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*my apologies if this isn't pertinent to UX.Stackexchange as it's more process driven, rather than UX. If so please take question down and accept my apologies.

When making UX changes to a website, how do you effectively track these?

Ultimately, I'm after a tool or system that allows me to account for: "On Date X, I change Y which resulted in Z". We make so many changes to the website (SEO, PPC, UX)

Bearing in mind we'll be using different tools (Optimizely, Screaming Frog, What User Do etc) - how do you do this?

  • You're likely to have this question shut down quickly as it's a 'shopping question'. If you're after a system to track changes then that will be down to how your team works. No one solution will fit all teams. For one team a shared spread sheet will work, others a more feature filled Multi Variant Tool will be needed. I presume you where talking about A/B or Multi Variant Testing. – Stewart Dean Mar 17 '14 at 13:53
  • I'll cancel it then Stewart I thought that might be the case :S Question is, before I shut it down, how can I ask such a question without being penalized? – DLM Mar 17 '14 at 14:01
  • Ideally you should be using some sort of version control (git, subversion) for the website. I'd imagine most of these changes requires a commit so why not include the UX-related notes in the comment? – andrewthong Mar 17 '14 at 17:40
  • Do answer this, we need to know why you need to track these changes and who needs to see the reports. How will this data be used? – DA01 Jan 7 '15 at 15:57
  • @andrewthong in an ideal world, UX would be the developers as well, but in most places, they are separate teams. In addition UX changes aren't always code changes. That said, UX could maintain a single .txt file in the version control software and only check in that one file. – DA01 Jan 7 '15 at 15:58
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Perforce is the best change management software that I have used. It used to be free for a simple two user system, but now that seems to have been expanded to 20 users..! Set up a P4D server somewhere, and then install the P4 client on your local machine(s). Then, you simply book in all of your existing documents, and simply check-out the document that you wish to change. Make changes with whatever tool to what to use, and then when you are finished you check it back in (as well as any newly created files) along with a short comment (AKA a change description) to remind you later what that change was.

The thing that makes Perforce better than other change management systems is that you can make atomic changes. That is to say, you can change a number of different documents at the same time, and check them all in at the same time, under the same revision number and the same comment- you don't have to check each document in one at a time (repeating the change description each time), which can be particularly annoying if the are all related to the same change.

The reminder comment does not have to be too verbose as Perforce comes with a (web based) diff tool that can compare any change against any other (not just the previous one) and show you all of the pertinent changes across all of the files in a colourful GUI.

p4 diff

Command line tools and platform specific GUI applications are also provided.

Easily the most complete solution by far. And no, I do not work for, or own shares in Perforce (although, hmmm, maybe I should...)

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    This is pretty much version control software. Which can be useful, but I think the OP is looking more for document management software. – DA01 Jan 7 '15 at 15:55
  • Correct - and still haven't found anything useful / automatic to date – DLM Jan 9 '15 at 0:04
  • @DLM we've had this issue where I work. We're finally trying to resolve it by switching to Agile. Not convinced it will work for us, but it's so much better than trying to maintain monolithic change documentation. – DA01 Apr 8 '15 at 7:08
  • you don't have to check each document in one at a time (repeating the change description each time) < How is that different from Git or SVN tools, which are more widely supported? – plainclothes May 7 '15 at 18:35
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It sounds like you're talking about release notes.

Not the customer facing type, the internal type that spells out all the nitty gritty details. You document what changed at a place in time, then come back and annotate with the results you're tracking. There's the fixed part of the doc that says what you did and the living part that says what happened.

This doc would ideally contain links to your issue tracker and version control system to quickly jump to the actual entries related to the change. This becomes your information hub for everything related to the release, from planning to implementation to results.

Some kind of CMS or wiki (like Confluence) makes sense for this. I've also seen teams use Evernote or Google docs (with a separate system for the external version).

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