5 things we should all testing using techniques A / B Testing

The past 19 and 20 May, under the Practitioner Web Analytics 2009 and in one of his presentations, Avinash Kaushik We talked about the importance of A/B Testing when increasing the performance of a website.

He A/B Testing It is to test different versions of a web page or an area of ​​the website, and decide which of these versions is the one that gets better results. Although this service is offered from GeaIPC, Few companies decide to use it even when the results are truly spectacular. Indeed, my presentation at the PWA09 It was to explain a case in which the booking engine one of the hotels AC Hotels spent to double the number of bookings due to changes implemented in said engine, testing it with techniques A / B Testing.

And it was also under the PWA09 that Avinash said the 5 things we should all test our site:

  1. All "call to action" on our website. That is, all the buttons and texts that incite to action. For example: the typical "Call us now ….", or the "Click here to contact", O "Subscribe now and get... ". We should try colors, fonts, different phrases, etc ...
  2. The steps of the home to inland areas that interest us. That is, is supposed to have determined conceptualize our navigation different routes ... so we must test if the page is designed so that these routes are followed by our visits.
  3. Las “pain pages” (Avinash and called them and I think it aptly named). Are pages that have a lot of traffic, but also a high bounce rate (people coming directly to them and leave the site without having sailed). Must review and test different versions of the same to get lower bounce rate.
  4. Try if it improves performance or scroll page without scrolling. This point is interesting. In the study Usability Eyetracking we published in January and indicated that very few of those under 25 we tested, did scroll in the Google results pages (which were those testeábamos in that study). If our website has a user such as target audience, this is a good thing to test.
  5. "Dramatically different" designs (English is better than in Castilian, but good). Avinash what I meant is that we must try to completely different designs we are using. We may find one that also has "dramatically positive" results.

A/B testingThe good thing about A / B Testing is that it is easy to make and if we use Google Website Optimizer, may not even cost us money. Google offers free Website Optimizer that allows the real-time test as many versions as you want, and then indicates which of the tested versions have better results. The image we can see along these lines shows the control panel of Google Website Optimizer.

Review of "HEAVENS REFLECTED" by David J. Williams, Ed Via Magna. - Quantum

Skies Reflected a different book. It is a novel of Science fiction fresh and entertaining tells stories that intertwine 3 and lead both the Earth-Moon system and through cyberspace.Mirrored heavens

Its author, David J. Williams, debuts with this novel and is perhaps why it has something special that is not found in other books: the approaches are different and both scientific and social developments are also different. So, it's so interesting both for the story that tells how the atmosphere.

The book tells us three stories mechs Y razors (In some cases the same sex, in others of the opposite sex), which have different missions and end up converging on an unexpected end.

The mechs They are more or less what would be an elite commando, someone with special training missions high physical violence.

The razors They are more or less the same, but trained to work in cyberspace and enter through any network to hack all kinds of systems and information legally or illegally.

The mechs and the razors They can work together or separately, and both the former and the others have no qualms about killing ordinary citizens.

Society in which pass the adventures of our five protagonists is a company located in the XXII century in which humanity has already built a space elevator (hopefully not be necessary to wait as long as in the book) but contrary to what we believe would be an advanced society, this is not an idyllic society in which nations are understood, but quite the opposite: in the first chapters of an unknown faction lift loads and shows how weak were the foundations of peace which it had led to the construction of this great engineering work.

The mission of some of the protagonists will be to discover the saboteurs of the space elevator, the other is fleeing for reasons unknown to us, and which is decoupled is killing someone who will make the balance of power runs decanting by one of the sides involved in the game that we discover along the narrative.

In this story we have colonies on the moon, spacecraft, transport of all types, combat drones on Earth ... and we have great metropolis in which there is a span without building and whole areas that are post apocalyptic. Some of the players have contributed to the destruction of any of these major cities. The world is divided into two parts, the Western and Asian (Europe is part of Asian side), and both a part and the other coexist affluence and misery.

Overall, this is a novel that keeps pace and engaging, although initially a bit disconcerting. The action scenes involved in our mechs Y razors They are well told. The chapters are very short and will explain the three stories that intersect on up, it forces the reader to be attentive and watch carefully what happens every time. It is a good book and easy to read despite its 590 pages.

100% recommendable.

There is a website where you can learn more about this work and recreating society: http://cielosreflejados.com/

Searches are increasingly sophisticated

Hitwise acaba de publicar un estudio en el que analiza los parámetros de búsqueda de los usuarios norteamericanos, en los buscadores de este país.Búsquedas según Hitwise

En este informe se indica que la mayor parte de los usuarios analizados utilizaron 2 palabras para realizar sus búsquedas, pero que la tendencia es a que pronto será 3 el promedio de palabras buscadas en dichos buscadores.

En la tabla que muestro junto a estas líneas podemos apreciar este cambio de tendencia, así como la tendencia general a realizar cada vez más búsquedas más sofisticadas utilizando gran cantidad de palabras.

Destaca el crecimiento del 18% en el número de usuarios que utilizan ocho o más palabras cuando han de realizar una búsqueda.

Más sobre el informe

El informe de Hitwise también comenta el incremento de la cuota de mercado de Google en EE.UU. que pasa a ser del 72,74% de las búsquedas del mes de abril 2009, frente al 67,93% de las búsquedas que se realizaron en este mismo mes pero en el año 2008.

Buenas noticias

Estos datos son interesantes desde el punto de vista SEO porque nos indican que debemos centrarnos en posicionar conceptos de 3 ó 4 palabras, cosa que facilita mucho el trabajo ya que no se trata de términos generales y por lo tanto no se compite contra tanta gente. También desde el punto de vista de generación de contenidos es mucho mejor trabajar con frases y grupos de términos, que no con palabras sueltas.

Enlace al informe de Hitwise: Informe Hitwise

Review of "Philip K. Dick, TALES COMPLETE V" by Philip K. Dick - Ed Minotauro.

This is the fifth installment of this collection of short stories by Philip K. Dick. Each and every one of them worth being read, and this is no exception.Philip K Dick, V Full Story

All short stories by Philip K. Dick have something special ... something that only this author is able to get from the first paragraphs of his stories: a promise that something big will happen and he will tell us. As an example here's the first paragraph of one of the 24 stories included in this release, the story is entitled "I hope to arrive soon”:

After takeoff, the ship routinely checked the status of the sixty people who slept in cryogenic tanks. It appeared an anomaly in the subject number nine. His electroencephalogram showed brain activity.
Shit << >>, said the ship

These four lines are enough to stay hooked and want to read more. It is not surprising that the author is of the opinion that "what matters it is not what happened, but how to tell the tale". Dick is a master telling stories.

Although as Thomas M. Disch indicated in the introduction of this release, the books of Philip K. Dick are written for writers, not readers. Thomas M. Disch refers to the fact that at the end of reading the stories of this author have the feeling that there would a very good novel "long". And in fact films like Minority Report, Total Recall (I do not remember his name ... is Castilian Schwarzenegger on Mars) or Blade RunnerThey are based on short stories by Philip K. Dick. All these stories appear in the collection of 5 short stories deliveries of the latter book is part. Specifically in this fifth installment stories written between 1963 and 1980 are collected.

Some of the stories are hilarious, others leave you bemused, others are worthy psychedelic stories, so typical of this author ... and there are even some of them that surprises with its hardness. I am referring to "Las Prepersonas"A story that chronicles the lives of members of a society in which abortion is permitted up to 12 year old children. That is, parents have the option of "abort"Freely until the children reach age 12 and are no longer"pre-persons"To become people with rights. A story that makes one wonder.

At the end of the book, the same Philip K. Dick says each of the narratives and helps place them in their creative context.

The book is 100% recommended.

Review of "Neuropathy" by R. Scott Bakker - Ed Minotauro.

NeuropataI do not usually speak ill of the books I read before buying because I make sure that I liked ... this will be the exception that proves the rule. What a roll of a book!

The title and the synopsis on the back cover promised a science fiction novel, based on biotechnology and mind control. "Manipulating the human brain is easier than you think"Indicates the cover ... but no. Not science fiction. It is a story about "neuras"A psychologist talking with a neurosurgeon friend, whom some futuristic touches are given to look like science fiction.

It may be my fault ... and maybe someone with training in psychology may find the book fascinating. To me it made me endless. I almost left half ... I got the feeling that a lot of subplots are straw to fill pages of a book that purports to be a scientific basis supported by recent discoveries in consciousness research, but does not engage, I do not understand and whose characters have no depth (except the 2 main characters).

La historia va sobre un psicólogo, profesor universitario, que es un fracaso en la mayor parte de aspectos de su vida (hijos, matrimonio, carrera…). Todo cambia cuando una noche un antiguo amigo llama a su puerta y le confiesa que ha estado trabajando éstos últimos años en un proyecto gubernamental orientado a la neuromanipulación. A partir de ahí, la trama se lía con subtramas y con personajes secundarios que no pintan ni cortan nada. Los diálogos entre el psicólogo y su amigo se hacen interminables. Se pasan páginas enteras discutiendo sobre lo que es realidad y lo que es ilusión en nuestros pensamientos y en nuestras vidas… y encima utilizando frases del tipo "(...) we adapted from the neurorradioquirúrgicos stereotactic devices themselves, which are used for superimposing particle beam to burn tumors.”

Anyway ... only recommend if that is not anything better to read, or if psychologist is ...

Reseña de “TARDOR D’ESTIU”, de Mònica Esbert – Ed. Columna

Tardor d'EstiuTardor d’Estiu es un libro que se lee de una sola tirada y en menos de 3 horas. Está bien narrado y los personajes tienen profundidad. Cuando terminas la lectura, no puedes evitar preguntarte qué será de su vida, cómo les irá fuera del libro. Esto no es fácil en una novela corta.

Esta es la primera novela corta escrita por Mónica Esbert, aunque me consta que ha escrito otras. También ha escrito obras de teatro y relatos cortos.

La autora nos narra la historia de una joven que siente que la persiguen por la calle y que en un momento dado intenta establecer contacto con su perseguidor y entender quién es y qué lo motiva a seguirla. La obra está narrada en primera persona y nos habla de amor, odio, muerte y todo un sinfín de aspectos de la vida que pasan por la cabeza de la protagonista mientas conversa con su enigmático seguidor e intenta saber más sobre él.

Es una obra de ficción que resulta creíble y que consigue recrear escenas de la vida con las que somos capaces de identificarnos, y es precisamente ésta verosimilitud la que convierte la historia en un drama que hace reflexionar y hace que nos preguntemos qué haríamos nosotros si fuésemos la protagonista de esta historia.

La novela le valió a Mónica Esbert el Premio Valldaura de Novela Corta en el año 2001.

El relato es original y el final inesperado. 100% recomendable.