A/B testing fascinates me to no end.  I could spend hours on WhatRunsWhere.com guessing which variation lifted conversions.  I always scrutinize and give it my best guess.  Inevitably, I get it wrong more than I get it right.

So with that said, I loved this post on how the use of testimonials can actually inhibit conversions if used incorrectly.

It’s a little counter intuitive if you think about it; the social proof behind testimonials add fuel to the trust factor, which makes it easier to get a “yes” out of people.  That could mean pulling out a credit card, signing up for a consult; whatever that form of consent may be.

But when the testimonials have visual dominance on a page to the point where they actually confuse the prospect or reader, you could be screwing yourself right out of a sale.

It also comes down to knowing the function and purpose of good design.  I’m a fan of pretty colors as much as the next guy.  But the test on this page talks about how turning the logos of the companies giving the testimonials to grayscale helped instead draw the eye to the form, and ultimately to the “Get Demo And Pricing” button.

My first job out of college was working for a graphic design company.  I still remember a heated-yet-friendly discussion about the purpose of art vs. graphic design.

My boss argued that unlike art, which is intended to inspire and inspire, graphic design solves a problem.  It provides greater comprehension, retention, motivation, and instigation to action.

This is a perfect example of that distinction.

Thanks to www.VisualWebsiteOptimizer.com for the great post.