There are three User Modes available within the Optimize platform. Between them, they cover a comprehensive range of scenarios.
Defaults & Cookies
User Mode defaults to normal, if you have no markers pinning you to another state. User Mode is pinned to a user with the _wt.mode cookie. This is a session cookie, and so if your session expires (e.g. browser and all tabs are closed), you will lose your state and default back to normal on your next visit.
There are a few simple ways to do this:
Query string: You can use _wt.mode=normal or _wt.mode=staging
Force Experiment Widget: There is a text link in the top-right corner to toggle your state between noraml and staging.
This is the mode that your public traffic will be in when they reach the website, and that you will be in unless you force yourself into one of the other two modes.
In this mode, you are eligible for anything in live, paused and published states, highlighted with a Green or Blue icon in the Force Experiment Widget.
Restrictions: None – this mode allows you to view tests and collect data.
Throttling & Segmentation: Yes – behaving as a normal user, you will be subject to Throttling and Segmentation as for whatever you are eligible to enter.
Force Experiment: Yes – you can force your way into any experiment from a live or published test, bypassing Segmentation and Throttling checks.
Other ways to enter normal mode: Beyond the instructions above, you can:
Delete your _wt.mode cookie and refresh your page. You will then default back to Normal. We also advise to delete your _wt.control cookies as they may no longer be useful.
Let your session cookie expire (i.e. close the browser), in which case your next load will be in the normal state.
This is the mode that developers will be in when building and testing their work, and that most QA can take place under.
In this mode you are eligible for anything in the staging state, highlighted with an orange icon in the Force Experiment Widget.
Restrictions: None – this mode allows you to view tests and collect data. Note that staging reports are a slimmed-down version of your live reports, focusing on data collection and not trend graphs or stats calculations. Staging data processing will take priority over Live data, and so should surface in our UI sooner (typically in less than 30 seconds).
Throttling & Segmentation: Yes – if you simply enter staging mode with the query string or the toggle in the Force Experiment Widget, you will be subject to Throttling and Segmentation as for whatever you are eligible to enter.
Force Experiment: Yes – you can force your way into any experiment from a staging test, bypassing Segmentation and Throttling checks.
This mode behaves very differently to the others. It is activated only when using our URL-based Preview Links.
In this mode, you can enter any experiment, both for Tests and Targets, for any type of test including staging, live and published.
Restrictions: View only. You cannot collect any data in this mode – it is intended for Previewing only.
Throttling & Segmentation: No – you will bypass all checks and directly enter a preview of the experiment you intend to view.
Force Experiment: No – you cannot trigger this mode in our Force Experiment Widget.