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Create an idea submission form to build a culture of testing

THIS ARTICLE WILL HELP YOU:

  • Understand the purpose of an idea submission form
  • Build an idea submission form ranging from simple to detailed
  • Find and use tools that help you create your own form 

There are a number of things companies do to create and keep a strong culture of testing. For instance, these companies often have a backlog of test ideas, collect ideas from around the entire organization, and create strong test documentation. All three of these can be supported by a test idea submission form.

An idea submission form is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a form or a quick survey employees can access to submit their test idea. The details of their responses are sent to the individual or team that runs testing and optimization. Companies sometimes build two forms, each with a distinct purpose. One form, the simple form, has the primary goal of idea collection while the other, the detailed form, helps with idea collection and initial test documentation.

SIMPLE IDEA SUBMISSION

The purpose of a simple form is to quickly capture an insight or idea. The value of this form is that it generates a backlog of specific test ideas and broader test concepts in a consistent location. By not asking for too many details, the simple form ensures employees will not be intimidated to quickly submit an idea when inspiration strikes. This form should be utilized by anyone in the company, including - but not limited to - the testing team itself. A simple idea submission form may include:

  • Submitter’s name
  • Test name
  • Brief test description
  • Primary test goal
  • A numeric selection on how likely the test is to be successful

 
EXAMPLE:
Here’s an example of a simple idea submission form built using Google Forms.

 

DETAILED IDEA SUBMISSION

The purpose of a detailed form is to flesh out simple test ideas and create the beginnings of the detailed test plan. The value of this form is that it gives employees who have a more concrete idea of what they want to test a place to submit more information. For example, this may include descriptions about specific variations they may want to test and the rationale behind including each one. It also gives the testing team details that can help them prioritize any one idea among a long list of ideas. What’s included in a detailed form will vary quite widely from company to company. Some suggestions for what to include are:

  • Submitter’s name
  • Test name
  • Brief test description
  • Explicit test hypothesis
  • Number of variations
  • Variation descriptions
  • Example URL of page the test will run on
  • Targeting conditions
  • Audiences to include
  • Primary test goal
  • Other goals
  • Platform (desktop, mobile web, native app) the test will run on
  • Resources/skillsets required for test setup
  • Estimated test duration
  • A numeric selection on how likely the test is to be successful

 
EXAMPLE:
Here’s an example of a detailed idea submission form built using Google Forms.

 

TOOLS TO BUILD YOUR FORM

There are a variety of options out there for creating simple forms to collect test ideas. Google Forms is the most popular choice for companies already using Google Apps (and even for many companies that aren’t using Google Apps) but by no means is it the only option. A great review of many form builders available can be read here or by doing a simple search on the web.

FOSTER A TESTING CULTURE

Create company-wide utilization of the form by sending a link and asking people to bookmark it, reminding them of it during meetings and talking about it in the break room. This should lead to an increased quantity of test ideas. Once you are consistently generating more ideas, the testing team can refine these ideas, prioritize them, and ultimately run higher quality tests. In the long term, the form is the lynchpin tool that helps to foster a testing and data-driven culture throughout the organization.