Research and Testing Review
Before I begin with this week’s review, I want to highlight that I also just got my User-Centric Marketing certificate from CXL, which is great. I am not yet even halfway through the course and I already got one. It helped that the subject was relatively easy to understand from a standpoint of someone who is an absolute newbie on the subject.
Moving on, after posting my very first certificate on LinkedIn and officially adding CXL to my education, I started with the next lesson: Research and Testing. It was taught by CXL’s very own founder and principal, Peep Laja. To be honest, when I first saw his name on the lesson, I was really excited. I was eager to see how the man behind this wonderful institute, the man behind all these big ideas would deliver his lesson, and what he had to say. And after finishing the lessons, I was enlightened. He IS the man behind CXL. His session was brilliant and simple. He did not go around the bush while using fancy technical words just to sound like he was smart. He taught things the way he knew they were, in the best way I think he could share the knowledge with his students.
I like that I am constantly getting a clearer vision of how the various lessons actually go together. Like I said from the very beginning, I have no prior experience on the subject hence I cannot really absorb information as well as if I were familiar with it.
Basically, since research and testing play a big role in what we’re doing, it was pointed out that we cannot just test random stuff in hopes of getting invaluable data that can actually back up our decisions and result in a win. In the first place, why would we even want to test? For example, we cannot simply say that we want to improve our conversion rate so we will test a certain idea. By doing this, we are basically just going nowhere. We could maybe, by some luck, get a slight win, but the odds are impossible. At the end of this experiment, we would have wasted money and time with no satisfactory results. Googling for ideas and using listicles are also not a good idea, since most of them have no reliable and solid basis to even begin with. Hence, the best thing to do, always, is research. And the first step we need to do is find what and where the problem is. From here, only then can we start throwing around ideas on what to test. Still not just some random ideas but ideas formulated based on research.
ResearchXL is a great process to use to gather data that could help make great optimization decisions. With this, we can make decisions that are based on actual solid data instead of just randomly throwing around ideas. This process consists of six steps namely Technical Analysis, Heuristic Analysis, Digital Analytics, Mouse Tracking & Form Analytics, Qualitative Surveys, and User Testing.
The first step, Technical Analysis, asks the simple question of whether anything is broken at all. After all, improvement and repair are two different things. Then, if we are positive that something is indeed, broken, then we have to pinpoint what and where it is. Perhaps it is the landing page image that’s pixelized, perhaps it is the checkout page that is not working. Whatever it is, it is imperative that we have a clear understanding of the “problem”. Next step is the Heuristic Analysis which is basically a quick way to figure out possible problems that may fall into any of the following criteria: relevancy, clarity, motivation, and friction. Digital Analytics follows, wherein we look for any leaks, on which segments, what the users are doing, and which actions correlate with higher conversions.
Consequently, after we find the data, we perform Mouse Tracking and Form Analytics. Before this lesson, I never would have thought mouse clicks were a big deal. Apparently, mouse clicks do matter especially since they help us track user behavior, in addition to session replays.
The penultimate step here is the Qualitative Surveys. Whether it be one of those previously taught by Paul Boag or a new one developed by our company, the goal here is to know important information such as knowing what’s holding the users back, what else they want to know, or even how they are deciding, keeping in mind Paul’s tip of how to keep surveys effective.
The last step in the ResearchXL is User Testing. Again, I cannot help but be grateful about the previous lessons because I got a lot of great insight and ideas on the topic. In User Testing, we get as much important data as the other steps, if not more. In this step, we get feedbacks from people that could literally be direct answers or ideas to the problems we have. Although it makes sense not to trust what they say, as Peep mentioned, what is important is what their actions show. It is true that we are paying them hence they might feel the need to be biased in favor of us instead of being transparent and honestly dictating just what the flaws are and what is missing.
I could further elaborate on the other topics I learned this week, but Peep’s Research XL really resonated with me. In a way, it ties up the lessons I have had from the previous weeks, while at the same time, it gave me more questions and topics to research on. As I write this entry, I am already thinking about signing up for more lessons on the different topics I want to further understand maybe on Udemy or just YouTube. After all, a single course can only teach us so much. Perhaps I could take some of the other minidegrees with CXL after this. For now, I am certainly going to look up the new words I have listed down in my notebook.