Online Design: The Testing State of Mind

September 12, 2013

Arguably the number one rule of marketing is You Are Not Your Audience. It’s a simple rule that sometimes goes forgotten. What are the implications of forgetting this rule? Getting stuck in a rut, and making the mistake of thinking that business never changes. It’s a mistake to believe that your audience or customer never changes. It’s also a big mistake to think that the world around you (culture, hobbies, interests) never changes.

For this reason, it’s crucial you live in The Testing State of Mind. You may not have caught my reference to Jay-Z’s song “Empire State of Mind”, a song which has been stuck in my head all day as I remember the events of 9/11. The tie in to this article is that just like New York is in the blood of Jay-Z, a mindset of “Always Be Testing” must be running through our veins.

Everyday business owners have to make decisions. These decisions could range from:

  • What do I title my blog post?
  • What is the best color of our Home Page Call to Action button?
  • What brand voice does our audience respond?
  • Should my Home Page headline sit on 2 or 3 lines?
  • What should our voicemail say before the beep?
  • ETC…

If you’re really doing your homework, you will find that there are countless studies out there to prove or disprove WHATEVER choice you’re attempting to make. But what works for somebody or some company may not always work with you and your company. There are numerous variables that impact whether these decisions “work” or not.

You’ll never know until you test

Without testing you are only making assumptions, and as educated as those assumptions may be, they are still just assumptions. You know what happens when you assume…

Pull the trigger and move forward

Make a hypothesis and put it to the test. Our egos and pride get in the way when we allow ourselves to be scared of making mistakes. If you’re consistently testing then it’s never a mistake, it’s a learning opportunity. If it works, great. If it doesn’t work, great. Regardless, you are going to have another piece to test next, just keep swimming.

How to start

It’s been said that nothing builds momentum faster than quick wins. A quick win could be changing your main Call to Action color from Green to Purple, or whatever color you hypothesize may work better. If after an A/B test you learn that the new color worked better, then you have a quick win. How hard was that?

Start small. Here is a thought from one of my favorite business books, Rework.

Big decisions are hard to make and hard to change. And once you make one, the tendency is to continue believing you made the right decision, even if you didn’t. You stop being objective.


No one likes to be stuck on an endless project with no finish in sight. Being in the trenches for nine months and not having anything to show for it is a real buzzkill.

Don’t wait for everything to be just perfect. There will always be 100 reasons not to do something.

Of course you could just call Get Found First and we’ll take care of it for you. :) Shameless plug!

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