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[Product Release] Bye Bye Flicker effect

January 17, 2017
Lauréline Kameleoon
Lauréline Saux
Laureline is Content Manager and is in charge of Kameleoon's content. She writes on best practice within A/B testing and personalization, based on in-depth analysis of the latest digital trends and conversations with Kameleoon's customers and consultants.

Yes, you read well. No more Flicker effect. A/B testing and personalization are powerful marketing tools. They help you understand the user journey, your visitors' needs and create tailored experiences for them. They let you take decisions based on reliable data and implement an optimization strategy with great ROI. Amazing. But these advantages can be reduced to nothing in the blink of an eye. How: the Flicker effect Our R&D team has once more outdone itself and has come up with the first Flicker-free technology ever. Don’t go looking elsewhere, there’s just nothing like it!

1 What exactly is the Flicker effect?

The Flicker effect is like a butterfly effect, a little flash on one of your web pages, but with big consequences for your business. Visitors sometimes see it on A/B tested pages. The reference version appears for a very short time before the variation builds up.

gif flicker effect

The consequences are clear: The user experience is largely deteriorated. Visitors will ask themselves why elements are changing, they will realize that they are being A/B tested, or worse yet, will see a special discount that is not for them. Evidently that can make them lose trust in your brand and leave your site. In any case, the results of your A/B test will be biased because the users will change their behavior.

You have certainly already been exposed to the Flicker effect while surfing on the Internet. Isn’t it strange that many websites continue not to address this important issue? Kameleoon has always been a pioneer in this field and has taken its efforts yet a step further to definitively do away with this major problem.

2 How does that work technically?

Spoiler alert: geeks only ? When using an optimization solution such as Kameleoon, you can manage the changes that you want to make to your site through a simple line of JavaScript code which will be installed in the header of your site. That’s how the visitors’ custom experiences are displayed on their web browser. And that’s how the Flicker effect can appear.

While your page is loading, the browser refreshes the display regularly and automatically. It’s not impossible that an element supposed to be changed is identified in between 2 updates. In that case, the reference version will appear during that interval. Knowing that there is no fixed interval between browser updates (there can be 5 within 100 ms, then none for 3 seconds), one can easily understand the negative impact of a Flicker effect lasting several seconds.

Kameleoon’s promise? Make marketing teams’ work ever easier and help them create tailored experiences for their visitors. The Flicker effect has always been known as a potential risk for A/B tested websites. So we gave our very best to solve the problem and find a reliable solution. As of today, we are the first and only A/B testing and personalization platform to guarantee a Flicker-free technology, and we are very proud of this!
JN Rivasseau
Jean-Noël Rivasseau
Founder & CTO Kameleoon

graph flicker effect

3 A team of overachievers

The Flicker effect isn’t an isolated problem, it happens to all UX optimization industry players. Our R&D team has always worked on the permanent improvement of our JavaScript. These last years, the major challenge with JavaScript optimization had been its size and loading time.

We had already optimized these performances, making our script the lightest and fastest in its market. We even integrated pre-processing which accelerated script's speed even more, as only the strict minimum was loaded in the script. For example, if your A/B test doesn’t require advanced targeting, you don’t need to load advanced targeting criteria. These optimizations had already significantly reduced the risk of a Flicker effect, but it was still out there… so we continued thinking.

Our new anti-Flicker technology builds upon the latest browsers updates. It is the result of months and months of research, hard work and multiple optimizations. The result is the complete disappearance of the Flicker effect.

So what changed? The old script asked the browser every 100 ms if there was a new element to be edited on the page. If that was the case, Kameleoon went on editing. If the browser was refreshing the page during this 100 ms interval, Kameleoon was not able to change the element, and the risk of a Flicker effect was there. The new Flicker-free technology doesn’t work like that. Kameleoon no longer asks the browser, it’s the browser that informs Kameleoon in real-time. Kameleoon’s algorithms are now able to change elements that appear in the HTML code immediately, which means that we can guarantee a Flicker-free display of your A/B tests and personalizations.  

​​​​​​​The issues regarding JavaScript have changed. The paradigm moved from script's performance, size and agility to how it interacts with web browsers. That’s what makes our new script 100% Flicker-free, without limiting the agility of a client-side infrastructure.
Fred De Todaro
Frédéric De Todaro
Head of Product

 And there is more good news: no additional installation is needed if you are already using Kameleoon. For those who don’t, why not ask for a demo to see how it works? The year has only just begun. Other innovations are coming your way, all designed to make the optimization of your users’ experiences ever more easy. After all, your users are unique, and they deserve a unique experience.


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Lauréline Kameleoon
Lauréline Saux
Laureline is Content Manager and is in charge of Kameleoon's content. She writes on best practice within A/B testing and personalization, based on in-depth analysis of the latest digital trends and conversations with Kameleoon's customers and consultants.