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Book Review: “A/B Testing: The most powerful way to turn clicks into customers”

I just finished reading “A/B Testing: The most powerful way to turn clicks into customers” by Siroker and Koomen, and enjoyed it.

The premise is that when making a website, you need to test if you should do [something] vs [something else].

The point the authors are driving home is that you actually do need to test. They give a lot of real-world examples showing when people did test, it helped improve the revenues that the site was generating.

Test things such as:

- Should you use pictures or text to get your point across?

- For pictures, should it be [some color] vs [another color]?

- For pictures, where should the placement be (ex. top of the page? after some text?)

- Placement of text (ex. in the navigation bar: should it be on the far left, or the far right)?

- Word usage: for example, “Free Trial” vs “Try it Free” (Page 66)

Specific highlights based on where I folded-over pages while reading:

- You’re only testing a small percentage of people, and they will generally have complaints. “We’re not going to tailor the product experience, just like we’re not going to have 80 million different engineering paths, just to please half a percent of the people” (Page 45)

- Make forms short; break them into pieces. Match the user’s sequence of events. For example, once you know a user is willing to make a donation, you should ask for the amount; don’t instead ask for their personal information (Page 56)

- If you need help convincing your boss that you should run an A/B test, try the phrase “Let’s just run an experiment” (Page 102)

The main point is that you should test everything on your site; the smallest tweak can make a significant difference. This book was an easy read, and I recommend it.

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