Archive by Author

How to Improve Your A/B Testing

A/B testing is a proven means to increase conversion rate. It’s not as simple as it appears. It’s more than simply testing two or more versions of Web pages, banners, search ads, or whatever persuasive element you can imagine. It also has limitations. A/B testing, unlike the intuitive creative process, must be treated like a […]

‘What’ Must Come Before ‘How’

Unfortunately, many people (including lots of developers) confuse storyboarding with wireframing, or they believe that because they are storyboarding they have already done a wireframe. Nothing could be further from the truth! Storyboarding is the process of creating drafts of your Web pages and laying them out in logical sequence to create a map of […]

Caution: Internet Chaos!

Jared Spool, of User Interface Engineering, and I were discussing a blockbuster research study he conducted for two years. We’re interested in uncovering the “Business Topology” of successful sites. I’ll let you in on what we spoke about, but first some background. Henri Poincaré made history at the end of the 19th century, when King […]

The ROI of Free

An innocuous question can hit you where you live. I should have expected one day someone would ask me, “How do you measure your ROI for that?”If I’m conducting client training on measuring, testing, and optimizing performance, clients have a right to ask about my own practices. The “that” she referred to is nearly 300,000 […]

Qualified Answers to Persuasive Architecture

Information Architects have weighed in on my discussions of Persuasive Architecture. This reaction is typical: “Basically, good IA [Information Architecture] and good design combined with a sensible business approach will lead you to success. No big news there.” I have tremendous respect for Information Architecture (IA) as a discipline and as a profession. But I’m […]

‘Good Enough’ Conversion Rates?

A reader called me last week. He was trying to sell his company’s services through its Web site and asked us two simple-sounding questions: “What is your other clients’ experience?” and “What is the average number of visitors it takes to make one sale?” I advised him to ignore other people’s experiences; they’ll prove worthless. […]

Branding As a Simple Science

Do you remember playing Broken Telephone as a kid? You whisper something in one person’s ear, she whispers it to another, and so on and so on. At the end of the game, the original story that has Bob going to the store, now has Bob vacationing with his neighbor’s wife on the beaches of […]

How to Decrease Sales by 90 Percent

Recently Brad, a reader of this column with whom I’ve become friendly, asked me for some advice. He’d conducted a test campaign that resulted in a huge discrepancy he couldn’t identify. No doubt losing 90 percent of his sales, when his normal conversion rate is over 4.6 percent, distressed him. He wanted to know what caused […]

Are You Sweating the Small Stuff?

A very small variation, infinitesimally minute and possibly unobserved, can have an extraordinary impact on results. For instance, my friend Brad decreased his conversion rate 90 percent with one simple change. Don’t assume any page element, including buttons, background color, even a word or two, are unimportant. Many treat these as incidental design decisions. They […]

The 5 Percent Solution

I recently mentioned the “Power of 5 Percent” concept to a new client and was surprised it seemed such a novel idea. When we helped traditional companies increase the effectiveness of their sales forces, it was something we spoke about all the time. The concept has great value and is very rewarding to apply. For […]