The art & science of increasing conversions - Ifraz Mughal
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The art & science of increasing conversions - Ifraz Mughal

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How to structure interaction design, plan and conduct A/B and multivariate test schedules.

How to structure interaction design, plan and conduct A/B and multivariate test schedules.

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  • Hello, I’m here to talk about some of the practical activities we can carry out so that optimal value is gained from traffic we acquire and serve.It’s a mixture of art, science and a dose of good fortune as well.
  • My name is Ifraz Mughal and I am a UX practitioner working in the travel industry for TUI Travel based in Brighton, UK.I’ll run through what planning needs to be done prior to testing design variations where the variables need to increase conversions and then I’ll touch on some of the finer detail when running the tests themselves.
  • We are all in the business of selling and some of us may have sales staff who always remember the classic sales mantra “Always Be Closing” / ABC. “Always be Testing” is our mantra as well as a great reference book by Bryan Eisenberg.
  • Selling online is achieved by creating a structure that addresses the individual needs of your audience. Persuasion Architecture is a User (customer) Centred method of achieving your business goals.
  • The planning phase can include setting clear targets based on benchmarked metrics – Key Performance Indicators, sketching out personas and scenarios, wireframing / prototyping and usability testing of the prototypes.This moves into testing design variations in the live environment, measuring performance and maintaining the successful variation. Finally, keep repeating the process on a loop. Every business has a different optimal strategy, testing is the way to discover which tactics work best for your business.
  • I tried booking a hotel room for this conference and took screen shots of the experience. At the jump off into the hotel booking engine there is an alt tag that reads “leaves this site and opens in a new window” so I know I’m off to a third party that begins to raise questions in my head. What I really wanted to know is how far the hotels are from the conference venue. The landing page for he hotelsshows me three hotels but hides the distance from the conference to the hotels. Time and time again we see the direct correlation between how developed the business strategy is and how effectively the interaction design supports the same business’ customers. Digging behind design issues tends to lead to an exposure of confusion in approach the business has taken.
  • I tried booking a hotel room for this conference and took screen shots of the experience. At the jump off into the hotel booking engine there is an alt tag that reads “leaves this site and opens in a new window” so I know I’m off to a third party that begins to raise questions in my head. What I really wanted to know is how far the hotels are from the conference venue. The landing page for he hotelsshows me three hotels but hides the distance from the conference to the hotels. Time and time again we see the direct correlation between how developed the business strategy is and how effectively the interaction design supports the same business’ customers. Digging behind design issues tends to lead to an exposure of confusion in approach the business has taken.
  • Begin by clearly defining your business objectives, goals and Key Performance Indicators. From this the targets that the business needs to aim for will become clear. Key Performance Indicators reflect the business goals, are key to its success and must be quantifiable (measureable). “Generate more repeat sales” is useless as a KPI without a method of distinguishing between new and repeat customers. After establishing the KPIs, targets need to be set so that the team can understand and take specific actions to hit the targets.Benchmark the values of the target elements so that a clear starting point is established with progress tracked against these benchmarks.So in this table we see that we need to increase the number of transactions and the AOV at the same time. We now know exactly which systems we have to work with so that our efforts are focused on the overall business strategy.
  • “You create the system your visitor must navigate. People don’t cause defects, systems do”….. W. Edwards Deming was an American statistician who from 1950 onwards is best known for having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing and business than any other person not of Japanese heritage.
  • People who come to our websites are just like us. No they’re not! Embarking on a user centred approach means doing so with a subtle shift in perception where people and interactions take precedent over processes and tools. Do you really know your customers? There are a number of types of visitors to a site – including ones that know exactly what they want, ones that know approximately what they want and ones who may have an interest but are not in ‘buying mode’. Understanding these and the buying cycle begins to provide a view on the content and design required to support this activity. How do you get to know your customers? User Centred Design techniques offer a multitude of methods to use at various stages that save time and money by avoiding interaction design pitfalls seen daily across any sites.
  • Understanding users and their tasks and mapping these alongside the business goals delivers design solutions.For example, sites with large volumes of inventory tend to provide a search function prioritised alongside a primary navigation menu because it is well known that users generally fall into one of two segments – one that has a clear idea of what they want and will be targeted via search and the other that is not too sure and so will want to explore the site.Interaction design heuristics or principles are a guideline derived from usability studies and include providing clearly marked help sections, defined call to action buttons, forms that are concise and ensuring that jargon is avoided at all times.
  • E-commerce sites tend to be built along similar structures so Home Page > Category > Sub-category > Product > Booking Funnel with fewer and fewer people making it from one stage to the other.
  • Each of these stages should be examined for issues where traffic is leaking more than can be reasonably expected – Google Analytics provides a visitors flow view that maps traffic moving through the site and enables insights to be gathered. This screen shot is of a site providing walking and cycling holidays. The home page was re-designed so that more visitors would engage with search and that more visitors would be directed into the holidays at country level so ‘walking in Italy’ or cycling in France’. Comparisons were made via the visitors flow capability in Google AnalyticsThe Booking Funnel itself will contain a number of steps (anything between 3-6) and also exhibits a similar ‘leak’ of customers with perhaps 1 person out of every 100 making it from the home page through to the purchase confirmed page. Loosing large numbers of people in the latter stages of a booking funnel is not as acceptable as it is in the earlier stages of the funnel.
  • GA’s funnel visualisation provides a clear view on where traffic is leaking out particularly in the booking funnel itself. You can see the steps where traffic is lost and where the lost traffic ends up. From this analytical data we can begin to narrow down on the sections causing issues that lead to visitors jumping out of the journey at any stage from home > booking confirmation page.For example, from the funnel visualisation in GA we can see that Cart and Personal Details exhibit relatively large numbers of visitors leaving the funnel. We can disregard Cart as we know that users do jump in and out of the Cart just to have a look. But by the time we get to Personal Details this should not be happening in such numbers so we can begin to focus on this page alone.
  • This data is from a site selling lingerie to women and looking at that point in particular we can begin to see what could be causing issues here. Despite it stating the security of the server, visitors are leaving this page as the switch from the site to the payment gateway is very clunky with a radical change in page design. Sorting this out will directly lead to an increase in the number of people completing the booking.
  • In summary, there are 10 well documented Usability Heuristics or principles that tend to cause problems when they are ignored or disregarded. These have been attributed to Jakob Nielsen and include:Providing clear error messages that allow users to recover from errorsfollow platform standards and conventions (maintain consistency)provide appropriate feedback to users in reasonable timeCommon sense should allow us to keep interaction design working within these heuristics but time and time again, these fundamental principles are ignored or disregarded. Great news for UX folk like me!
  • Generally we find ourselves prioritising on page elements and call to action buttons so that the core user tasks are supported via on-screen elements. Hence in a booking funnel basics would include:Maintain a clear and concise progress indicatorDesign the primary action as a call to action button, all other actions get visually degraded from thisKeep the form fields to a minimumProvide a clearly labeled help section Avoid jargon – keep language as clear and simple as possibleError messages need to be contextualDo not force registrations nor sign-ups (do not tick checkboxes as default) and keep the terms & conditions in the background
  • Having made the changes, it is too risky to launch the new variation live without carrying out the test in the live environment. Tools like Visual Website Optimiser and Google’s Website Optimiser enable A/B or multivariate testing to be conducted live. Google’s product is being rolled into GA > Content > Experiments as of Aug 2012.A/B test is when one element (for example a button) has two variations (large or small) and is the only change to be made on the page. Changing two elements with two variations each means conducting 4 tests.Changing three elements with four variations each means conducting 64 tests.Changing four elements with five variations each means conducting 625 tests.Having multiple elements with multiple variations soon becomes unmanageable and is another strong argument for a clearly defined concise list of changes to make. Prioritising which changes to make is a inversely proportional relationship between resource needed to make the change and the impact that change will have. So, ideally a change that needs little effort to achieve but will effect a big change is the priority.
  • There are calculators available that allow you to work out how long you can expect to run tests for before results are significant enough to draw conclusions from.
  • Know your business goals – get granular with this so the goals translate to KPIs that in turn deliver clear targets to aim forKnow your users – what are the different segments of users you need to support? What are their core tasks? Always be testing – don’t allow complacency to set in. Analyse traffic data continually looking for where the leaks are occurring. Kaizen – small continual improvements on a daily basis that lead to huge gains over time.

Transcript

  • 1. The Art andScienceof increasingconversions 1
  • 2. Ifraz MughalUX Architect@ifrazTUI Travel, Brighton 2
  • 3. Always be testing 3
  • 4. PersuasionArchitecture: UserCentredachievement ofbusiness goals 4
  • 5. The process flowPlanning Live EnvironmentKPIs – clear targets Test design variationsPersonas & scenarios Maintain successful variantPrototyping > usability testing Repeat process 5
  • 6. Proximity to conference = ? 6 minutes by car…… Venue itself
  • 7. Measurement FrameworkMeasurable Goals & Key Performance Indicators 2) Goals 3) KPIs 1) Business Objectives  4) Target   # transactions for last 60 Currently 468 – increase by Increase online purchases days 2% Increase revenue Increase revenue per Currently €82.43 - increase AOV for last 60 days order by 3% % of policy renewals Increase online renewals Increase by 10% (60days) Increase number of Increase member online # registrations (60days) Increase by 5% website members registrations (Retention) Maintain and increase % of members renewing membership retention Increase by 7% (60days) online 8
  • 8. “You create the system your visitormust navigate. People don’t cause defects, systems do” W. Edwards Deming 9
  • 9. Peopleand Interactionstake precedent overprocesses and tools 10
  • 10. User Centred Design Interaction design ‘sweet spot’ Users and their tasks Business and its goals 11
  • 11. Where should we test? Home Category Sub-category Product Booking funnel 12
  • 12. Google Analytics Visitors’ Flow 13
  • 13. Google Analytics Funnel 14
  • 14. Drilling down - cart 15
  • 15. Drilling down – personal details 16
  • 16. Usability Heuristics1. Visibility of system status2. Match between system and the real world3. User control and freedom4. Consistency and standards5. Error prevention6. Recognition rather than recall7. Flexibility and ease of use8. Aesthetic and minimalist design9. Help users recognise, diagnose and recover from errors10. Help and documentation 17 http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html
  • 17. Booking funnel guidelines• Maintain a clear and concise progress indicator• Design the primary action as a call to action button, all other actions get visually degraded from this• Keep the form fields to a minimum• Provide a clearly labeled help section• Avoid jargon – keep language as clear and simple as possible• Error messages need to be contextual• Do not force registrations nor sign-ups (do not tick checkboxes as default) and keep the terms & conditions in the background 18
  • 18. A/B & multivariate tests 2 elements with 2 variations = 4 tests 3 elements with 4 variations = 64 tests 4 elements with 5 variations = 625 tests 19
  • 19. A/B & multivariate calculator http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/ab-split-test-duration/ 20
  • 20. SummaryKnow your Business goalsKnow your UsersAlways Be Testing 21
  • 21. ReferencesAlways Be Testing – Bryan Eisenberg & John Quatro-vonTivadarKPIs - http://management.about.com/cs/generalmanagement/a/keyperfindic.htmUsability heuristics http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.htmlSteve Krug – Don’t make me think 22