Lesson 2:

Measuring Conversion Design Success

"D for Dragon" float design by Bror Anders Wikstrom for the "Alphabet" theme, Krewe of Proteus, 1904: Carnival Collection, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University — Source (some potential restrictions on reuse).

For designers, the importance of measuring the success of your design (whether it “converts”) can’t be understated. “What gets measured gets improved,” legendary management consultant Peter Drucker said.

Remember that the purpose of conversion design – whether visual design, copy, strategy, etc. – is to create measurable change in our audiences. It’s essential to measure and determine with data what’s working and what’s not. Then you need to test and improve what’s working so it can work even better.

And a “conversion” is simply a change of state in our audience – a measurable step along their customer journey.

If capital-D Design isn’t measurable, it can’t be viewed with a conversion lens. It’s simply described by “feel,” good or bad.

(And if you’ve ever had a client say, “Ummmm it looks good but I kinda of want something different in ways I can’t explain,” you know how limited “feel” can be.)

That’s the big secret to “conversion” design. It’s just design that’s measurable.

“That’s just design but with extra steps.”

Well, yeah.

You might even refer to conversion design as “measurable design.” Or “outcome-based design.”

It’s not magic, and it’s not even that original. But it takes the ability to think ahead, think in terms of measurement, and design with purpose.

And when you do it, it will grow your business. (That’s why I threw in the fancy-sounding word “conversion.”)

But conversion sounds like it’ll grow your business and boost your profits. (Which it will.)

So what does a real conversion designer do?

Someone who practices conversion design doesn’t just focus on the graphics or even microcopy. A conversion designer looks at how their contribution fits into the whole of the design experience for the end user.

Why? Because how something looks should be directly informed by the document’s message.

And the document’s message is directly informed by the audience.

And the audience is determined by the business goals.

See how it’s all related?

A good conversion designer thnks bigger about copywriting, graphic design, business strategy, and even a bit of development, all-in-one.

It’s demanding, and not everyone can do it.

But for those who can manage this combination of conversion-focused messaging, the rewards are potentially great.

For example, they’ll have the measurable results of their work to show their employer or client or themselves. Good conversion designers can say, “My work works, and here’s the data to prove it.”

In the next message, we’ll send a four-step process to apply conversion design to your marketing and get measurably better performance.