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Testing experiment live only with employees and without tracking

Mr-BS 05-12-16
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Testing experiment live only with employees and without tracking

Hey guys,
for testing an experiment on a live environment, only visible for employees and without tracking, are the following steps correct?

 

  • set a test cookie and define the audience for that cookie
  • using the "force parameter" to avoid tracking

Or is there a easier, better way?

Level 2

JasonDahlin 05-12-16
 

Re: Testing experiment live only with employees and without tracking

@sRBjoern - Which plan are you on?

If you are using the Enterprise Plan, you can set up the experiment so that in order to be in the experiment you must have a specific URL parameter or already be in the experiment.  With this setup, you could craft a link that people can use that contains the URL parameter that grants them access.  Your Custom Audience would be JavaScript that looks for that URL parameter or the experiment's ID in the optimizelyBuckets cookie.  This allows you to set the experiment live on the site and allow users to enter the experiment and navigate the site to experience the experiment on each page without re-adding the URL parameter on each page,  Also, in this way they can use the force parameter to switch from one variation to another (presuming you have left that enabled).

 

As for tracking... are you using an Integration to send the tracking variable or is it part of your variation code?  If you are using an integration (like to GA or SiteCatalyst), remove the tracking until you are ready for it to go live for all users.  Or are you referring to tracking within Optimizely?  If that is what you are looking for, then forget everything above - the only way to do this reliably would be to leave the experiment in an "Off" state and use URL parameters to see what effect the experiment has on each specific page for the purposes of testing that page.  See here for more info on these parameters: https://help.optimizely.com/QA_and_Troubleshoot/Force_a_specific_variation_to_run

 

Another option is to revisit the first plan and let the users "test it out", then when you are ready to set it live real users, clone the experiment, remove the Cutsom Audience from the clone, pause the test experiment and activate the new experiment.

--Jason Dahlin
Analytics and Testing Guru Smiley Happy
Mr-BS 05-12-16
 

Re: Testing experiment live only with employees and without tracking

Hey Jason,

thanks for the quick reply.

 

I think this solution will work best for me:

Revisit the first plan (custom audience) and let the users "test it out", then when you are ready to set it live real users, clone the experiment, remove the Cutsom Audience from the clone, pause the test experiment and activate the new experiment.

Level 2