Why test?

27 11 2007

Which page is best?

I love web designers and creative people. They create beautiful things out of words and ideas we give them, yet still have to deal with people judging every little thing they put out into the world. Working on company websites is especially an ordeal. Everyone has an opinion, from CEO to marketer, and too often there is a struggle of who to listen to, but really who knows what will work?

When creative runs up against marketing, a gray area falls on who knows best. Do you go by experience, seniority or even… degree? In the worst case, the CEO is calling all the shots and everyone else is just nodding in agreement or can’t get the CEO to listen to their advice.

So why test? At its core, testing is about finding out what works best, without any of the politics. If I put up two versions of a page and one gets more sales than another, its hard to argue with that. My job ends up proving people right or wrong, judged by what real visitors are telling us.

Test to:

  • Know the impact of redesigns (quantitative)
  • Figure out what your customers are and are not looking for (qualitative)
  • Find the truth (awesome!)

As a marketer, our goals are to speak to our audience and get them interested in our business. With testing, marketers have a way to directly listen to what visitors want, to find out their language. So start testing to start listening.

Make sure you come back for more, I will be writing more on reading messaging through testing. This is just the beginning!

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