Conversion Optimization / User Experience Design

Conversion optimization is the art of taking a process with a defined set of goals and figure out a method to allow more people to complete the task at hand through the use of analytics, split-testing and sound design principles. Most often these tasks involve the purchase of a product, signing up for correspondence or becoming connected to a brand through a social network. The end goal is often business focused and ultimately a means to increase sales metrics.

User Experience Design is a discipline of problem solving through design, interaction, usability and increasing a persons motivation to complete a task. Design and optimization work very well together and have a common goal, make the task at hand as pleasing and simple as possible.

The reason why I am a designer is because I love the art of problem solving.

1. Observe

Listening to and watching the people that use your product can provide valuable insights.

In this clip I noticed that this person mentioned that they were a little bit frustrated by the fact that there was an additional fee associated with the order. This is not a typical usability issue where a person had difficulty moving past a particular portion of the process. This insight is tied directly to the customer's motivation to make a purchase.

Optimizing the User Experience goes beyond aesthetics and usability and should touch on every aspect of the decision making process from emotion, trust, motivation and the psychology of how people make decisions.

Of course I didn't purposefully use a "Timeline ®" to subconsciously implant the notion that I understand social software's influence on today's psyche.
P.S. Facebook, this is only Timeline’esque

3. Learn from the Results

Although there are many winners and some losers to the tests that I have run, on occasion we might run a test for a couple weeks and find very little difference between the sales conversions of version A and B. Some might say hrmmph and move on thinking it was a waste of time. On the contrary, every test has something to learn from, even failures can tell us something useful. I believe in the idea of failing fast, brush yourself off, and learn as much as you can from wins or losses.

While observing analytics it's important to pay attention to not only your primary success metrics but also the secondary and tertiary metrics. Just because you didn't raise the sales conversion rate by 40%, you may have increased customer retention, reduced page abandonment or had a positive effect somewhere else.

Through continually improving the user experience of our mobile site we were able to increase conversion rates by 133%.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit about me.

2. Hypothesize and Test

Once we have a list of problems that need solved we go to work coming up with some potential solutions.

We may come up with several solutions, which is where split-testing comes into play. By randomly displaying different versions of our website to different customers and monitoring how each variation performs we are able to accuratly determine which version is ultimately the most affective.

(test scenarios and results have been modified to protect the innocent)

4. Rinse and Repeat

Design, optimization and almost everything I do is an iterative and progressive endeavor. The work is never over and there’s always room to learn and grow.

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