Many of KOG’s ventures lean towards lifestyle products and services and this is because we love the elements of business and life that go into that type of project, but other times we derive a need based application that is equally as important and fun. In this case we came up with a web form optimization product that is equally useful for both users and companies.
The product is Veritimed. It is a service that times users taking a particular web form. Once we have statistically significantly data, we produce a Veritimed certified badge with the amount of time users should expect to spend on the form. Companies can then place this badge on their form badges to notify customers of the time. In every case so far, the time stamped badge has driven up form completion rates.
Anyway, we thought it would be fun to explain how the idea came into being. I (Ben) was sent a link by a friend while I was at work. I opened the link and saw that it was the streaming music service he had been telling me about that I was itching to try. The page that I landed on prompted to fill out a form to begin to use the service for free. I took one look at the form and decided that I didn’t want to spend the time to get started at that particular moment. After heading back to work for a couple minutes, I decide that I would try a little experiment. I would literally write down the amount of time I thought the form would take, then I would time myself actually doing the form. My guess as to how long the two page form would take was 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The actual time was 22 seconds. How was I so off?
After this first case, I began to informally test every form I filled out. Every single time, my estimate was significantly higher than the actual. I brought this to the rest of the KOG team and they all had the same experience with no exceptions to the rule. A general idea was born. We would test this to a significant degree. Headed by KOG member Nathan, who is a market research guru, we conducted a series of tests and our original hypothesis held up. People consistently over estimate the time it takes to fill out a form online.
We now knew we were on to something. We then put it to the real test and ran a test on a friend of ours site, produced a badge letting customers know that a third party had tested the form and could verify that it would take them x amount of time. The results were what we expected. The form completion rate rose significantly. After signing a couple more sites up, we found that this happens across the board.
Basically, the Veritimed certified badge (as it later would be called) bridged the gap between perceived time and actual time. And further we found that the distance in the gap was proportionately equal to the amount the conversion rate rose. The users see how long the form will take and since this is always less than they expected, they fill it out at a higher rate. Pretty simple and very effective.
This project was an proof to us that simple ideas are almost always the best. Especially when they are driven on a need that we ourselves actually had.