I wonder how many businesses conduct tests, percentage-wise. When I ask IT execs this question, many say their company didn't do it before they came on board, leading me to believe that it's a large number that don't invest in this technology and time. When I interviewed Michael Hart of Bonobos about testing, he said it added about a week to the process and that was for a major redesign. Think about the time you'd lose if the site kept crashing or users couldn't find the shopping cart, couldn't complete their order, the credit card information wasn't secure, or some other nightmare scenario. In addition to losing time, you could -- far worse -- lose customers forever. And when Bonobos' site crashed on Cyber Monday 2011, ask the former CTO (not Hart) whether testing might have been worthwhile! I'm sure he'd say, "Yes!" Hart implemented testing. The result: Cyber Monday 2012 had zero downtime.
Very interesting! I always wondered how websites did that, but it now appears not to be secret! However, with that being said I do agree with Alison on the simple fact that websites do that way too often. If it ain't broke, why fix it then?
I agree that simple is good, but don't forget to focus on testing! Testing is fantastic, and with intelligent use of analytics and event tracking one can really ensure users have a great web experience while generating the most conversions possible.
One problem I've found is the tendency by some companies to almost weekly change their Websites. Now, that might be a slight exaggeration--but it's not much of one. That's something commonsense, not any amount of testing, can restrain.
It's not whether the site should be more complex or more simple or whatever, but that you should be testing it with *your* users to see what works for *them*.
I had the opportunity to interview Greg Linden, who was involved in some major sites such as Amazon, and he swears by A/B testing -- and not just that, but giving everyone in the company the opportunity to set up quick and dirty A/B tests and doing them all the time.
I first ran A/B tests on a fairly high traffic (60 million unique a year) website in the last century and it was hard and it was expensive in terms of development hours.
It has certainly changes in the last 15 years. Today I am using Optimizely and I continue to be amazed by the ease of use. Omniture has some expensive and hard to implement tools that pale by comparison to Optimizely.
Today you truly have affordable, easy to use and powerful A/B testing options - there is no excuse not to run A/B tests!
The interface should be designed to allow users to do the routine tasks from the home screen while advanced functions should be available on the next screens.
Giving users the options of personalizing (in terms of menu's and options) is great. It will help them manifolds. Though I think that only the option of changing colors and layout would not help that much.
But often it is not complex design, but too simple design.
Again, look at the best used portal websites...the ones that host millions of users per day. Craigs List. Yahoo. Google News. Facebook. Twitter. They are both clean, clear, and yet intricate and chock full of clickable links, database sorting.
What is it they don't have? A huge block image that fills the screen! Or else, a few paultry links that a user soon grows tired of!
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At its recent Futures Conference, Ford brought together big names such as Seth Godin, Sherry Turkle from MIT, Steve Wozniak, and Pixar's Jay Ward to discuss where they see Ford going and how it intersects with some of their predictions about the Internet. Topics that were covered include how brands can improve how they tell their stories and how companies can focus more closely on improving the health and wellness of their employees and customers.
Ford is trying mightily to change the way it is perceived by its customers. In its third Futures Conference held at its corporate headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., last week, various executives and experts spoke about mobility and connectivity issues that you wouldn't normally associate with a company that makes automobiles and trucks.
These days, 3D printers seem to be everywhere. You can build your own, go to one of the TechShops around the country, and maybe even find a pop-up store like the one that came to midtown Manhattan in December and offered dozens of objects for sale, along with the opportunity to watch several printers in action creating them.
Last week, NBC shuttered the hyperlocal news portal EveryBlock.com, and laid off its few full-time staffers. The decision was a poor one, and a blow for civic activists all over. It's a shame, given how many examples of great civic science there are.
A recent release of the popular TweetDeck app for Twitter power-users gives new life to software that had previously taken a wrong turn. Here's a quick walk-through of the new TweetDeck, to show you why it should be at the top of your Twitter toolkit.
A survey by JD Powers found that customer interest in product features is lessening as phones evolve. Rather than features, price is driving purchases, and that change could have a dramatic impact on how IT departments secure these devices.
Companies used to be confident they'd know exactly what a cellular OS would look like out of the box. Today, that confidence should be fading. Reiter discusses how a cellphone OS's looks could be deceiving, and why businesses need to understand it.
You've heard the expression, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?" Amazon lives in the fire. The e-tailer wins by keeping things hot for its competitors, employees, and itself, according to a new book.
Positec, a manufacturer of power tools for homes and commercial applications, achieves greater customer service flexibility and cuts hold times in half by using a cloud-based service to manage its call center.
Big-data and analytics tools enable marketers to understand customers as individuals, identifying unmet needs and addressing each customer as a "segment of one," says John Kennedy, VP corporate marketing, IBM.
Expert Integrated Systems: Changing the Experience & Economics of IT In this e-book, we take an in-depth look at these expert integrated systems -- what they are, how they work, and how they have the potential to help CIOs achieve dramatic savings while restoring IT's role as business innovator. READ THIS eBOOK
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