Testing on Tes: Layout changes on search

Find out more about the current test on the layout of search, as part of a wider group of tests to improve the Tes Resources site for our users

Tes Author Team

Testing on Tes

Here at Tes Resources, we are always striving to make the site as effective and efficient as it can be for our users, so that they can quickly find the resources they need to teach great lessons. It's exciting to think about future changes to the site but in order to explore what is the best next step, we have to test a few variants and let the data tell us which is the most successful.  We would only ever implement a permanent change if we find a new way of doing something that is significantly better than the original. 

We know that change makes most people uneasy, so we're keen to share what we are working on and let you know when we have winning variants that will be changed permanently.

What does this test focus on?

To encourage more of our users to use search on Tes Resources while maintaining, and hopefully building upon, current conversion rates, we wanted this test to focus on two key areas of search: left hand filters and resource card layouts.

The left-hand filters capture the majority of information that authors include when uploading a resource, such as age, subject, curriculum and resource type. However, many users do not explore and narrow down their search using these filters. Therefore, the first part of this test looks at whether closing the filters encourages more users to interact with these by expanding the relevant section and clicking on a filter to find resources they are looking for faster.

The change in resource card layouts, by expanding a single resource across the page into a list view, allows us to test whether giving more prominence to a relevant resource increases the chance of click-through and conversion. We hope that by making the page less busy, this gives more attention to the resources.

What does it mean in practice? 

As well as keeping a control version, which will work as search does at the moment, we are testing five variations which incorporate a mixture of open and closed filters, as well as different ways of offering an expanding resource card. You are likely to only see one of these when you are looking at the site. We keep a very close eye on the tests as they run to make sure that nothing dramatic is happening. Currently, tests only happen on desktop. 

You can have a look at the variations here:

Variation 1 (standard search results, closed filters)

Variation 2 (list view, closed filters)

Variation 3 (list view, open filters)

Variation 4 (expanded list view, closed filters)

Variation 5 (expanded list view, open filters)

When did this test run and what were the results?

This test ran from 31 July to 12 September. During this time, the data clearly showed that variation 5 was the most successful, particularly in terms of paid purchases. It also performed well in terms of visits to resource pages and free downloads. We continued to monitor the test by running an AB test, with 50% of traffic viewing the current search layout and the other 50% viewing the winning variation. This confirmed the success of variation 5 and it was implemented across the site on 8 October.