Website Optimization Workflow Model: 5 elements to WOW your boss and customers.

Website optimization is not just about installing an A/B testing tool, creating some (random) tests and hope for the better. It’s one element of a testing process that builds on consistent gathering and testing knowledge about your customers and implementing all elements can seem a daunting task.

Last year I created a workflow to highlight the moving parts involved with website optimization to explain the process and resources needed and why it can take some time to implement properly. I used it in a public presentation (slide 29) as an illustration of the complexity of the testing process and how it was implemented.

Last week I found out that at least one agency is using this model for their optimization projects. And they told me they were quite happy with following my model. This was the first time I realized I had created a model for the website optimization workflow. WOW! ;).

AB Testing Workflow full

Click to view large version

The model might not be clear to everyone at first glance (besides the fact that the design could be improved). I think it is a good idea to highlight the different parts and explain the intention behind them. I tried to make it a model that is generally applicable, but I haven’t flattened it or tried “dumbing it down”. Dumbed down versions won’t help you in real life and I want you to be able to actually apply this. You need to know the nitty-gritty of the system and its use in real life.

PS1: I don’t claim this to be a perfect system, just my practical working experience with website optimization. If you have any ideas on optimizing my optimization model, please let me know in the comments!

PS2: When I say A/B testing, you can just as easily read Multivariate testing.

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The Magento forum is dead, long live the new forum!

So after a couple of years of developing a new community portal, Magento put their new forum live yesterday. To the surprise of many, the old forum (including all content) was not archived but trashed. It’s replaced with a brand new install of another forum without transferring the content. A valuable knowledge base of over 8 years of Magento support questions with many good answers.

Granted, the old forum was overflowing with spam (which took its toll on all the great volunteer moderators) which resulted in many low-quality threads. But this also means throwing away a lot of useful answers provided by many Magento enthusiasts and it is going to take years to get the forum at the same level of documenting everything Magento. And installing a proper spam filter and/or CAPTCHA’s can’t be that hard…?

I also guess a large chunk of SEO traffic to magento.com come from links to the old forum. All links to old posts are now just redirected to the new forum homepage. I’m not an SEO specialist, but that is going to hurt.

So out with the old, in with the new.

And with ‘new’ I mean magento.stackexchange.com. That community-powered Q&A site was already building a great knowledge base and gaining more and more traction over the last 2 years. It already contains 23,355 quality answers to Magento questions, which are indexed by Google.

And those questions will stay there for a long time, no one to throw it away.


My life with Magento – Part 2

So you try really hard to write good content, but just for fun once in a while you post a silly post on your blog with a lot of GIFs, call it “My Life with Magento” and it becomes one of the most viewed and shared posts on my blog.

Guess you like images better than text. I’m a psychologist, should have seen that one coming…

So here you have it, for all you GIF loving animals working hard today during #MageStackDay: My life with Magento – Part 2

For newbees: starting out with Magento feels a lot like stepping into the Tardis: it’s much bigger on the inside!


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Dating advice for Magento folks

So today is both Valentines day and #MageStackDay and I see A LOT of guys on there working 24hrs to get the Magento Q&A answer rate up which is really awesome! There are some girls there that do great work too, but I’m going to focus on the guys in this post…

So guys be honest: if you 1) work a full week with Magento already, 2) after that dedicate another 24 hours to the community and 3) do this on Valentines day…. you might lack some love in your life. It’s ok. I want to help you with that.

Now I’m not a developer so I’m not of much use helping at the Q&A site today, but I cán do something else. Like research. For example: research on how mentioning Magento on Tinder would work for getting into contact with girls.

TL;DR: Don’t mention you work with Magento

I started just below 70 chats with the text “Hey! What are your thoughts on Magento”.

Over 55 of those chats went like this:

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No reaction whatsoever. I don’t have comparison material with other opening lines, but it seems that if you want to kill a conversation right a way, mentioning Magento seems to be the way to go.

Some did respond and tried asking about this “Magento”.

Explaining it however made sure it was the end of the conversation…

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Two girls actually knew about Magento!

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And one didn’t know Magento but was more into comicbook villains:

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So there you have it: Magento and dating, not the best combination if you actually want to go on a date. At least don’t start with mentioning it. But then again: who would want to go out dating anyway when you have all your awesome Magento friends on Slack…?

PS: we’ve now opened a “Speeddating” channel in the Magestackday slack channel. Not that there are many girls there, but maybe we can exchange advice or something…


The Future of the Magento Ecosystem

The Magento community is thriving and wants to push forward fast. This presentation is about feelings and ideas that live within the community and that I’ve discussed with many at Meet Magento conferences and on IM chats in the past months. I presented this at the Magento Snowcamp in Austria in January and this week at Meet Magento in Spain. Let me know what you think in the comments! Read more


Free tickets to Meet Magento Spain

If you really need a break: next week is the first Meet Magento Spain in Madrid! Two days packed with Magento items (check the schedule), lot’s of international/English sessions, a hackathon (those are fun!) and of course a big Spanish Fiesta! I will also have two presentations: on day 1 about Online Persuasion, on day 2 about The Future of the Magento Ecosystem.

Order your tickets with the code ‘xxxxxxxx‘ (EDIT: The event is sold out!) and you’ll get a free ticket (€90 discount), only for the first 10 people! Don’t forget to book the hotel and your flight though ;).

Hope to see you there! Read more

Image by SimpleIllustrations

Checkout optimization 2/7: Layout

Image by SimpleIllustrationsCC by-nc-nd

This week I’ll be exploring the layout of the checkout process which is the second blog in this series. if you missed the first, checkout the Checkout Optimization Introduction post.

The way webpages are structured is of great importance to user experience. And on pages where getting to the end of a process like the checkout, it’s key to your shops succes. Here are some guidelines related to the layout and other visual elements on checkout pages.

Clear error messages

Make it crystal clear to your website visitors when they make a mistake and what can be done to fix the problem (without the use of technical jargon). The erroe message should be clear (high visual contrast) and placed near the error (and not only on top of the page). De notification should be clear and short.

Form error messages

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checkout optimization

Checkout optimization 1/7: Introduction

Deploying an e-commerce platform is no easy task. Creating a logical checkout process that doesn’t confuse your users might be an even more daunting task. Checkouts can be overly complex thus requiring great focus and dedication from the user to complete it. This of course hurts your conversion and your turnover. Following some easy guidelines can boost your conversions greatly.

In this series of 7 blog posts I’ll show you how you can make your e-commerce checkout process easier for the user and a lot more profitable for you as a shop owner. And it’s not just me making things up, it’s actually based on research ;).

Part 1/7: Series Introduction

Amazon Shopping Cart

Most shops don’t lack visitors and many have beautiful designs. Usability of the default home-, category-, product- and searchpages are on an acceptable level and you’ve applied many of the online persuasion tips to get people to buy your product or service. Users visit your product pages and many of them add your awesome items in their online shopping basket.

SCORE! Another day with lot’s of products sold and customers added to your CRM!

Or not (yet)…? Read more