Thursday, August 31, 2006

Beware of Poorly Formed Inferences

Comparing three versions and drawing inferences from the results ...

"MarketingSherpa, a great resource for online marketing case studies, recently published a nifty article showing the thinking behind the recent redesign of’s Job Posting home page. (Note: The MarketingSherpa article is only available for free viewing until September 4. After that, you’ll have to pay to see it.)

According to the article, Michael DeHaven, who is in charge of the site’s ecommerce marketing efforts, used A/B testing to try out two different versions of the new design.

The article reports how everybody on Mr. DeHaven’s staff who saw version “C” said it was too crowded and people would feel overwhelmed with links, so they expected version “B” to win the A/B Test. As we would’ve predicted based on our work with link-rich home pages, version “C” should do better.

And we were right. Version “C” won more customer accounts than “the cleaner, more graphical design”.

... Jumping to poorly formed inferences can get us into trouble. Now that he believes that (a) people prefer things that look like search results and (b) users’ eyes’ are not trained for graphics or images, he’s likely to make design decisions based on those beliefs. And, while many of the resulting designs are likely to work, many probably won’t."   (Continued via UIE Brain Sparks)   [Usability Resources]

Version C Best Result - Usability, User Interface Design

Version C Best Result


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