Month: December 2009

It all comes out in the wash…



Hi, my name’s Lauren, and I get excited about A/B tests

It’s sad but it’s true – I really do get excited about testing.?? I’ve been helping a colleague to prepare for a simple A/B test and a multi-variate test at work and I’m really excited about seeing them up and running and finding out what works and what doesn’t.??I’m not the only one who loves testing either – another member of the content team is jealous she isn’t doing some too. So what’s the attraction?

Personally, I like the thought that has to go into planning these kinds of tests – there’s something nice about trying to methodically break things down and pinpoint that one magic factor that will increase conversion or decrease exit rate.??

From a content point of view, it’s also great to focus on and really think about small bits of copy – for example a call action.?? When there’s a lot ‘big’ content to write, things like this can get overlooked and existing copy gets reused to save time, so it’s nice to get a chance to focus on something so small.?? I also think there’s a chance that testing ‘microcopy’ like this could have bigger implications – if you find that people respond well to a particular word or way of phrasing something, (for example, if people are more likely to convert from a button that reads ‘search’ rather than ‘find’) not only can you test out using it ??elsewhere, but I think it can also give you linguistic clues as to how people might be using your site.??

It forces you to try and think like a user in a different way to normal and really question why someone has reached a particular page, what their expectations are ??and how you can help make it clear to them how they can achieve the task they had in mind.??

So, that’s why I get excited about testing, and I’m not ashamed who knows it.
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Look what I got…


I had a bit of a splurge on Oxfam’s online second hand shop (which is brilliant by the way) and I got Under Milk Wood, read by Richard Burton. On tape. Tape – what was I thinking? I don’t think I’ve bought one since that East 17 single when I was 10. I can’t even remember the last time I bought a CD for god’s sake. Hope we’ve still got a tape player in the house somewhere…

Sent using BlackBerry?? from Orange