October 24, 2015

Small Fixes

Last Saturday I small made a change to my webapps, one that resulted in a 164% increase in revenue, one that puts me at 95 cents a day. The difference? Slightly different ad placements. I used to place ads at the bottom of the page, below tool descriptions near the terms of service. Now they’re right below the tools. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always liked data analysis and human computer interaction. Sometimes the smallest differences can have profound affects.

We’ve been in a bit of a rough patch sleep wise this week, and my creative juices have been a bit zapped. Rather than working on new apps I spent some time cleaning up my code base. I’m a fan of rapid prototyping, but sometimes rapid prototyping leads to sloppy prototyping. I moved common code to a few custom libraries, which should make it faster to stand up new apps (when the creativity returns.) I’m not one to let ugly code stand in the way of progress, but I sure do prefer pretty code.

One of the decisions I’m struggling with is what to do with the two versions of the labor probability calculator.

Logically I should pitch the new version. The new version has been live for a very long time. (A couple years maybe? I can’t remember, I blame mom brain). When the new version launched, the old version was accessible only via a parameterized link. Meaning if one bookmarked the calculator before the calculator before the new version launched, they would still see the new version by default. One would have to actively select the old version. So it’s pretty significant that today 60% of the web traffic is for the old version. My user base is preferring the old version, and I’m not sure why. The old version is also x8 more profitable than the new version for the silly reason that it involves page refreshes. If it’s more popular and more profitable, it should be the default version, right?

My users may prefer the old version, but I like the new. Fundamentally, they’re identical; they both calculate the same odds, and have the same default dates. The only difference is the graph in the new version – something that very much appeals to my inner math geek. I think I’m going to take the anti-data drive approach and leave the two versions as is. At least until I can figure out what it is about the old version that makes it so much more attractive. Please don’t be the lack of a graph.

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  1. […] the incredible increase revenue from my ad placement fix did not last. Since then revenue has settled around a 77% increase, from 36 cents a day to 64 cents […]

  2. […] it would be slow going, but to be honest I had hoped to already be at the second tier by now. After ad placement change, I was hoping November and December (typically good months for me) would get me to the first tier […]

  3. […] how I noticed my visitors seemed to prefer the old version of my labor predictor? I was making that assumption based on the number of visits to the url for the new version, and the […]

  4. […] visitors to my Readability Analyzer in the past six months. Around that same time of the decrease, I move the ads above the fold by moving text below it. Maybe the change in text hurt my search rankings, resulting in the decrease in visibility. […]


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