Welcome to Briefly Experimental
This edition was written by Emma Travis, Experimentation Strategist at Speero.
Every two weeks we'll deliver the best experimentation content and commentary, curated by a member of the Speero team. We'll break things down into the four key pillars needed for any successful experimentation program.
Edition 7, March
Strategy & Culture
💬 The value of speaking to internal teams
In this interview, Fern Roberts, customer experience insight manager at Tesco talks about the importance of research in the implementation of a business-wide CX strategy.
It’s a great example of how a process we so often undertake as part of a UX or experimentation strategy, can be applied more widely for business optimization.
What I love about this approach is the inclusion of internal teams within the research. In my experience, there is real untapped potential within internal teams, when looking to identify opportunities for optimization. There is so much value in speaking to sales representatives, customer service teams and analyzing live chat logs as this is where *real* conversations with your customers take place, and there’s no research bias.
There are many ways you can gather this feedback, from call listening, employee interviews, or surveys. If you’re not already doing this then I’d suggest starting small by reaching out to the appropriate teams. Chances are they’ll be thrilled to be involved and if you make any changes or run any tests based on the insights they provide, don’t forget to tell them.
✨ Do we need more alchemy in experimentation?
Pioneers of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky found that humans systematically make choices that defy clear logic. It's why you might question some of your own impulse buys and why irrelevant product attributes still impact our decisions.
Yet, as optimizers, we can sometimes get caught up thinking our test treatments must follow conventional logic or best practices. This article is a great reminder of the importance of observing user behavior through research, and how we can work some alchemy into our experimentation ideas too.
Process & Methodology
⚠️ 94% of the largest ecommerce sites are not accessibility compliant
The Baymard Institute has recently conducted an accessibility audit of 33 top-grossing ecommerce websites. The majority did not meet these four accessibility standards concerning; imagery, links, form fields, and keyboard navigation.
Accessibility is often overlooked, despite it being a legal requirement in many countries. There have been several high-profile instances of businesses being taken to court (and losing) over websites and apps not adhering to accessibility standards. See Dominos Pizza.
As well as legal implications, research shows that 1 in 5 people are living with a disability that could impair their ability to interact with a website. This means you’re potentially waving goodbye to 20% of your users by not taking accessibility seriously.
So what can you do about it? Here are three simple ways you can start to identify opportunities to improve your website’s accessibility:
- Download a free screen reader such as the NVDA and use it to convert on your website.
- Using the screen reader again, try to convert on your website but this time use only your keyboard to navigate.
- Use this color contrast checker to ensure links and other elements have sufficient color contrast.
People & Skills
💻 How to run remote workshops
The past 18 months has changed the way businesses operate with many shifting to a remote working model. Whatever your stance on working from home, one of the most obvious downsides is not being able to run collaborative workshops with colleagues and clients.
At Speero, we’ve been putting a lot of work into developing our internal workshops to run these effectively in a remote environment. This includes agency-focused workshops such as process improvement workshops as well as our UX heuristic reviews with clients.
This article provides some great practical advice for running workshops remotely, many of which we use.
My top tips for running remote workshops:
- Feedback is key. We gather feedback after each session on Slack about what went well and what could be improved. We’re optimizers, after all, so we’re always looking for opportunities to improve.
- Ensure everyone has a voice. Just like in real-life workshops, some people are more confident than others. But not giving quieter people space and opportunity to be involved can impact the outcome of your workshop. Identify the quieter people in the group and give them very clear and specific tasks/ways to be involved so they understand what’s expected and how to be heard.
- Utilize Zoom “breakout rooms” to facilitate smaller group activities and discussions. This can help with the above point too, as it’s less daunting for people to speak up and get involved.
👀 Job opportunities
Here are a few interesting roles that have been posted in the past week.
- Experimentation Strategist at Speero (Remote)
- Senior Conversion Optimisation Expert at ING (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist at Wisp (Remote, US)
- Director, Web Strategy and Conversion Rate Optimization at Sumo Logic (Remote, US)
- Director of Global Website Strategy at Hubspot (Remote, US)
- Conversion and Optimisation Specialist at Soldo (London, UK)
Data & Tools
Data & Tools
💸 High priced tool mistakes
A common problem I see time after time is businesses spending big on testing tools that they don’t have the time or skills to use effectively. Sometimes putting most of their budget into a testing tool with little to no budget left to put behind using the thing.
It's easy to get suckered into buying tools with fancy features, thinking an all singing all dancing tool will solve your problems. But as pointed out here, often expensive tools are harder to use and get value from.
So, how should you approach A/B tool selection?
When clients ask me this question I always answer by saying that tool selection should be secondary to the strategy.
Focus on what to test, not which tool you use to test it.
Yes, there are some technical caveats to that. But generally, the simpler (and cheaper) tools are your best bet, especially in the early days of an experimentation program, and will be more than adequate for your needs.
When you begin to outgrow your testing tool, document why you’re outgrowing it and what features and functionality you need that you don't currently have. This will help you select a tool that meets your needs and supports your strategy rather than the other way around.