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Let Visitors Design Your Site for You

Posted By Ronald Patiro On February 13, 2008 @ 5:30 pm In A/B Testing,Articles,Improving Conversion,Web Design | 23 Comments

You’ll never build a site that’s as good as the one your visitors can build for themselves.

Even people with no sense of aesthetics are brilliant designers. It’s true.

How do you turn every visitor into a Web designer without training them, paying them, or even letting them know what you’re up to? (It’s not as bad as it sounds. Really.)

By conducting A/B and multivariate tests, you empower customers to collectively decide what works best for them. Supply them with different variations on your site and run the tests and they will tell you how they want your site to look and behave through their actions — which, as the cliché goes, speak louder than words.

Should you just test random changes in headlines, calls to action, and navigation? No way. Start fresh with a new hypothesis.

Test it

Now that the Web is truly interactive, it’s all about the customer’s voice. That’s why it’s an absolute must to test your site; because without doing so, you’re forcing an environment upon your visitors without bothering to adjust to their needs. And that attitude is truly a thing of the past.

Are professional web designers still important? Of course! But design choices are merely assumptions, and they’re often no better than your own. A web design exists to enable and entice visitor actions — and that’s worth optimizing for.

What works best for your customers works best for you. When you test, everyone wins. Even if you get a bad result, you still win; you’ve confirmed that what you have is working better than the new assumptions you’ve made in the alternate variation. So, not only is testing far cheaper than doing an entire redesign, it’s often more effective to roll out a redesign by testing new sections and bits of content individually, rather than just dropping it on customers all at once. (Amozon just launched a redesign this way. Did you notice?)

Wrong assumptions will be made. No big deal. Get a new hypothesis. Test it [1].

Your visitors are trying to give you valuable information, but unless you’re testing, they have no voice.

In a recent study, 76.7% of online retailers said they don’t test [2]. Are you?

Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/02/13/better-web-design-through-testing/

URLs in this post:

[1] Test it: http://www.futurenowinc.com/consultingservices.htm?utm_source=GrokDotCom&utm_medium=Post&utm_content=Link-1275&utm_campaign=ConsultingServices

[2] 76.7% of online retailers said they don’t test: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/02/08/website_redesign/

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