Skip to content

Ever spent hours planning, writing, or designing a couple of variant landing pages to AB test?

Your hypotheses might not be as refined as you think.

Even when based on hard data.

But you can fix it if you start at the source.

That’s your misleading hypothesis.

In other words, you collected the data (if you did it the right way), but maybe because of your biases, or because you overlooked something, you came up with an idea that doesn’t really represent the reality of the issue you’re trying to solve.

At the hypothesis stage – even before you spend time designing a variant – usability testing is the best way to validate or disprove your assumptions.

Craft a good UT, save 2 or 3x the time on AB testing.

Don’t go with:

Data -> Hypothesis -> wasted AB test


Data -> Hypothesis -> User test -> Better hypothesis -> useful AB test

You can run two types of UT:

  • 1) 5 seconds test (great to test value propositions): Show a section of the page for 5 seconds and ask “Could you describe anything you remember seeing?”. Don’t tell users what you’re gonna do. Just listen.
  • 2) Thinking aloud (great to fix the user journey): Map out your customer journey, give users a scenario and ask questions to see how they go about it. But don’t lead them. Just watch.

Both are super low investment and high ROI.

Some of my favorite services are Conversion Crimes, which I was UX lead at (great for starting out, they even have a done-for-you option) and Userfeel(they have a very neat way of collecting video snippets and sharing your findings.

No matter if it’s business or life though, this is always a good lesson to keep in mind.

Sometimes we have to look at the source, not at the results if we want to get better.

P.S. I’ve been working on a coaching/consulting package for the folks who are bootstrapping, might not have the budget or just want some copy and CRO guidance. I’ll share the new page soon. In the meantime if you’re interested, just hit reply here.

brain dump?

Every week 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.