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At Legacy.com, we perform user testing continuously to make informed decisions on which features and formats create the best user experience and result in the most revenue for our newspaper partners. To make these informed decisions, we test the new features and formats against our current design and analyze which changes yield positive results.

This month, we have been doing testing to optimize the Guest Book experience. We tested our latest mobile design – which has a collapsed section for the service information and Guest Book – against a version that has the Guest Book section expanded. We GB Expanded Testwanted to see whether the change drove a higher Guest Book signage rate for obituaries.

We found that the expanded Guest Book increased clicks to the Guest Book by 37.3 percent. Because of this testing, Guest Books will be expanded by default on mobile devices beginning March 2016.

We also performed user testing on the language and formatting of the call-to-action links for the Guest Book throughout the obituary page (shown with red arrows). The current obit design has a “Condolences” text link for the Guest Book. We tested that language against different variations of text, from, “Leave a Condolence,” “Guest Book,” and “Sign the Guest Book.” In addition to that, we tested whether text links or button links work best for Guest Book engagement.

Through this testing, we found that text links that use the “Guest Book” language yield the best Guest Book engagement results. Our product team is working on incorporating these edits into the Guest Book.

User testing leads all of our product update initiatives, from Guest Book enhancements to mobile and search-friendly pages and the new persistent navigation across all pages. Kim Evenson, Legacy.com’s chief marketing officer, says user testing “is a core part of our business and allows us to make smarter, data-driven decisions for the benefit of our partners.” To read about other updates we’ve made to the Next Generation Obit, click here.