor, and make the page changes there with a variant, and that there is no place to just provide two URLs for comparison.

It also looks like the API is mostly (only?) for organizational data like projects and experiments, and not for manipulating the page content that is being tested.


Some of the changes we want to test would involve adding or removing fields to a form that would affect the data that is being captured, and I don't think that would be something that would be easy to do with the UI (maybe not even possible?).

Is there some documentation somewhere that would illuminate me on how to do what we are trying to do, or is it not possible?


Thank you.


Level 2

MartijnSch 06-23-16

Re: Figuring if we can use Optimizely the way we want


I think already the first case that you want to be handled by Optimizely can perfectly be done that way as it will make sure that you can pick up the variables that you send from the query parameter. You might need to write some custom code to get this to do whatever you want but then it's also handled.

Doing this via the API might become a bit too complicated for what you're looking for as well. But in the end I think we need more information on your actual use case to see if this would work and what the needed code would be to get your case to work properly in Optimizely. The way you write it, it should definitely be possible!

Hope this gives you at least some more insights into the capabilities of Optimizely!
robertchan 06-23-16

Re: Figuring if we can use Optimizely the way we want

You can compare just two URLs by inputting the desired URLs into the experiment and setting the match to be Simple Match so that your experiment just runs on those links.

In terms of the API, Optimizely gives you the ability to integrate it with your stack. I would apply it to something like a custom interface for your company or building custom functionality into the operations of your experiments. Within each experiment, there are two areas where you can write custom code to manipulate the page content. One is the Experiment JavaScript section which allows you to run code globally across all your variants, and the other is the Variation Code which allows you to run code based on the variant you are editing.

It is completely possible to add and remove fields to a form, I have previously done this a number of times. Also, you can reference the awesome documentation that Optimizely provides here:
Robert Chan

Experimentation Hero
oadaeh 06-23-16

Re: Figuring if we can use Optimizely the way we want

I was explaining the situation to one of my collegues, and the pointed me to the document which describes redirect experiments (AKA: split URL experiments) and that outlines exactly how to do it:


Level 2
Zsolt 06-24-16

Re: Figuring if we can use Optimizely the way we want

I highly recommend searching through the Knowledge Base. You might find more than you were looking for with a simple keyword search, like this one:
Level 5
juliofarfan 06-29-16

Re: Figuring if we can use Optimizely the way we want

What we've done when theres a limited access to update forms linked to a DB already is to preload "dummy" data by code and then hidding those fields, then user will not need to fill fields and you will be able to make those test. Using redirects and mixing with goals per pageview would be able to help you building the ab test cases you are talking about.