Almost as soon as the Internet got started, designers learned that they could tweak their GUIs to drive performance. Unfortunately, that took labor and time, a real disadvantage when results are hit-or-miss. Then too, when small businesses don’t drive much traffic, inferring causality comes with problems.

First Evolution: Univariate Testing

Refinement of A/B testing, where A represents a control and B captures an alternative/treatment, pushed web marketing forward early on. A vs. B is a simple, obvious idea. As a next step, how about A vs. B vs. C, then? That’s the current idea versus two univariate changes.

Univariate testing of D, E, F and so forth makes sense, too. Most landing pages have a nearly infinite number of possible univariate changes. On the other hand, creators lack both infinite time and infinite traffic. As a very powerful too, univariate testing expands the creative range of the designer. It also stretches designer resources to their limit.

Second Evolution: Multi-variate Testing

In addition to straining resources, univariate testing poses an obvious problem. That is, what if the best choice calls for making more than one change? If the designer balks at infinite univariate possibilities, how about infinity times that?

The only rational choice involves some sort of automation. Sentient ASCEND not only manages that task, but it also manages the bookkeeping at the same time.

Next Generation Innovation

In July 2017, Sentient announced a laundry list of new features to make testing more flexible. Some of these are really exciting. For example, if you have an API, chances are that you would prefer that customers use it instead of repetitive bulk downloading. If so, the new Manual feature lets the tester set up experiments to learn which multi-variate settings trigger use of the API.

Other enhancements include:

  • Sentient added Adobe Analytics to the existing suite of Google Analytics capabilities
  • Audience screening
  • Drill down to hard-to-reach parts of the design to make it easier to add treatments

The current version also permits export of the candidate code.

All-in-all the new version takes a new giant step on top of the last one. More than that, it lets the designer learn what works while it frees up time for more creativity. It’s hard to beat having more time for the part of the job designer’s love.