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I Heart Online Testing

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  • Heart – toptipsfortrips.blogspot.comQuick intro – about me, about forrester.Before we start, let me be clear, I love testing. My background is in direct marketing and database marketing. For me, testing and experimentation is marketing 101. This is one of my favorite topics, and you’re fortunate that our hosts are restricting me to only 10 minutes.So I’ll admit that I’m biased. And I hope to make you biased as well!Today, I’ll talk through three itemsWhy testing is imperativeThe testing opportunityWhat to consider when starting a testing program or if you’re looking to ramp up further, to overcome common obstaclesWhy is testing imperative today? It’s pretty simple, markerters’ intuition, which never worked that well in the first place, absolutely doesn’t work on the web.Everyone in this room is very familiar with the challenges that the web presents. Why do we need testing? Three reasons.
  • Photo - http://www.nicclark.com/blogview/networking-in-the-new-year-how-to-get-50000-contacts-from-one-person-111First, too many visitors to our website.John spoke earlier about Big data, we have more information than ever before. Manual analysis is expensive, slow, and error prone.
  • Source - http://1024x.net/70/-/Color_Spectrum_Wallpaper/Second, people visit website for many, many reasons. Some of which we have anticipated, some which we haven’t. Some visitors we want, some we don’t. Understanding and predicting their intentions is extremely difficult.
  • Source – www.johnharveyphoto.com/life/4_2006/blurrymesshg.jpgThird, our view of visitors is inherently blurry. We have information on visitors, much of it is anonymous, slightly inaccurate; in general highly variable.We need to fill in the gaps, apply filters, and make sense of it all.
  • We’ve done some research on this, as you might have surmised.Testing addresses a variety of challenges, but users test primarily to enhance revenue and usability
  • And the results are really encouraging. Those organization that invest in testing programs are seeing benefits.It is notable that users optimize revenue first. Three of the top 4 are related to revenue. That’s great, because people in corner offices care about revenue.
  • Google Images - http://www.carbodydesign.com/archive/2009/04/27-mercedes-benz-e-class-coupe/Mercedes-Benz-E-Class-Coupe-Wind-Tunnel-1-lg.jpgI like to think of testing is our own personal windtunnel. Tuning our site in a controlled environment. I also like German cars, and prefer to aspire to a car like this moreso than a packmule, useful though he may be.
  • Source: http://www.kevinthegerbil.com/wallpaper.htmlSo what’s it like when you get out on to the real road? In the real world we don’t have a straight line road, it is curvey, which can be fun in that mercedes, but much tougher if we have a clunker.
  • Source - http://www.cartype.com/pages/1881/amc_gremlin__1970Unfortunately, while almost everyone I talk to intellectually understands the value and opportunity cost of testing, many organization run into trouble.Rather than getting a Mercedes, they get:1975 AMC Gremlin, according to car talk the 4th worst car in history. “A pregnant roller skate”Arguably this is worse than the packmule.
  • Where do organizations struggle? Of the things we can control, skills and process. Of the top 8 only 1 is an external or technical factor. Notice that proving ROI the lowest, which is consistent with the metric data we saw earlier.When you get on the plane tonight, or back into the office tomorrow, I want you to think about these things before initiating your testing program, to lay the groundwork for success.
  • Source - http://hostilework.blogspot.com/First – who is going to do the work?
  • Source - http://mirror-us-ga1.gallery.hd.org/_exhibits/art/_more2004/_more12/baubles-glass-and-wire-shiny-tinsel-blue-and-silver-decorations-ornaments-2-JR.jpgSecond – how will the work get done?Ooh, shiny technology? This is so common I can’t even tell you.
  • Most importantly, define and follow a testing process.Don’t get distracted by shiny things, think process! It will impact your testing program more than technology ever will.
  • Source: http://www.ausmotive.com/2011/02/01/red-bull-racing-unveils-2011-f1-car.html (Red Bull/Getty Images)2011 Redbull RB7I’m confident that if you plan ahead in terms of resources, skills, and process. You will build the F1 car of online testing programs, going way beyond even a mercedes, and learn to love testing as much as I do.
  • Transcript

    • 1. I Online Testing
      Joe Stanhope, Senior Analyst, Forrester @joestanhope
      March 2nd, 2011
    • 2. I
      Testing