Skip to main content

A or B?

I read the recent Wired Magazine article on A/B testing websites and like many of you, I wondered to myself if it was actually possible to embrace this sort of design philosophy.

After talking with my team, we've redoubled our efforts to design core Key Performance Indicators ("KPIs") in an attempt to actually start using A/B testing as a regular process for updating our site navigation, design choices and whatever else we want to change.

It's a disorienting thing, removing subjectivity from the design process. My background as a designer makes me one of those people who can look at a screen and make grand proclamations about where things should be and what they should say. It's something I'm determined to stop doing. I will be honest, it is hard to stop.

Either way, we've devised a series of "top level" KPIs designed to measure overall site effectiveness - and we've limited it to 5 measurements. Yes, of course we'll design secondary KPIs, but at this point, we plan to benchmark and establish baselines for just the most important things on a website. Here's a sample of the working list of questions we hope to answer:

  1. 1. Do people come back (return visits)
  2. 2. Do they make donations? (page views / total on site donations)
  3. 3. Do they stay once they visit? (time on site)
  4. 4. Do they take key actions designed to engage them in a deeper relationship? (page views / key actions)

We feel like we've got a good handle on how we will do this and I'm excited to get started. Some changes will be major, others we hope to test, like the font on the main navigation, are nominal. Either way, we'll learn a lot about what makes the site really tick and put ourselves in a position to improve it over time.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What Would Google Do: Non-Profit Edition

I've been tweeting and yapping to friends about Jeff Jarvis's terrific book " What Would Google Do " even before I've properly finishing the thing. I sat myself down tonight and plowed through the last 100 pages where Jarvis examines different industries including automotive, manufacturing, telcom, healthcare and more to see what Google would do if they were in those businesses. On one hand, I was really hoping that Jarvis had taken a look at the non-profit sector given my personal history in the sector and my ongoing interest in how non-profits operate. I'll also note that I used to write a fairly well read non-profit marketing blog . Unfortunately, the book doesn't delve into this much, if at all. I thought, instead of a basic set of notes or a book review as I usually do that I'd jump back in time and take a look at the sector with fresh, and "Googley" eyes. If you haven't yet read the book, the basic premise is that Google fundamen

The Future of Non-Profit Fundraising is Already Here, and You Are Not Ready

This blog post is loosely transcribed from a talk I gave as part of a Future of Non-profits meet up hosted by my buddy  David Neff . I was asked to do no more than 5 minutes and came up with the following. I'm also posting my hand scribbled notes I used to plan the talk, may as well show you my doctor like scribble. The notes were written on my iPad mini using Penultimate in case you were wondering. And now... the talk... Hi everyone and good morning (In my head there is awesome music playing!). My name is Marc Sirkin and I'm currently a Director with PwC, focused on helping organizations transform their digital marketing and social media. I spent 10 years in the non-profit sector, with large health charities such as March of Dimes, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Autism Speaks. Most recently, I've been volunteering and doing pro-bono work for much smaller organizations focused on mentoring and youth. Before I jump in, let me warn you, I'm extremely enam

Betty Crocker

I was fortunate to be in Seattle this week and to get an invite to a Social Media Club meeting from my good friend Filiberto Selvas . Filiberto and I recently traded comments on SocialCRM blog and on Twitter about the idea of agencies running/managing online communities for brands. As per my usual, I started with a very strong opinion that brands who want to start customer communities should not use an agency for hands on community management. My entire concept of online communities revolves around creating open and honest conversations. The thought of hiring an agency to manage it to me at first seemed ludicrous. I felt strongly that any brand that would outsource that function ought to reconsider their strategy and perhaps hold off on building customer communities until they were more ready to commit. At the SMC meeting of course, I met someone with a different opinion (surprise, he's an agency guy!). Thing is, he mentioned Betty Crocker. According to Wikipedia, Betty Crocke