September Optimizer of the Month: Michael Richter

by Optimizely ‎10-06-2016 October 6, 2016

Fresh off a well-deserved holiday, we're happy to recognize someone who, with over 100 helpful replies, is an Optiverse Hero! Congratulations, Michael Richter! Or shall we call you, CouchPsycho!?!
Read below to learn more about Michael. And maybe if someone asks nicely, he'll tell us the origin of his screen name! Smiley Happy
Tell us a little about your profession. What do you do? How do you use Optimizely?
I am working as conversion optimization and ux-manager at TUI Deutschland. My department is responsible for two portals: and, which are the internet sites for two club resort chains very popular in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Since our main objective is to sell trips, ux and conversion optimization are working areas of high importance. Therefore i use optimizely in two ways: On the one hand, as intended, to run split-tests to determine better converting options. This refers to different kinds of objects like teasers, headline, cta's or added promotional elements. On the other hand as a tool, to run an A-test, which is not a test at all, but a simple and quick way to add modifications and functionality to our websites. Although it might sound weird, it is sometimes faster and cheaper in comparison to hand this task over to our IT department. There are many things realizable in this way. Since i graduated in computer science my background allows to let optimizely variations e.g. use external APIs. This is, where real fun begins and where people really get amazed, what is possible with this tool.

When did you start working in the optimization space?

Last year! Ok, to be honest, whenever you are working in the e-business you think about optimization, but by using a tool you replace your gut instinct by mathematics and statistics, which makes discussions more effective and even easier. 
What's your favorite Optimizely feature?
No doubt: Experiment and project Javascript. Whenever possible i try to realize variations by parametrized functions because the code has only to be written once within one experiment and can be used throughout all variations. It can by copied to new experiments and global functions can be stored in project javascript.  

What product feature would you most like to see Optimizely implement in the future?
Project stylesheets. That would be awesome, reusing styles without having to copy them from experiment to experiment.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of & engaging in Optiverse?
It is all about learning. By helping others and getting help from others, one can learn a lot. Seeing, where others encounter problems makes me think about solutions. That sometimes triggers new ideas for my own optimization efforts. I am also getting some insides in other business, since i do "only" work in tourism. While our products are different our customers or users are sometimes the same. So, the community is a great opportunity to get mir and deeper insights, which let us all benefit from each other.

What has been your proudest accomplishment with Optimizely? Have you launched any unusual tests?
Besides the platform certification and the one for developers, which will follow soon, i hope ;-) ... everything dealing with external data, which i add by using ajax and -if necessary- by implementing event listeners. The more challenging the implementation is, the more it ist to make obstacles vanish by coding :-)

What's a website or app you simply cannot live without?
Instagram for photography purposes and 

Being fearless is one of Optimizely’s core values. What's the most fearless thing you've ever done? Personally or professionally.
Jumping from a 3-meter-diving tower at the age of 8 during my first swimming lesson. I can the see the bottom of the pool, so it can not be very deep. :-) That was a wrong hypothesis ;-)

If you could add one thing to Optiverse what would it be? 
A daily email-report, which reports the current status of experiments regarding the primary goals. And :-) an email-alert, when a variation won.

by mminshew
‎10-07-2016 October 7, 2016

I love the email alert idea!

Level 5
‎10-13-2016 October 13, 2016

Congratulations Michael! I really like the idea of project stylesheets that you mentioned!

Experimentation Hero