I met Paul Rouke at a Conversion Conference a couple years ago and I wanted to find out more information about conversion optimisation and how he is preparing for Conversion World, the virtual conference taking place next month.
How did you get into Conversion Optimisation?
Leaving school with a passion for design and computers, clearly the natural path to take was to join an engineering apprenticeship with British Aerospace! As it turned out, two years in to my four-year apprenticeship I made one of my early life lessons – if you don’t feel like you are in a role that is allowing you to do what you are really passionate about, make a change.
So I went from wiring missile control panels to a design role (desktop publishing in fact), which soon after led me to join Shop Direct Group (who at the time were Great Universal Stores). As I was working within their catalogue design department, an opportunity came up to become their first web designer and I jumped at the opportunity. This was back in 1999, and it was then that I took part in my first ever user research session. This role and introduction to interacting with users to understand their behaviour set me up for life (well, the rest of my career to date)!
In 2004, I began moonlighting under my company name PRWD, providing UX design and development for a range of businesses looking to invest in a customer focused online experience. User research was a core passion and a core focus for the business then, and it has remained the same throughout our first 11 years. On saying this, up until 2009 we were missing one thing – the quantifiable evidence that the improvements we were recommending were actually changing user behaviour and delivering a higher percentage of outcomes for our clients.
With this in mind, in 2009 we started our first conversion optimisation programme. Since then, we have focused the business on delivering transformative conversion optimisation programmes for a wide range of mid to enterprise size brands such as The North Face, The Student Room, Skyscanner, Bensons, Sliderobes, Lovehoney, King & McGaw and Harveys.