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Preview mode

Preview variations on multiple devices.

Preview mode allows you to validate that a variant looks as intended before you start an experiment. You can also use it to preview a running or ended experiment.

In this article:

How preview mode works

With preview mode you can preview variants across different platforms and devices. Since preview mode is a state, you can navigate around your website and preview different pages while in the preview state. Preview mode allows you to see your experiment exactly as your user would see it. You can remove targeting criteria at any time, as needed.

To generate a preview:

  1. Click Preview options (on the experiment detail page).
  2. Click Web Preview to open a preview in a new tab, or
  3. Click Share Preview to generate an unique URL that can be shared with colleagues.

The Optimize Experiment detail page

All targeting rules must be true in order for an experiment to execute in Preview Mode. This includes Analytics Audience targeting. Experiments using a Google Analytics Audience targeting rule will not evaluate as true in preview. We recommend removing the Audience targeting rule to utilize preview mode, and then re-adding it before starting the experiment.

Using the Chrome extension

When using the Optimize extension in Chrome, you'll see additional features (in addition to Web Preview and Share Preview, mentioned above) including Tablet Preview and Mobile Preview. Click the extension icon and a Preview mode to open it in a new tab.

When previewing a variant, click the Optimize extension icon to view information about what container, experiment and variant you are previewing. To exit Preview mode, click Turn off Preview. You can also turn off previews by clicking on Preview options on the Experiment detail page.

The Optimize extension dialog is displayed when previewing a variation.

Extension icon states

The Optimize extension provides valuable information about the status of the variant that you are previewing. The following states are indicated by the icon:

Active previewing state.
You are viewing an active preview page.
Inactive preview page. This occurs when you are previewing a different variant
and the variant in the current tab is no longer active.
No Optimize snippet was detected on the page.
The current page is not being previewed.

Preview a variant

  1. Create an experiment and a variant.
  2. Click Preview options next to the variant name on the Experiment detail page.
  3. Select one of the available Preview options and it will open the editor page in a new tab.
  4. To switch between Web, Tablet, and Mobile previews, click the Optimize extension icon on the Preview tab.
  5. To exit Preview mode, click Turn Off Preview in either Preview options or the Optimize extension menu.

Share a preview

Click Share Preview to generate a URL that can be shared with a colleague or stakeholder for review. The shared URL allows any Optimize user to view the preview. If the user viewing the preview doesn't have the Optimize extension installed, it will open in a new tab. To exit the preview, they must completely quit the browser.

Share a preview dialog box

Additional considerations

  • Shared previews are only visible to signed-in Optimize users.
  • All targeting rules must evaluate as true in order for an experiment to execute in Preview mode. This includes Analytics Audience targeting and AdWords targeting. Experiments using Audience and/or AdWords targeting rules will not evaluate as true in Preview mode. You must remove these rules to utilize Preview mode then add them back before starting the experiment.
  • Sharing a preview can sometimes generate a blank page. If this happens, close the window and try again in a new window.

Quick Tips: Using Preview Mode in Optimize

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