When working on improving a website you can’t help but fall in love with what you’re going to propose. And if it’s more than one version, you usually like a particular one more than the rest.
It’s a dangerous game to play.
With such favoritism it’s easy to then only look for data that confirms that your version worked best and disregard the data that says otherwise. You can start focusing on specific timeframes when “your” version was winning, or specific segments where it showed an improvement.
It’s good to take pride in your work but it’s bad business to let it affect the financial outcome.
What you need is a good framework within which you’re going to operate.
How to get objectively best results
- Have a good process / framework
- Stick with it
- Decide beforehand all the criteria to judge if something worked or not
- Stick with them
- Even if you don’t like the results and your favorite option didn’t win, go with what the data tells you
This way you won’t end up with your favorite version of the site but at least it will be the most profitable one. I can live with such a trade off.
Otherwise you can end up with…
If you don’t follow this process you can end up with HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). And that’s a recipe for a long term disaster.
Jim Barksdale put it well:
“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”
This right here is how to not go about improving your website.