Simplify your website by taking things away – The take out test

Steve Jackson

Steve Jackson

Simplify your website by taking things away - The take out test

Every website has a sequence of things the web designer wants you to do.

You probably have a process on your website (shopping cart, lead generation form fills, subscription process) that requires page “A” and Page “B” to be viewed? If so is there something that you can test “taking away” to make it easier for your users? 

There is a big difference between how someone views your page on a mobile device versus a huge desktop screen. Is there a hypothesis that can be formed that says taking something out of the process would make it easier for the user across devices? Is mobile a better example than desktop or the other way around? as an example

Kela is a Finnish benefits website designed to help people living in Finland understand when they can get help from the government in the form of social relief. For instance many medical expenses are covered by Kela.

Disclaimer: Kela aren’t Quru customers, I have no access to their data, nor any idea of what their goal is when you arrive on the site. In no way am I criticising the site or layout at all, I’m just using the public layout of their website (as of September 2017) as an example to demonstrate the idea of a take out test.

Lets assume the idea is to have people find the e-services page and login. On the Desktop page (shown above) the “e-Services” page is on the right and the page is dominated by the picture of the guy in the centre hero content behind a FAQ call out. On the mobile website the responsive design kicks in and puts the “e-Services” page slap bang in the middle of the page (as shown below). - Mobile website

Test your Hypothesis

For the sake of this example we’ll assume that the mobile website is having more success than the desktop site. Your hypothesis might be that the picture of the man in the centre of the desktop page could be replaced with something more helpful to guide users to sign in.

We use Google Optimize and VWO to manage how we do tests once we’ve formed our idea. There are of course many other tools out there that can handle this for you. Our control would be the page as shown at the top of this article. This is the starting point “A”. The “B” test in this case would be to try to get more people to login to the Kela website by making the eServices section more prominent.

For instance you might swap the image of the guy in the blue shirt with something directly related to eServices. Then you might replace the FAQ text with the services text and the same call to action. 

Measure the outcome

Once you have run your test, if your success metric (sign in to the service) has proven better than the previous version “A” then you use the test version as your new control. Your take out test has worked. If the test shows that the previous desktop version of your site was better, then your take out test has failed. Revert back to the original and re-design your test.

Of course it all depends on your goals and your success metrics. Quite often though, we see websites that have unnecessary pictures, or sliding banners that may hinder your users.

Action Points

  1. Find sequences of pages on your websites that users complete to do what you want them to do.
  2. Use Analytics to find the highest abandonment points.
  3. Form a hypothesis.
  4. Do A/B tests.
  5. Keep the winning formula.

Happy taking out!



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