What’s In Store For The Future Of Split Testing?

I started writing this post on October 21st (2015), also known as Back To The Future Day. For those not in the know, this is the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel through time to—at the time of filming—the distant future. This seemed like a nice time to start thinking about the future […]

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What’s In Store For The Future Of Split Testing?

“This One Is Going To Be A Game Changer.” Meet SmashingConf San Francisco 2016


So, do you like challenges? Now, this one is going to smash you alright. Meet SmashingConf San Francisco 2016, packed with smart front-end and UX techniques — CSS/JavaScript architecture, SVG, Flexbox, pattern libraries, performance, UX, interface design, content strategy — to challenge everything about how you design and code — and how to touch someone’s heart with design.

SmashingConf San Francisco

So you know what’s going on in front-end. You’ve been working with pattern libraries and atomic design and Gulp and SMCSS and BEM and HTTP/2 and Flexbox and SVG. What you might not know though is what pitfalls and traps other web designers have encountered in practice — to prevent issues creeping out down the road.

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“This One Is Going To Be A Game Changer.” Meet SmashingConf San Francisco 2016

Kill your best-loved marketing ideas

Zombie Business LeaderAre you a dogmatic, zombie business leader?

Or are you willing to massacre your best-loved ideas?

I usually avoid writing about conversion optimization tactics. I know there’s a large demand for those kinds of blog posts, but I find many people misunderstand them.

No matter the pains I go through to explain that a particular tactic may work in a particular situation and your mileage may vary, inevitably I’m labeled a “carousel hater” or “orange button lover” or “A/B testing fanatic.” (Ok, that last one may be true.)

That’s a misunderstanding. I love whatever works in the right context. But, I still run into labels and preconceptions like this.

Why do people need to attach labels to others? I think it’s an evolutionary problem. Bear with me for a moment while I explain.

We evolved as tribal creatures. It’s historically been much easier to identify who’s a member of one tribe or another through visual markers. If it wasn’t skin colour, it was a uniform, body paint or language difference.

But have no doubt, even without the same traditional tribal structures, we still try to put each other into tribe categories. This is true in every area. In marketing, there are the “big data advocates,” the “qualitative survey champions,” the “marketing automation supporters,” and the “personalization promoters.”

Tribes can be great, but they are also dangerous.

Tribes are great

Tribes aid in decision-making, give us a sense of belonging and camaraderie, and fill us with the feeling of friendship that only a defined enemy can provide. By all means, continue with your love of your favorite sports team, your snobbery about your chosen beer brand, your distaste for anything hipster, or whatever your particular tribe defines for you.

Having many of our choices determined by our tribe gives us decision-making shortcuts. We can use more System 1 decision-making, which is much faster than having to evaluate all the variables using System 2.

But…

Tribes are dangerous

In anything other than sports, food and fashion, tribes have a tendency to seriously harm human progress.

I don’t hate carousels. Only when they don’t work. Unfortunately, they usually don’t, but there are some circumstances where carousels are the best option. (Never thought you’d hear that from me, did you?)

The real problem with tribes is when they lead to groupthink, which leads to “we’ve always done it this way” syndrome, and eventually dogmatism.

(Also, zombies tend to resemble tribes.)

zombie tribe
Tribes can be dangerous.
Image (c) Sony Pictures Digital Productions Inc.

The worst thing: dogmatism

One of the few things I genuinely can’t stand is dogmatic thinking. When ideas take on a morality, the discussion around those ideas tends to get dumber.

Dogmatism happens in all fields of thought, including business, politics, parenting, and conversion optimization.

Real optimization is dependent on the scientific method and is therefore incompatible with dogmatism.

At WiderFunnel we use the scientific method to support our three overarching goals for our clients:

  • First, to generate great insights for our clients to dramatically improve their profit.
  • Second, to identify patterns across all of the thousands of tests we’re running to do even better at the first priority.
  • Third, to consolidate those patterns into usable frameworks to greatly improve our efficiency at doing the first priority.

The moment we slide into tribal thinking about anything is the moment we stop learning, cease to improve, and lose our edge.

Even though we’ve learned a lot of things that work and don’t work, we are not advocates of a set of pet tactics. We may use surveys and sliders, focus groups and fonts, personas, personalization, big data, big buttons, analytics, A/B testing, and more, but only when we believe these tactics are the best methods to getting the best results most efficiently.

Your openness to learn can only happen if you’re willing to put your best ideas on the chopping block. Or, in the words of the marketing optimization manifesto, put your decisions into the crucible of testing.

sketches-1400-halloween-kill-your-best-ideas

So, are you willing to put your ideas to the test?
It may mean killing many of the common sense beliefs that seem obvious.

Website Redesign Horror Stories Nightmare black paper
Free black paper download

If that’s not scary enough, let me tell you some truly frightening stories from traditional website redesigns. WiderFunnel published a halloween “blackpaper” two years ago that still remains popular because it’s so terrifying!

Are you planning a website redesign? 

Or, do you know someone who is?

Watch out for the nine freakishly scary risks in this free halloween blackpaper: Website redesign horror stories to avoid.

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Kill your best-loved marketing ideas

5 Product Page A/B Tests You Can Run In The Next 15 Minutes

Conversion rate optimization is a never-ending process. You can always do better, so there’s no reason why you wouldn’t continuously optimize your website. The problem is that there are just so many things you can do, from changing the color of one button, to changing the design of your entire site. Of course, you need […]

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5 Product Page A/B Tests You Can Run In The Next 15 Minutes

Dealing With Loud And Silent Burnout


Many of us struggle silently with mental health problems and many more are affected by them, either directly or indirectly. It’s Geek Mental Help Week and we would like to help raise awareness with a couple of articles exploring these issues. – Ed.

We’ve all experienced that burnout moment. It’s that moment when we’ve got nothing left to give but keep trying anyway, when we’re left without much more than a shell to live in and motions to go through.

Dealing With Loud And Silent Burnout

We’re fried and broken and wish desperately for our work to make sense, for our energy to come back, for things to be fun and as they were. In such moments all we want is for our work to feel like our work and not like torture.

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Dealing With Loud And Silent Burnout

Using WebP Image Format Today

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But online, a picture can be worth a thousand kilobytes or more! HTTP Archive shows that images make up 64% of a web page’s total size on average. Given this, image optimization is key, especially considering that many users will abandon a request if it doesn’t load within a few seconds.
The problem with image optimization is that we want to keep file sizes small without sacrificing quality.

Originally from – 

Using WebP Image Format Today

Guide To Using WebP Images Today (A Case Study)


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But online, a picture can be worth a thousand kilobytes or more! HTTP Archive shows that images make up 64% of a web page’s total size on average. Given this, image optimization is key, especially considering that many users will abandon a request if it doesn’t load within a few seconds.

WebP Images And Performance

The problem with image optimization is that we want to keep file sizes small without sacrificing quality. Past attempts to create file types that optimize images better than the standard JPEG, PNG and GIF formats have been unsuccessful.

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Guide To Using WebP Images Today (A Case Study)

Freebie: Halloween Icon Set (19 Icons, AI, EPS, PDF, SVG, PNG)


Halloween is just around the corner, and it’s time to add a few scary and fun icons to your projects. Today, we’re happy to release the Halloween Icon Set, a set of 19 icons that are all available in AI, EPS, PDF, SVG and PNG formats. This icon set was designed and created by Manuela Langella and is free to be used in private as well as commercial projects.

Freebie: Halloween Icon Set (19 Icons, AI, EPS, PDF, SVG, PNG)

You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, however, reselling of bundles or individual pictograms isn’t cool. Please note that this icon set is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. We’d kindly like to ask you to provide credits to the creator and link to this article if you would like to spread the word about the freebie.

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Freebie: Halloween Icon Set (19 Icons, AI, EPS, PDF, SVG, PNG)

7 Ways to Snip the Spring Out of Your Website Bounce Rate

Look, it’s easy to get traffic. If you have money, you can throw it all at ads and attract as many people as you want. And then you can boast about how your site receives a million visits a month. But that doesn’t matter really. If your traffic doesn’t stick, if they leave your site […]

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7 Ways to Snip the Spring Out of Your Website Bounce Rate

Web Development Reading List #109


What’s going on in the industry? What new techniques have emerged recently? What insights, tools, tips and tricks is the web design community talking about? Anselm Hannemann is collecting everything that popped up over the last week in his web development reading list so that you don’t miss out on anything. The result is a carefully curated list of articles and resources that are worth taking a closer look at. — Ed.

Insecure Login Fields

Building products or software is not easy. As developers, we are constantly aware of this fact. As managers, we also know this. As product owners, hell yes. But the most important thing is to also teach our customers. It’s important that we figure out a holistic approach to build a product that pleases the user and all others who are involved.

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Web Development Reading List #109

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