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Never Stop Testing

Date:
14/01/2017
Author:
Laura Martin
Reading Time:
4 minutes

The importance of user research is well established and widely documented, however, I still find myself having conversations with companies that are not testing at all. For the ones that do, there are often patterns forming where it’s only early in the process then it stops or they are waiting for the perfect time to test a design/concept and of course it doesn’t really happen.
It’s totally understandable that clients want their product to be perfect before putting it in the hands of a user for critiquing, but this is an unrealistic way of working and will add unnecessary delays and cost. A product is never going to be 100% finished; so we test early, test frequently and then continually optimise it through a Conversion Rate Optimisation programme.

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Test Early
Being able to find out what does and doesn't work early on is critical to long-term success. Testing early conveniently allows feedback to happen long before any development happens and helps understand user motivations, behaviours, as well as validating the assumptions made during the design process.

Test Frequently
When you are too close to a product, it’s impossible to have an unbiased view. The way you see a product will mostly likely be very different from your users - you have to keep asking yourself, whose opinion really matters? If you want long-term success, the answer is always going to be your user.
There are a number of positive outcomes of testing often;

  • Whatever you're working on, you are always going to get a fresh, unbiased perspective.
  • You will always get to understand where the pinch points are, no matter how big or small.
  • You will save time and money - an estimated 50% of development time is spent doing rework that could have been avoided (https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/benefits-of-ucd.html).
  • You will improve your conversion rate. Providing your users with an experience they want will not only see them use your product, but sing your praises to their friends and family - word of mouth recommendation has gone from being a great marketing technique to almost the only effective one

Continually Optimise
Regardless of your current conversion rates, there will also be an opportunity to apply the concept of “aggregation of marginal gains”. If you improve areas of your product by just 1%, then those small gains would add up to a remarkable improvement!

Conversion Rate Optimisation takes the guesswork out of website optimisation and enables data-backed decisions. By measuring the impact of tests, the final recommendations are based on data not guesswork. 
Constantly testing and optimising your website can increase revenue, donations, leads, registrations, downloads and user-generated content, while providing teams with valuable insight about their users.

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The proof is in the numbers
Having worked on a wide range of projects and clients over the past 6 years, I've seen first hand how embedding a testing culture at the core of every decision can have a positive effect - not only will this deliver an experience the end user actually wants, this will in turn have a huge impact on conversion rates.
One of the standout success stories for me was being able to help an insurance brand increase their Quote & Buy conversion rate by 33%, which equated to millions of pounds of increased revenue - all by testing and giving the user what they wanted, instead of what they assumed the user wanted.

Want to know more? Dock9 has helped a wide range of clients optimise and improve the user experience across complex and challenging products. If you want to know more, we’re always happy to talk about how we could help. Feel free to contact our UX Team or stop by the Dock9 office for a coffee.


3226---Laura
Laura Martin
Laura Martin is Event Manager at Dock9, having previously worked in the financial sector for 15 years including at the Bank of England, Northern Trust and BNP Paribas