Shanelle Mullin

Shanelle Mullin

Shanelle Mullin does content & growth at ConversionXL. She writes on optimization and content marketing.

Tabbed Navigation

One of my favorite UX quotes comes from Chikezie Ejiasi, UX lead at Nest.

He wrote: “Life is conversational. Web design should be the same way. On the web, you’re talking to someone you’ve probably never met – so it’s important to be clear and precise. Thus, well structured navigation and content organization goes hand in hand with having a good conversation.”

Can tabbed navigation be clear and precise? Of course it can, which makes it a valid form of navigation and content organization. What matters, as with most things related to UX, is how you implement it and how you optimize it.

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Password UX

Have you ever forgotten a password for a site? What about a security question?

Have you ever spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to think of a password you can remember, but also complies with a list of arbitrary requirements (e.g. 7 uppercase letters, 4 special characters, etc.)?

When these UX problems pop up, they cause friction.

Friction that prevents new SaaS customers from signing up, friction that prevents loyal eCommerce customers from creating an account for next time, friction that prevents current customers from accessing their accounts.

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Quality Assurance

Sites that don’t work don’t convert.

That’s why optimizers conduct quality assurance on sites, landing pages, test treatments, email campaigns, you name it… to make sure they work the way they’re supposed to.

While it’s common knowledge that quality assurance is something you should do, not enough optimizers complete it properly. If they did, there wouldn’t be so many sites that just plain don’t work.

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Viral Conversions

Right now there is almost certainly an enterprise exec in a boardroom somewhere saying, “We need it to go viral.” Kittens and memes and babies kissing puppies… viral.

When most people think about going viral, they think about raising a lot of awareness for their product or company. But what about money in the bank, what does going viral mean for your bottom line?

So, the statement becomes: We need to go viral in a way that makes us actual money. Not surprisingly, that usually looks a little different than kittens and memes and babies kissing puppies.

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Ad Wars

With Google processing over 40,000 searches every second and Facebook being a hub for 1.13 billion daily active users, Google AdWords and Facebook ads are obvious choices for PPC campaigns.

But is one better than the other? Are the optimization processes for both similar? What about A/B testing?

These are the questions optimizers need answers to before they can really reap the benefits of two very powerful advertising platforms.

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UX Research and A/B Testing

A/B testing is common practice and it can be a powerful optimization strategy when it’s used properly. We’ve written on it extensively. Plus, the Internet is full of “How We Increased Conversions by 1,000% with 1 Simple Change” style articles.

Unfortunately, there are experimentation flaws associated with A/B testing as well. Understanding those flaws and their implications is key to designing better, smarter A/B test variations.

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Comparison Shopping

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, right?

That’s the mentality of comparison shoppers. If they look hard and long enough, they will find a better value. If they don’t look around, they’ll miss out on greener grasses.

Today, the term “comparison shopper” describes the majority of consumers, especially those online. If you’re running an eCommerce or SaaS company, you absolutely must be optimizing for comparison shoppers.

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User State Models

William A. Foster once said, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”

Yet, we continue to see businesses pushing leads through doors, pushing customers through funnels… just hoping that they’ll create a high quality, engaged audience by accident.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. A high quality, engaged audience is anything but accidental. It requires that optimizers put in the effort to create user state models, dig into cohort analysis and correlative metrics, run experiments for different user states, etc.

It’s not the easy choice, but if you’re looking for long-term revenue growth, it’s the only choice.
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Swearing in Copy

Can you remember the last time your parents scolded you for swearing?

Throughout childhood, we’re conditioned to believe that swearing is inappropriate and crass. You could offend someone, it makes you seem uneducated, it’s unprofessional in the workplace… the list of reasons we’ve been told not to swear goes on and on.

But how bad is swearing, really? Is there a chance that it could be beneficial in business and optimization? As with most things people have told you that you absolutely should not do, there’s a chance you should be testing it.

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