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Build a Better Testing Workspace With Our 10 Tips

A lot of factors impact the speed with which you can execute an optimization testing campaign: the complexity of your tests, the expertise of your team, the desired statistical significance of your results, and more. One factor that’s often overlooked, however, is the organization of your testing workspace.

A testing workspace is the campaign dashboard developers use to configure test campaigns and establish the settings of those campaigns. It can be challenging to keep a workspace organized because people with different roles and backgrounds will use it, including marketers, data analysts, and quality assurers. But an organized workspace helps everyone work more efficiently, which makes it easier and faster to launch campaigns.

As a Solutions Engineer at Oracle’s Maxymiser, I recommend anyone looking to improve their workspace organization develop a good, consistent naming convention. This will encourage people who use the testing workspace to give all objects in the workspace names that indicate the objects’ purpose.

Developing a Naming Convention

A brief reminder: Everything stored in a workspace is an “object.” Objects can be tests, scripts, metrics, pages, test elements (and their variants, which are different versions of those elements), and more. To tidy up a workspace, create ground rules for naming the objects inside it that apply to everyone, no matter their job title or department. Vendors should follow the rules, too.

Here are my 10 main pointers for developing a great naming convention:

  1. If multiple departments use the same workspace, indicate the business unit that will be using the object in the object’s name.
  2. Prefix all test names with a number that indicates the order in which the test was built, e.g., T11HPBannerSwap. A campaign dashboard can contain many different tests, and it’s important to record their sequence.
  3. If you create a metric or a page only for a specific test, include that test number in the name you give that page or metric.
  4. Prefix all global scripts that control global actions with “act_” or “metr_”. (“Actions” and “metrics” can be used interchangeably as terms.) Also, put the exact name of the metric in the name of the global script, e.g., act_PurchConf.
  5. Create separate campaign-level scripts for different pieces of functionality, e.g., “Actions” versus “Rendering.”
  6. Start all page names with “[D]” or “[M]” to indicate desktop or mobile, respectively.
  7. If different sections of a site have different names, abbreviate those names and include the section abbreviations in the names of each page object.
  8. Give tests names that spotlight the changes being tested, e.g., T05SearchResultFilters.
  9. Use testing variation names that closely describe the actual content changes. For example, if Variant 1 uses a rotating banner and Variant 2 uses a static banner, you might name Variant 1 RotBanner and Variant 2 StaticBanner. (Simple!)
  10. Objects are often created to represent a page or multiple pages on your site. When creating an object to represent pages (creating a "page" object), give these objects names that clearly describe what page or group of pages the objects represent, e.g., [M]QuoteFunnel.

In addition to following the above tips, regularly go through your workspace and audit the usefulness of the objects there. Delete old, unnecessary objects to further cut down on confusion and clutter in the workspace.

Moreover, when you create objects or publish updates, use the provided text space to describe the object’s purpose, any changes you've made, and why you made those changes. Keep it short but make sure it’s clear. This, for example, is an excellent publishing comment: “Added a page to represent the cart page for T23. Pushing it live as part of T23’s launch.” Over time these descriptions will build up to form a record of everything that’s been published, which will help developers as they build more objects in the workspace.

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