A/B Testing – Cliffs Notes

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Summer reading, part 3, continues on with A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks into Customers written by Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen of Optimizely (there’s also a free chapter for download).  And here’s the Reading Rainbow pitch – if you love the science of design and optimization, you will LOVE this book.  It presents some of the best case studies and advice for optimizing any website, and even has it’s own Cliffs Notes baked in every TL;DR section (they HAD ME at TL;DR, that is true optimization, folks!).

Along with this book, Optimizely has created Optiverse, a community of ongoing optimization projects with optimization fans (and Optimizely clients).  Here are some of the highlights;

  • Decisions around messaging and verbiage can easily lead to contentious debates on a team.  A/B testing is a way to put opinions aside and get concrete feedback on what works and what doesn’t.
  • If you want someone to do something, tell them to do it.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Delete optional fields.
  • Remove choices in the checkout funnel.
  • Break up long forms.
  • What works for returning users may not work for new users, and vice-versa.
  • Refinement and Exploration are two totally difference processes (Source: Intercom);

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  • Move TESTING up in the website development process, DURING design and development, not after.
  • There is a process to testing – follow the path;

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