As humans—and to an even greater extent, as professionals—we’re conditioned to value productivity. Complete a project, check it off the list, feel accomplished, move on. Repeat.
However, in the context of digital experiences, this finish-it-and-move-on mindset doesn’t cut it. SaaS products, websites, and mobile apps should be thought of as living projects. As long as digital experiences can be improved, the project is never quite finished.
Continuously improving digital experiences requires experimentation—also known as test-and-learn or iteration. Experimentation creates a way for organizations to check the temperature of customer interactions, feedback, behavior, and pain points—and highlight areas in need of a solution.
Here, we explore the benefits of a test-and-learn strategy, and how to create an organizational environment that embraces and celebrates it.
Why organizations should value experimentation
A test-and-learn strategy creates a way for an organization to keep a constant pulse on customer feedback, pain, and behavior, and to find solutions. Every test gets you one step closer to a perfect digital customer experience.
According to FullStory’s research, organizations that report “moving on” after shipping a feature or experience tend to have less mature digital experiences that those that can iterate and improve after a launch.
Paying attention to how users engage with an experience, testing improvements, and iterating based on those tests is a powerful help your organization move toward better user experiences. Moreover, monitoring an experience from the moment it’s shipped allows you to catch poor user experiences before support tickets roll in.
How can teams make the most of a test-and-learn approach? A Digital Experience Intelligence solution amplifies your experimentation by providing instant access to real user sessions, signaling trends in user behavior, and providing customizable dashboards to monitor an experience’s usage and metrics at-a-glance.
Creating a team culture that embraces test-and-learn experimentation
For a test-and-learn strategy to be successful, company culture must support experimentation, which proves a challenge at many organizations. When everyone contributing to online experience checks their ego at the door, ideas can come from anywhere (as long as they’re backed by evidence), and transparency is celebrated and encouraged (no matter the outcome of the test).
FullStory research shows that organizations that deliver better digital experiences are far more likely to report that the company encourages testing and learning new ideas.
Customer-centricity and testing-and-learning go hand in hand. To provide a digital experience that actually meets customer needs, digital leaders must be open-minded and willing to put their ideas—and the ideas of others—to the test. After all, often, the experience that companies design is not the experience customers are seeking. Ready to implement a test-and-learn culture? Our research has found that teams that excel with this process have these three traits.
1. Everyone checks their ego at the door
The first step to embracing testing and learning is acknowledging that you might be wrong—and that it’s okay to be wrong. Even when a test “fails” or has a negative impact, something is still learned from it.
And as long as your organization is learning, your test-and-learn strategy is working.
2. Test ideas are backed by evidence
To generate the most effective and actionable results, the tests you run should be rooted in quantitative and qualitative data. The more data, the better.
Not only does data help you build a business case to run a particular experiment, it also enables you to more holistically understand the results of an experiment. Our research shows that organizations that make DX decisions based on gut instinct deliver great digital experiences only some of the time, but orgs that use data deliver great digital experiences always or often.
3. Transparency: Share your wins and losses
Being transparent about your test’s results is key to credibility—make sure to share your findings even if the test had a negative impact.
Wins can include tests that generated a positive result for the business, while “losses” are tests that have an inconclusive or negative impact. This reinforces the idea that constant iteration is a core part of digital experience improvement.
A great way to encourage this kind of transparency is to build dashboards reporting on key metrics for whatever you’re testing. Rather than seeing a final report at the end of the project, team members can watch a test’s progress and learn along the way.