Have folks established personas for your (or client’s) site?
@thompsonpaul Persona – Basically, you “invent” several examples of your ideal/typical customer that would you are trying to attract/serve . Many teams will actually create a full biography for that user – age, likes, dislikes, etc. Some even add photos for personality. Point of having accurate personas is – you now have a clear idea of who your targets are so can test for things that matter to ‘em.
@cphillipsrodin with names, bios, background, jobs etc. its fun
@CraigFifield Persona = you define all aspects of your potential users for your team. I like to think of personas a lot like a baseball card. here’s an ok example of a persona http://www.user.com/persona-example.htm. The point is to get all concerned parties in the mindset of the user persona. for design, testing, specing, etc. Persona A might do one thing, persona B might do something completely different. therefore, testing!
@cphillipsrodin Right and to make sure your product has a clear target audience who will want to visit your site.
@cphillipsrodin Yes but our UX/product design person was in charge
@thompsonpaul Was?? So you don’t have them anymore? Or just they led the creation process.
@cphillipsrodin both! ha we recently relaunched our site & the personas have been crucial in that process haven’t needed to redo yet.
@CraigFifield Personas developed for all clients always, although often in my head
@KevinWaugh My new place of work (building supplies) has not, trying to change that mindset
@AustinPaley So wait, you’re making a hypothetical assumption about what that person would do based on your assigned persona?
@thompsonpaul Yup – and then testing those assumptions and trying to improve their accuracy.
@AustinPaley Fair enough. Wouldn’t it make more sense to identify real people who meet the criteria you want and monitor though?
@CraigFifield You often do that to come up with your personas.
@thompsonpaul Yes – but it’s often better to have a more generalised category of user then just a few specific ones.
@peeplaja Personas are nice to have, but you don’t develop test hypothesis based on personas. You do it by following the data. Understanding audience yes, but personas not needed. Winning ab test hypotheses come mainly from analytics data, combined with qualitative research and heuristics. Any test that is done outside of a structured process – like “trying out an idea” – is a wasted opportunity.
@yankeerudy It almost sounds like you’re using personas for demographic research, rather than conversion optimization.
@thompsonpaul Actually deMo research is a part of what goes into building the personas.
@yankeerudy But from earlier comments you’re using A/B results to improve your persona – your deMo model of typical cust.
@thompsonpaul Facebook Insights can be a terrific source of data to use for bulilding personas – interests, demographics etc.
@trish_harrison I think the point of personas is to focus speaking to a real, specific person, not an imaginary, undefined void.
How many here do user testing (not A/B testing) and how often do you do it?
@CraigFifield Not in years, but I used to do it weekly. I changed jobs and the clients can’t afford it. I also have a knack for design that works out of the box.
@mattgratt We do user testing pretty frequently, mostly on new features and interactions. We should do it more.
@yankeerudy Yes, have done user testing, although tend to use that for broader architectural/UI issues and A/B for micro UI issues.
@cphillipsrodin A good friend in prod told me that a/b is the new way to user test bc it backs into what users like/use
@peeplaja ab testing tells you what works best, user testing tells you why
@thompsonpaul Interesting. I just find that sometimes seeing exactly WHAT user does & hearing WHY more useful
@yankeerudy A/B might say diners prefer tuna to cod; user test could tell you they’d really rather not eat fish.
@thompsonpaul Nice example. Here’s great article on exactly that situation http://ow.ly/nXCtp.
@thompsonpaul Great basic resources for user testing – Steve Krug’s books Don’t Make Me Think and Rocket Surgery Made Easy http://ow.ly/nXG9a
A/B testing – something you do regularly or on the “wish I had time to do it” list?
@yankeerudy I’d say “something I wish I had more time to do.”
@thompsonpaul I try to always at least be running A/B on email newsletters & PPC.
@yankeerudy Easy for ppc – CTR/CPC are known, just compare increased spend vs increased conversion rate. Same for ecommerce, only include metrics like avg sale/conversion and abandon rate. Easier to keep a clicker than get new ones.
@thompsonpaul So if we all seem to have trouble getting time/resources – suggestions for how to make a case for more testing to management?
@cphillipsrodin test small things frequently and show increased ROI & reg rate. #s always win!
@peeplaja doesn’t need to be time intensive if done remotely with @usertesting @openhallway @trymyui or join.me screensharing.
@KevinWaugh Proposal I am working on is trying to show 3 things: where users are now, where they want to be, & how we get there.
@thompsonpaul Sounds like a basic 3-question site survey could be useful there!
@thompsonpaul I always try yo stick to testing big things as most clients don’t have resources to test everything you’d like to – go for impact.
@yankeerudy Agreed, @thompsonpaul go after the big impact stuff first. you only get as much slack as your last result set.
@KevinWaugh Testing things not seen by a significant % of users never seemed to generate interest.
What’re your favourite 3rd party tools for A/B testing? Anybody using Google Analytics Experiments?
@KevinWaugh Have yet to try them. Used @Optimizely before, loved their product.
@peeplaja ab testing tools: visual website optimizer, optimizely, http://convert.com – content experiments too (multiarmed bandit )
@thompsonpaul Preference btween optimizely and visual website optimizer?
@peeplaja I prefer vwo because of their UI – faster and better usability
@peeplaja Final word of advice: always test until statistical significance (and for a minimum of 2 biz cycles).