From time-to-time, in an effort to improve the overall site experience, Gawker runs A/B tests on various features of our blogs. As we examine the results of these tests, we will try to publish the results here, to give some perspective on features we are testing and how we think they improve (or don't improve) the site.
Lauren and Etele have been spearheading testing around our global navigation bar. Previously, we made a change to the location of the search bar, which increased the number of readers searching for additional content.
Of course, not all readers primarily use search (or are 'search-dominant'). Most are 'link-dominant': browsing around by clicking on different links. For these readers, we want to make sure that we have easy-to-find links to related blogs.
On most of our sites, we've hidden these links behind snazzy Kinja logo:
However, Kinja doesn't have great name recognition: many readers have no idea what it is. So instead, we've been testing more clear and explicit calls to action on Jalopnik: one that says 'Discover More' and one that says 'More Blogs'. The former is below.
We evaluated the variations on how frequently readers clicked on the menu and both of the new versions did a better job of letting readers know there was more interesting stuff: clicks on the menu increased about 7%, and actual click-throughs increased by better than 20%.
Surprisingly, we saw a big jump in the number of searches as well, which shouldn't have been impacted by this. Perhaps making that text more understandable leads to more attention on the global navigation bar.
Also surprising: anecdotally, it appears that the new designs outperform by much more on the weekends than they do during the week.
We'll be rolling out this change across all blogs over the next week.