Aug 15, 2011

Using FiveSecondTest for landing page design.

I use to test landing pages before I build them. It shows a mockup of your page to random people for 5 seconds, then lets you ask them questions to learn what they recalled and understood. This is very valuable to make sure the message you intended is getting communicated, which is important to rule out if your smoke testing a value proposition.

It answers the question: Is this doing poorly because the offer is bad or the design is bad?

My typical questions are:

  1. What does this page offer?
  2. What can you do on this site?
  3. What is the page asking you to do?
  4. What are some reasons it gives you to do this?
  5. What do you think will happen when you click the button?

You'll notice that these questions aren't leading in any way they give no clues about the design except for the last question, where I tell them there's a button.

If I don't get the answers I expect to these questions, I know I need to improve the design. You'd be surprised how differently people think from you. I iterate on FiveSecondTest until people clearly get the point and can answer those questions to my satisfaction. Only then does the page go live.

Sometimes, this is a frustrating process. People are super lazy and don't really read stuff or take a proper look at your page, so you really have spoon feed the information. But sometimes, thanks to the fact that FiveSecondTest has a decent number of smart-ass designers on it, I get answers that crack me up. Its nice when your work makes you laugh out loud.
What are the reasons the page gives you to click the button? A pink arrow. Gee, thanks!

Btw, here's a later version that consistently got the right answers to those questions:
Unbounce - Leancamp membership - Preview
One more item and bolder text did it! Go figure.

What am I up to these days?

I’m a new parent, and prioritising my attention on our new rhythms as a family. I’m also having fun with slow creative pursuits: making a few apps, writing, etc.

Work-wise, I’m trekking along at a cozy pace, with a few non-exec, advisory roles for cryptography and microchip manufacturing programs.

In the past, I've designed peer-learning programs for Oxford, UCL, Techstars, Microsoft Ventures, The Royal Academy Of Engineering, and Kernel, careering from startups to humanitech and engineering. I also played a role in starting the Lean Startup methodology, and the European startup ecosystem. You can read about this here.

Contact me

Books & collected practices

  • Peer Learning Is - a broad look at peer learning around the world, and how to design peer learning to outperform traditional education
  • Mentor Impact - researched the practices used by the startup mentors that really make a difference
  • DAOistry - practices and mindsets that work in blockchain communities
  • Decision Hacks - early-stage startup decisions distilled
  • Source Institute - skunkworks I founded with open peer learning formats and ops guides, and our internal guide on decentralised teams