After Revenge of the Sith, things took a turn for the worse for Jar Jar Binks. Typecast as a prize moron and unable to get other work, he took on a brief but successful stint in the pornography sector. We don’t know exactly what he did and this is how we want it left. Down and out Jar Jar ended up living in a dumpster outside XadorLabs HQ, living on a diet of Head and Shoulders shampoo and toothpaste.
One day when Jar Jar Binks’ CV came across my desk I couldn’t believe it. Surely he wasn’t as stupid as he was portrayed in the movies? A hunch told me we needed this guy onboard, so we hooked him up on a 6-figure salary with a dental plan and got down to work. Well…not quite. In fact, far from it.
It turned out Jar Jar was far stupider in real life. The movies made him look like a certified genius in comparison and it fast became clear why the Gungans had ousted him. Revenge of the Sith taught me I should take movies more seriously. Subsequently, I now treat them all as documentaries.
I needed to find a way I could I capitalize on employing a complete moron. Then it hit me. Jar Jar would teach us how to design foolproof landing pages. He would be a highly skilled asset in our Design Optimization department.
My thinking was that we design a page and show it to Jar Jar for 5 seconds. If he could then verbalize what it was about without any prior information, it would show the design and message were a winning combination. If Jar Jar could understand and negotiate a page, it would mean anyone could.
Many in the industry call this the “five second test”. Clearly, the cheap spin-off from Jar Jar Binks’ groundbreaking work and something we should all adopt in our design process.
Often when you work on a project, you come at it from an angle of having prior information. We take that knowledge for granted and are well ahead of where our customers are in their understanding. This five second Jar Jar Binks test lets you see from the perspective of fresh, uneducated eyes, which is invaluable.
If you’re not lucky enough to be working with Jar Jar himself, there are online resources such as https://fivesecondtest.com This site lets you post a project design for five seconds and get measured user feedback from real people before your page goes live.
A good design helps focus the prospect’s attention and direct them towards what you want them to do. The page’s intent needs to be clear. All elements on the page need to support this and direct the user’s attention to the goal – having a potential customer fill out a form so you can interact with them. For example, studies show if there is a photo of a person on a page we will gravitate towards it, particularly the eyes and hands. We can use this to our advantage. It’s more beneficial if the person in the photo is looking towards a heading or call to action, or if their hands are gesturing towards a form or area on the page which you want them to pay attention to.
In Jar Jar testing we found page load times played an important factor. Check out these bounce statistics. 9.6% bounce after two seconds through to a 32% bounce rate at seven seconds. Now think of the cost to you or your client of the 32% of people bouncing.
32% of those hard earned clicks result in a loss of ad spend. That hurts when you take into account the cost of a click these days! Think of a guy like Jar Jar – you would have lost his attention and he’d be back in the dumpster eating shampoo well before a page load time of four seconds.
Designs needs to be fast, but a balance also needs to be found depending on your offer. Some offers require a lot more information and media to support them. Video, copy, and imagery tied together cohesively speak to a customer about your brand’s values. This helps connect with your customer on a more emotional level.
We see a lot of pages that are simple – some of them just text and a border. Sure, they’re fast, but sometimes to the detriment of losing potential customers.
We believe a nice balance needs to be struck to optimize a design properly. This needs to take into account aesthetics, emotions, and speed. A clear vision of the type of customer you’re talking to needs to be paramount. Get inside their heads and you have a winning landing page.
With Jar Jar testing out the “why”, the next step would be setting up an A/B test. This is where your prospects will decide which is the highest converting page. Here, we can make duplicates of the landing page and make simple changes to the design. For example, a more emotive image, a more contrasting button color, more social proof, or a stronger headline.
Typically you would only make one change in a duplicate for strict testing so you can see which variation works better. These duplicates can then be assigned equal amounts of traffic. Once enough data has been collected the “champion” version can automatically be set to receive all your ad traffic.
As you can see, you’re not restricted to one fixed page. The roadmap begins with the Jar Jar Binks five second test as previously described, polishing the design until it passes. Then you duplicate the page with variations and deploy the A/B testing. Your prospects’ actions will decide which is the highest converting version. You’ll then be able to reuse these insights in consecutive campaigns, always learning and polishing as you go.
We never thought this would happen in a million years, but Jar Jar Binks, you are our Employee of the Month. Just you being you was all it took to make a great contribution to the science of landing page design.