Trinity Mirror PLC, a UK publisher of over 100 regional newspapers and five national titles (Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, People, Sunday Mail, and Daily Record) has developed a true experimentation culture for their online presence. Grant Maskell, head of the UX team, uses experimentation to focus their development on approaches that will positively impact revenue. “What this means is that in the end we build only things that we had a very good confidence level in,” Grant says.
Instead of having long conversations about design ideas and product decisions, Grant and his team build hypotheses based on data and run experiments regularly to make informed decisions based on solid results.
In the case of one experiment, Grant and his team hypothesized that if they layered articles over section pages instead of opening a new page, visitors would explore more of the site. He met with resistance from stakeholders. Some thought that it had been done without success before. Others felt that it shouldn’t be tried since no one else was doing it.
Actually running the experiment removed all doubt. They immediately experienced a 100% uplift on section page views, with a 60% uplift in article views. As a result of the experiment, they adjusted their product roadmap and prioritized the update for all of their sites.
When you work in an experimentation culture, opinions about what will and won’t work are all second to data, and solid data comes as a result of an experiment focused on a hypothesis. You’re able to mine the best ideas from throughout the organization instead of relying on the opinions of stakeholders. At the end of the day, this democratized approach will result in saved time (since you aren’t trying and failing repeatedly in a fully live setting) and ideas that can transform your visitors’ experiences, having a real impact on your goals.