Fail hard, learn fast


Great examples of website optimisation can be found from simple A/B tests. These days A/B tests extend beyond changing button colours, CTA text and page redirects. Utilising the enhanced features of modern optimisation tools can allow you to create alternative customer experiences that include floating baskets, alternative customer journeys and product recommendation experiments. 

I work with many clients who have well defined testing roadmaps. They run multiple tests a week and have meetings to discuss outcomes and what the next testing priorities should be. However, something struck me recently, for some clients 95% of tests succeed or have no impact!

Either, the websites are so poor in the first place that optimisation opportunities are plentiful, the low-hanging-fruit is more lying firmly on the ground instead of defying gravity. Or, the testing roadmap is restricted to similar themed tests that are staying well within a comfort zone and not exploring the boundaries of what is possible.

Failure should not be considered a bad thing – you learn more from failure than you do from success. Failure challenges us to deeper analyse, to pull apart the customer journey, to get a better understanding of user behaviour and how our websites perform.

In a previous life I completed a PhD in Chemistry. In weekly meetings with my supervisor, it was not the experiments that went right we discussed – we couldn’t learn anything from them. It was what went wrong and why it went wrong that occupied our time. I know from personal experience, that over half of my experiments failed. Not because I was a bad chemist but simply because I was undertaking experiments that had never been done before, by anyone.

So look at your website and your optimisation roadmap. If you’re happy following recipes of what others have done before and succeeding within your comfort zone, carry on. However, if you want to create groundbreaking customer experience that excite your customers and that push yourself and your team, fail, fail often and fail hard.

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