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AB testing ideas from Kobe Bryant

I’ve heard a crazy story about Kobe Bryant.

From the legend himself.

On the Legends of sport podcast with hall of fame NBA photographer Andre Bernstein, Kobe said he used to have his photos as posters on the wall growing up.

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Julius Irving, the bigs.

Then Bernstein asks him what inspired him about those photos.

What Kobe said is a huge lesson in learning and attention to detail.

In general in how to be a top performer.

Kobe says he used not only get inspiration from looking at those posters…

…he studied them!

Now how the hell do you study a photo you might ask?

Every pro athlete studies game footage, it’s a big part of improving and keeping up with the competition.

But studying photos??

And more than that…when you’re 12 years old?!

For example, one of the posters was of Michael Jordan, in a defensive shot, boxing out (cutting the player out to grab a rebound).

Kobe explains how one of the details he was playing attention to, was of Jordan using his elbows against the player’s waist line. And how that’s not something they teach you normally.

That was interesting to him, so he started applying the same technique.

Especially against bigger players than him, where he didn’t have the size and weight advantage.

Now, this is what I call observation. And obsessive attention to detail.

My point?

When it comes to your business and website, you’ve got tools to do this specific job.

To observe what your users / visitors are doing at any given moment. And to study them.

If user recordings and usability testing are the in-game footage, heatmaps, clickmaps and attention maps are the posters on your wall.

Ok, it’s not exactly as glamorous. You probably don’t wake up looking at your heatmap.

But, you can get inspired and motivated nonetheless.

Example, when you see users rage clicking on something that’s not a button or link.

Or incessantly hovering on text, back and forth.

Clear signs there’s something wrong.

Put it all together and you’ve got your AB test hypotheses.

All you had to do was just to look and pay attention to the details.

I’ve probably watched thousands of user recordings and user testing videos over the years. And narrowed down heatmap patterns to the ones that make for critical impact when tested.

If you want to learn how to do it for your business, let’s talk.

brain dump?

Every day (yes!) I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.