Space Between is a UK-based digital agency founded in 2015 that offers a range of marketing services including conversion rate optimization. To provide additional insights to help the team their hone conversion strategy recommendations, Space Between developed a biometrics lab that allows them to understand user behaviors in great depth, leveraging both data and psychology. The lab uses the latest biometric techniques to understand consumer behavior at a subconscious level, allowing their practitioners to make design, development and UX decisions based on emotional reactions alongside analytics, heatmapping and other standard techniques.
Founded in 1957, HR GO plc has placed thousands of permanent and temporary workers throughout the UK, specializing in recruiting for Industrial, Office & Professional, Facilities Management, Construction, and Catering jobs. In addition to offering recruitment services, HR GO plc has a job portal where candidates can search for relevant job opportunities and connect with an HR GO plc recruitment professional. Each month over 20,000 people search for a job on the portals, which makes them a key revenue stream.
HR GO plc receives a good number of job-seekers to its website and wanted to achieve higher levels of conversion of these visitors into actual job candidates and applicants. Based on comparisons with other recruitment sites, their 7% conversion rate was below market norms, so they knew they could improve. They put this challenge to their agency Space Between, who brought in Sentient Ascend as the technology solution of choice.
HR GO plc asked Space Between to conduct biometric studies to diagnose the source of their conversion gap. Some initial tests indicated that HR GO plc users were uneasy with the way they were being forced through the conversion funnel (as opposed to being guided through the process). The biometric lab sessions also indicated that there were a lot of visual cues on the website that were distracting the user from the decision to apply. By delivering a better and less stressful experience for HR GO plc customers, Space Between felt it could meet the challenge of increasing conversions, and it set about on a deep dive on how consumers felt when interacting with the HR GO plc site.
Space Between’s initial UX audit and biometrics lab sessions on the HR GO plc site identified areas of the customer funnel which made users struggle. Using insights derived from this consumer-driven data, the UX team produced an initial redesign of the job page. Redesigns are most often built out of component elements, and Space Between wanted to understand at a detailed level what changes would drive increased conversion and which wouldn’t.
But, there were many ideas to test—far too many to A/B test on the timeline they had been given. Space Between used Sentient Ascend’s massively multivariate capabilities to test these individual components and variants to see which changes—and which combinations of changes—were most effective, all in one experiment. Alongside primary design changes they also tested other design and content changes that normally wouldn’t have made the prioritization cut when you have to pick one change only to test, a limitation that exists for A/B testing tools but not for Sentient Ascend.
Space Between’s biometrics lab uses the latest technology to understand consumer behaviour at a subconscious level allowing digital practitioners to make design, development and UX decisions based on real customer data.
From Biometrics to Optimization Strategies
Space Between’s biometric lab showed HR GO plc how users were feeling when they interacted with the website. The findings showed that urgency messages were discouraging people from submitting their application, likely due to the stress most people have when searching for a new job. The agency team needed to make sure that users had enough information to cause them to apply for a job, without feeling overwhelmed. The tests showed, for example, that using directive call to action statements like “Apply now” were much less effective, given the user’s mindset, than more directional text like “Read more”. HR GO plc’s candidates eyes also had a tendency to dart around the page looking for the call-to-action (CTA) when first landing on the page, suggesting a need for layout changes.
Space Between’s biometric lab evaluates multiple inputs, including Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), electroencephalogram (EEG), heart rate, eye movement and facial postures. Through these and other inputs, the agency is able to process customers’ emotions and understand what a user is thinking and feeling at the time they’re interacting with a website. The results from this biometric process enabled HR GO plc to discover that their users felt stressed when applying for a job on their site and that urgent messages tended to discourage people rather than encourage them.
When Space Between put their initial design solutions forward for testing they focused on making sure that their design and copy ideas balanced the need for sufficient information, and moving applicants down the job funnel, in ways that didn’t add any additional pressure.
From this research and other data, Space Between came up with multiple design suggestions, which in combination represented more than 1,080 possible designs. Ascend is great at using evolution to search through large numbers of design possibilities to determine the best performers, and over the four week trial they had some stand out winners. The winning variant when completed saw a 153% increase in conversions.
Under Space Between’s stewardship the website has developed functionality that delivers £770,000 worth of gross profit to the business. Space Between is a cornerstone of HR GO plc’s digital strategy and is responsible for growth in revenues of over £2m in 2017 alone.
This is one of the first times Space Between ran tests focusing on conversion rates with HR GO plc and the success of it has encouraged the company to increase their use of experimentation. So now HR GO plc is going to be looking at running similar tests across other key funnels on their website.
Some hypotheses that are being tested in the next experiment include modifying the site color palette, trying different CTA combinations and placements and making changes to the registration form.
By The Numbers
HR GO saw an unprecedented lift in conversions with Ascend:
week test duration
additional gross profit