Day 2 Think Kit – Create a Survey, or Don’t

For Day 2 of Think Kit the prompt was to create a survey and ask people about things. Here’s something better, a hard lesson from an entrepreneur with some scar tissue.

Let’s say that your business is redesigning the website. That’s a really big job and there is no page more important than your home page, and no element is more important on that home page other than the CTA.

The Call To Action, aka “What am I supposed to do?” I used to joke with Lydia, founder of Think Kit, that we should put a picture of the State of Indiana on every site we produced since most of our customers were only doing business in Indiana. One thing her and I spent many sessions talking about was the need to do user testing, and how it sat opposed to the business need we had to bring sites in on time and budget.

Last year two very painful lessons around this fact, in both situations I was Director of Marketing, brought in to promote a business with having no input on the home page design, cta, or messaging. Both times the owner managed the site creation and felt a sense of pride about the design, even in the face of Sales and Marketing returning with anecdotal negative perceptions from prospects. Does this sound familiar?

“I can’t tell what you do?”

“How do I contact them?”Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 2.14.11 PM

“It was just so confusing I got lost.”

“If I would have seen this website, I never would have become your customer.”

Ouch. And the problem is the owners are living in a bubble where they get nothing but positive feedback. In fact one owner I said the words “Congratulations. You will never have to hear the truth again.” I don’t keep these kinds of jobs very long.

And by the way I know my website is terribly designed. And I, today, sold a 3 week SEO engagement and a $8,000 data management software without anyone even seeing my site.

But do this, all you who count on your website and home page to convert eyeballs to leads. Go to Usability Hub and create a free account.  Take a screen shot of your website and what appears above the fold, and submit it for the 5 second test.

First Question: What is the name of this business?

Second Question: What do they do?

Third Question: Do they appear credible?

Fourth Question: Do you remember how to contact them?

To make use of the free account you will have to build up some karma, so run as many of other people’s tests as you can handle. It is really fun. Once you have 10 the results are interesting. I love to take these tests if you Contact PJ Christie at Big Wheel Agency.

And here is a picture of my boys at the circus! It’s Got To Matter to Someone.

2013-01-20 13.26.09

This blog post is enhanced with the use of Schema items including Article and Person

User Testing Home Page Design written by PJ Christie and published by Big Wheel Agency.
copyright 2013

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PJ Christie is a bass player, marketer, and entrepreneur living in Austin Texas. Since 1998 he has been a pioneer in leveraging the web as a publishing platform. He founded Big Wheel Agency as a platform to combine his interests in education and technology, adding his experience to those working to create positive change. Google

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  1. […] So try Yoga Nidra. Or don’t. Doesn’t matter to me. Here’s a picture from a survey that nobody cared about. […]

  2. […] That’s what Marc does. He ruthlessly tests and optimizes. But he doesn’t want to do it as a consultant. His point of view is that a company should never use an outside contractor to do their marketing. We compared horror stories about having to be the person that tells a company their website sucks. There are so many fragile egos it rarely works out well. […]

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