The Art of Architecting the Web

The art of architecting the web; that should be the role of the Conversion Rate Optimiser. And to reinforce that idea, we will take a look at the some of the strong similarities between the two professions:


1. Skills

Whilst the exact skills may be very different, it is the combination of creativity and cold, hard maths where the similarities lie.

Without creativity, a CROer could not hope to design the right user journey for a site’s visitors in the same way that an architect could not hope to get repeat commissions for “un-creative” buildings.

In the same breath however, without a mathematical mind an architect’s buildings would (literally) fall flat from poor weight distribution or disastrously bad angles. Similarly, a creative solution from a CROer would be useless without the maths skills to assess whether the volume of visits and conversions are enough to reach statistical significance and indeed to accurately calculate the conversion rates and uplifts in the first place.


2. Results

A building designed without its surroundings in mind  will never reach the same heights as one created to compliment and even integrate into its setting. And this is the same for any optimisation test; if it is built without considering the pages and user journey around it, it is highly unlikely to be as successful as one which has been crafted after careful consideration of its holistic environment.

By thinking about the different ways in which a visitor could approach a page, a user journey, or indeed a property, the planner of the project will likely create something much more inclusive, encompassing and desirable than something designed discretely.


3. Centralising Ideas

It is not the stones themselves, but the story they tell…

Although generally applied to architecture, this statement couldn’t be truer when looking at the pedigree of a CROer. As the story of a building’s purpose is often carved into the very stones that make it, the strategic purpose of a business should be etched into the code of every test.

The importance of a centralising idea, both in architecture & in CRO, cannot be overstated as it is essential for creating a coherent experience; each time a question comes up during the construction phase, a return to that centralising idea should produce an appropriate answer.


Despite each of these similarities however, CROers should always remember that unlike architects, their projects are never over, their “buildings” are never finished nor their experiences ever complete. The continual experimentation and improvement should be the hallmarks of web architecture, setting it apart from its bricks-and-mortar cousin.

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