At Brooks Bell, we often talk about the need to build a company culture around testing—and with good reason. A testing culture encourages comradery, inspires creativity, and helps everyone stay rooted in data.
But in order to create a thriving testing culture, you need to get team members excited about the practice itself. Below, the Brooks Bell team shares ideas to get your organization on board.
“The big word now is gamification.”
-Reid Bryant, VP, Data Science & Analytics at Brooks Bell
A common approach to get team members excited about testing is making a game out of the process, says our VP of data science and analytics, Reid Bryant.
Some companies post billboards in the hallway with the challengers displayed. Employees are encouraged to write their names or put a check mark next to the one they think will win.
One of the challenges to building excitement, Reid says, is that we usually don’t see the fruits of our labor immediately. Small incremental site changes over time can give people the feeling that their work isn’t making much of an impact.
One way to fix that is to screenshot your progress. Show your team your current site and compare it to a screenshot from one year ago. It will help them see the tangible efforts of their work and visualize how they’re “making the experience better for the next person,” Reid says.
“It’s so fun to get people together to strategize, come up with the test, pick their favorites, and see how it plays out.”
-Suzi Tripp, Senior Director, Experimentation Strategy at Brooks Bell
For Suzi Tripp, the fun part of testing is coming up with solutions and actually trying them out. Our senior director of experimentation strategy points to brainstorming sessions as a way to get others invested in testing. “It inspires creativity and friendly competition,” she says.
An important part of this exercise happens when the test is over—everyone learns from the results and uses the data to inform the next test.
“The beauty of it is that it makes us even better the next time around, since we’ve all connected to the test in a personal way and gleaned something from it,” Suzi says.
“A taste test is one of the fun ways we get people to understand what we do.”
-Jeremy Andrews, Senior Optimization Engineer at Brooks Bell
As part of the Brooks Bell team that helps onboard new employees, senior optimization engineer Jeremy Andrews understand the importance of making testing relevant to people’s interests.
Before their first day, new employees are asked to name their favorite food or drink. The onboarding team uses this information to create an “A/B Tasting” on the employee’s first day.
“This has historically involved anything from beer and wine to donuts to LaCroix flavors—anything they’re interested in,” Jeremy said. The blind test is a way for newbies to get hands-on testing experience before they’re even involved in their first brainstorm.
“Consider holding an experimentation expo, where people can come and share what they’ve learned and what they’re doing with their testing programs.”
-Claire Schmitt, Senior Director, Optimization Consulting at Brooks Bell
Collaboration is what helps testing catch fire. Our senior director of optimization consulting, Claire Schmitt, suggests organizing a brainstorming session with different product owners. People can share what they’ve learned—whether it’s from test results or user research—and see if it is applicable to other teams.
Other ideas from Claire:
- Give out awards for testing, whether it’s for the most interesting test idea, the highest-impact test, or most valuable insight.
- If your store has a retail location, organize a team field trip and talk to customers.
How do you make testing fun at your company? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.