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Lost My Name uses iterative prototype testing to evolve painlessly and profitably

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About Tom Waterfall and Lost My Name

 

Tom Waterfall is the Head of CRO at Lost My Name – a trail-blazing eCommerce company that creates and sells personalised storybooks for children.  
 
Each child's adventure is based on their name and address, making the story uniquely theirs – and they love it. No surprise that Lost My Name is one of the UK’s fastest-growing eCommerce businesses.
 

Tom Waterfall, Head of CRO, Lost My Name

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Saved time and money with early-stage, iterative testing

Kept stable conversion rate while overhauling website journey

Why was Lost My Name testing its website prototypes?

 
Users on the Lost My Name website go through a story creation process, where they enter details about the child the book will be based around. 
 
In 2015, the company was working on a completely new story creation journey which it wanted to apply to all current and future books. 
 
This was a massive change – the story creation process is essentially the product selection and checkout flow on the Lost My Name site.
 
Launching a feature that complex, without first validating multiple aspects of the design and technology, would be like begging for a crash in conversions.
 
Tom has forgotten more about conversion rate optimisation (CRO) than many of us will ever know. He knew combining quantitative and qualitative data was the only danger-free way to go.
 
He decided to run UX tests on early prototypes of the new “story creation” journey, before launching it on the website. 
 
Tim Peake

How did Lost My Name use remote UX testing?

 
Using the WhatUsersDo platform, Tom and his team tested across all design stages – including wireframes, as well as low and high-fidelity Marvel prototypes. 
 
Their testing covered one of Lost My Name’s most popular books – The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home, which was read in space by British astronaut, Tim Peake.
 
The team tested a complex personalisation process that included the creation of unique messages and location-specific experiences.  
 
During personalisation, a hero is created using the child’s name, gender and appearance. In the story, this hero makes their way back home (the child’s home) from the edge of space.
 
Among the insights uncovered was the fact that some users were confused by the address form field, during the creation process. 
 
Instead of entering the address of the child the story would be based on, they tried to enter their own address for delivery of the book.
 
 
 
This lady doesn’t know whether to enter a delivery address or the child’s
 

What did Lost My Name achieve from remote UX testing?

 
WhatUsersDo allowed Lost My Name to confidently proceed with a new feature, without any fear of hurting their sales or users.
 
Because Tom and his team tested regularly throughout design (and continue to do so), they achieved some impressive results:
 

Book sales have performed consistently, with no drop in sales since the introduction of the new story creation process
• A consistent and thoroughly validated customisation process now exists, which can be easily applied to future books

As a devout CRO practitioner, Tom also combines remote UX testing with other tools to get the best results:
  • Session replay
  • Analytics – finding out the reasons behind problem areas, as shown in Google Analytics
  • Heat maps 
  • A/B testing – identifying user-validated hypotheses for testing variants
 

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What does Tom think about remote UX testing?

As a company that is making big site changes every month to affect rapid growth targets, it would be absolute lunacy to bypass one of the most important steps in our design and release process: tackling the vagaries of website behaviour through user testing. WhatUsersDo has allowed us to quickly obtain feedback directly from users in different markets and with different backgrounds, in as early as the prototyping stage. Ultimately, this gives us the confidence to release projects in a customer-centric and risk-averse manner.


 Tips for running UX tests on prototypes

If it can be rendered in a browser, it can be tested
You can test hi-fi or lo-fi clickable prototypes – in fact, you don’t need everything to be in full working condition
The only part that needs to be clickable is the journey you want to test
Set users’ expectations correctly – let them know they’ll be testing a prototype and not everything will work
Don’t ask users to perform impossible tasks
If you’re testing a lo-fi prototype, expect to uncover usability issues but not brand-related insights
Use realistic content, as much as possible, to help users move naturally through the tasks
 

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