Welcome to another interview revealing how leading thinkers and creators on the Web design, code and create. The goal is not to get into the nuances of their craft (that information exists elsewhere online), but rather to step back and learn a bit about their habits, philosophies and workflow for producing great work.
This time, we’re speaking with Andres Glusman, of Meetup, a company that uses the efficiency of the Internet to conveniently connect people offline.
The value you bring to any project as a designer or user experience professional isn’t only your ability to execute a series of tasks. Good clients will recognize and appreciate the guidance, recommendations and opinions that come with your experience. It’s up to you to be forthcoming and to position yourself as a valuable thinker from the start.
It’s also up to you to base your recommendations on more than subjective opinion.
In this tutorial, we will use Magento’s powerful shipping-method code abstraction to create a shipping carrier. We will create three shipping methods that provide a fixed shipping price, allow for free shipping promotions, define logic based on an item’s weight and, finally, make it all configurable in the admin panel.
We will cover the following:
Extend the abstract shipping class and implement the required methods. Make the shipping method configurable in Magento’s admin panel.
The Web is awash in content. A recent Moz article reports that 92,000 new articles are posted online every day. Companies are spending billions on content marketing to enhance credibility, build brand awareness and, especially of late, improve SEO.
Here is what Google has to say about content in its quality guidelines: Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
I’d like to share a few techniques today that will help you more effectively sell good ideas within your organization. You can use these tips to advocate for conversion optimization or any other business improvement.
But first, why do we need “techniques” to “sell” good ideas? Conversion optimization, for instance, should be an easy sell into an organization, right?
How could you not want to gain double and triple-digit conversion rate lifts in your most important business goals? How could you not want to dramatically improve your Return on Ad Spend and Average Revenue Per Visitor? Who wouldn’t want that? Who wouldn’t support it?
Well, the world is not a logical place. Business is not a logical place, as much as people try to create structure and discipline within it.
One of the most impactful teachers I had early in my career was the sales trainer Tom Hopkins. He told me, “People make a purchase emotionally and defend the purchase rationally.”
People make a purchase emotionally and defend the purchase rationally People aren’t purely logical.
That’s why, even within organizations, you don’t just need a spreadsheet with rationale for buying conversion optimization. Though, that helps, and you can download conversion optimization ROI calculators here. You also need to be a persuasive Marketing Optimization Champion.
As a Champion, you must be skilled in the art of organizational politics and persuasion. Fortunately, being this champion is rewarding because, after the dust settles and the emotion has faded, the logic is infallible and the results speak for themselves.
At WiderFunnel, our retainer clients are currently experiencing an ROI range of 400% to 1400%. That’s right, 400% is the bottom end of the spectrum. How many other investments can you make with that kind of a return?
When I released my book, You Should Test That!, I included a chapter with tips on how to be an effective Strategic Marketing Optimization Champion. One reader told me that she’d spent many years acquiring the tactics to be a great corporate marketer, and here I am just giving this knowledge away. So, take this advice for what it’s worth.
How to Be a Marketing Optimization Champion
Your company needs you to step up and be an influence for marketing testing.
Fortunately, being your organization’s champion is very rewarding. Marketing testing is one of the most easily provable strategies, and the rationale for it is unassailable. When you stand as an advocate of the data-driven approach, you’ll reap the rewards in your career. Measurement advocates inevitably rise to positions of influence.
Here are nine tips for becoming your organization’s marketing optimization champion:
Champion Tip 1: Get Senior-Level Buy-in for Testing
No matter how strong your project results are, you’ll face an uphill battle without senior management support. Many of your colleagues look for cues from HiPPOs when deciding what to support, and senior managers probably allocate funding. Suffice it to say, your job will be much easier with their backing.
What is success for your senior decision-makers? Start by finding out how they’re incentivized so you can show how optimization will help them reach their goals. If you can help them look (and get paid) like rock stars, they’ll support your projects and reward you in return.
Champion Tip: Find out how your idea helps senior execs meet their personal incentives.
You can also appeal to the rational support they need by building a business case for testing. With directly measurable results, the case for testing is easy to make. Show the conversion rate lift that other organizations are getting, and estimate the return on investment (ROI) for a testing strategy.
Get support for testing by creating a tangible problem that testing solves. Gather visitor (dis)satisfaction survey results, show real quotes, and record feedback from real customers. Videos of customer frustration can be powerful motivators. Use Clicktale, Sessioncam or UserTesting.com for recordings.
Champion Tip 3: Bring in Experts for Support and Insights
Bring in a conversion-optimization expert to tell decision-makers how your website needs to improve. The credibility of a third party like WiderFunnel can carry more weight than internal voices alone, even if were bringing a similar message.
If you can only get a portion of the budget needed for a full engagement, hire the consultant for the initial discovery and planning portion, then use that report to get approval for more budget.
Champion Tip 4: Conduct Skunkworks Tests under the radar
If you don’t have senior support at the beginning, you could try an under-the-radar approach. Pick a few target pages with low political visibility to gain some quick wins. Landing pages outside the main website can be good candidates for this. Then, use the winning results from those tests as ammunition in your campaign for support to move on to more important optimization areas.
When you present results, don’t just show the improvement in conversion rate or KPIs. Tie the results to revenue to show real cash impact. Percentages are intangible, but everyone relates to cash. What would you rather get: a XX% conversion rate lift, or $500,000 greater profit?
Many of WiderFunnel’s clients have used our results analysis presentations to create an internal event in the organization. The champion invites members from throughout the company to see the results of tests, guess the winners, and discuss what was learned. The presentations are a lot of fun, especially for those departments that aren’t normally involved in external communications. Make sure to invite people from all functional areas.
You’ll see several benefits from these meetings. Positive results with statistical certainty are exciting for everyone and create momentum. They educate your colleagues about the process of testing and inspire the organization to support your projects. You’ll be positioned as a leader with ideas that deliver results.
When WiderFunnel runs tests, we hold a vote with everyone involved to guess which one will win. The results presentation could be a good time to award prizes and boost the fun factor.
Champion Tip 8: Be a Leader with influence, credibility and learning
You have a decision to make about what you stand for in your career. Every idea you want to sell depends on the influence you have with colleagues, friends, and clients. The foundation of that influence will be based on what I’ll call soft or hard credibility. Soft credibility is based on your personality, charisma, and personal connections, whereas hard credibility is the data, evidence, and goal alignment that you bring.
Become a thought leader by reading more and sharing more knowledge with your colleagues. Take opportunities to conduct group discussions, distribute summaries of your learning, have lunch with unconvinced team members, and go to conferences.
Champion Tip 9: Never Give Up. Success depends on execution.
As Winston Churchill said in a famous speech, “…never, never, never, never give up.” testing and optimization are not one-time events. You’ll face opposition, confusing results, and disappointments, but they will melt away when you experience big wins.
The biggest threat to your success is what I call the shiny new thing.
Champion Tip 10: Know when to move to an organization that supports you.
Some organizations will never adopt marketing optimization. The culture may be too entrenched in old ways. I cringe when I see companies start on the path of testing and then turn around and redesign their website wholesale without considering the progress and learning they’ve already made.
If you don’t see progress in your data advocacy, you should move on to a company that values it. Companies that don’t test will eventually yield to competitors that do. Life is too short to battle for years as a cultural misfit at companies with outdated thinking.
This article is the second in a series of four articles covering four ways to develop mobile applications. The last article covered how to accomplish this using native iOS development tools. In this article, we’ll look at how to build the same sort of application using native Android tools.
We’ve been building a simple tip calculator. As with the iOS application, this one contains two screens: a main view and a settings view.
Just over four years ago, I decided to take a part-time position teaching website design and front-end development at a local university, the University of Rhode Island. My time in the classroom has been one of the most challenging as well as one of the most rewarding experiences in my career, and I believe that other Web professionals would greatly benefit from spending some time in an educational setting teaching others their craft.
My colleague Ajay and I have been working at incorporating lean UX at the enterprise level for over two years. In studying it, I find that there’s a temptation to lay down rules, and if the rules aren’t followed… well, then, you can’t call it lean UX. At the end of the day, though, some lean UX is better than none.
If you were told to finish off the following sentence, how would you do it?
I’ve travelled 2517 miles to try to solve 50 problems in 50 days using design, a journey that challenged me to fundamentally rethink my understanding of the user-experience design process.
I set myself a challenge. I wanted to test the limits of design’s ability to solve problems — big and small. To do this, I left the comfort of my computer chair and set out into the unknown. Every day, I had 24 hours to observe a problem, attempt to solve it and then communicate the solution.