designer

One of the cornerstones at Cro Metrics is rapid iteration. We work hard to get our clients quality results as quickly as possible. In this process, as with any venture, there are always challenges and roadblocks to be understood and resolved. As a designer, it pains me to admit that a consistent roadblock we’ve encountered is pushback from designers. So in the interest of promoting rapid iteration, here are a handful of tips, specifically for designers, that can help you stop worrying and love the test.

Silence your inner perfectionist.

A pixel or two here and there doesn’t really matter.
This can be especially hard for designers. After all, we’re taught to value pixel perfection. Here’s the thing, though: this isn’t art. This is design. The test is a validation that a particular solution is useful. The process is about getting to the best solution.

Focus on rapid iteration.

Don’t slow the process; it’s costly.
A/B testing is similar to the prototyping process in that we come up with an idea, design it, build it, test it, learn from it, then go back and tweak and refine that idea. It’s all about finding out what works and what doesn’t. That process works best when it’s quick and agile. When you focus too much on the little details, you slow the process, and that costs time and money.

Get it good enough, then ship it.

Done is better than perfect.
It’s easy to get caught up in the details when designing a test. One important thing to remember, though, is that in the testing process we aren’t testing designs; we’re testing ideas. The goal is not perfection. The goal is to solve a problem or address a need. Sure, we value good design and aim to deliver the highest level of quality possible. But when it comes down to it, we’d rather ship an imperfect design than not ship at all.

View losing tests as a chance to iterate & improve.

Don’t be precious about your work.
In the A/B testing game, not all tests are winners. But a losing test is never a failure. There is always something (if not multiple things) that can be learned from a losing test. A losing test can challenge the way we think, and that’s always a good thing. A good designer will accept this and use it as an opportunity to improve the design. In any iterative process, you must be prepared to be wrong.

Embrace the process.

It’s just an experiment.
One of the most fun parts of the testing process is getting to try out new solutions to problems. A good designer will use A/B testing to get a design they believe in, but might otherwise not be accepted, out the door. They can use the “It’s just an experiment” rationale to get their “crazy” design shipped. I love seeing a client really step outside their comfort zone and try a completely different approach to a problem they’re having. And why not test? After all, you can debate whether or not a design will work, but you can’t argue with data.

In Conclusion

There you have it: a handful of tips to help you, at the very least, not become a roadblock to your own A/B testing success. Now, go forth! Design, test, learn, iterate, succeed!