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Easy, confident, high impact (How to prioritize website updates)

You can’t just go implement every possible idea for improving your website, even if they come from me. So here’s a simple system for deciding which updates to prioritize.

Note: If you’re running an experimentation program with a team and a backlog of test ideas, your best bet is to start with ConversionXL’s PXL framework and customize it to fit your organization & site. This post is about deciding on “leap of faith” improvements—stuff you won’t be testing.

A common model for this situation is ICE, which stands for “Impact, Confidence, Ease.” The usual approach is to rank each proposed change on a numerica scale (say, 1-5) for each of the three factors.

That’s alright, but a bit more complicated than we need—not to mention that the idea we can distinguish between a score of 2 or 3 is a bit dubious.

Instead, just rate the change according to the following binary tests:

Just focus on identifying and implementing changes that are easy, high confidence, and high impact.

You can keep the others in your back pocket—if they’re not high confidence, you might later uncover some data that raises your certainty. If they’re not easy, you might land on a simpler way to execute them. If they’re not high impact, your traffic and user behavior might change in a way that increases their effect.

But don’t waste your time shipping so-called improvements that are difficult to implement, low impact, or of doubtful efficiacy. It just feels bad.

    © 2024 Brian David Hall