_Absolutely_ love the insight of news being "the short tail of a very long string of events".
Along with the promising execution this could well be one of those tremendously successful ideas that look trivially logical in hindsight.
The article correctly points out how there are no simple rules of thumb on this. The human visual system is very much driven by context and contrast, which makes it basically impossible to validate statements such as "red just works better than green".
That _does not mean_ that there's no system, though.
There is growing evidence that fast ("System 1") human decision-making tends to favour salient (i.e. visual pop-out) choices over less salient ones - for example, a recent PNAS study  found that the pop-out effect of a food item has a sizeable influence on it being picked up when consumers are in a hurry - going as far as even overriding prior brand preferences.
Disclosure: the software to quantify pop-out used in the study was build by my company (http://eyequant.com)
Seeking asylum in Germany is terrible, agreed, but it is so much easier to get a work permit visa here when you do have a job offer - good luck trying to get the work permit in the UK. In OP's case the best scenario would be to get a job offer from a Berlin based company and have the company apply for te work permit - it's a streamlined process that takes around 4 weeks.
Thanks Noel, EyeQuant co-founder here - (not the author, though)
Yes, the concept of an A/B test is used fairly liberally in our post and should probably not be interpreted in the exact same way for someone looking to run an actual A/B test on their website - though one hopefully gets the general idea. The article is just trying to point out that some of the most well known pieces of art were the result of an iterative optimization process that can be somewhat "reverse engineered" by creating alternative versions and measuring people's psychophysical response to those. And if this helps some companies out there to embrace both creativity and analytics to make their own websites better, all the better!
Very sound advice by someone who's accomplished A LOT in this field.
#6 strikes me as particularly important:
> 6. Make sure you’re talking to the ultimate decision maker.
> It’s often not the person you’ll be directed to. It’s frequently the PM.
I'd also add that 'it's not necessarily the person with the fancy title.' You'll lose a lot of time by focussing on the wrong person(s), even if their title suggest that they're very important. We lost a deal in which we spent several weeks conferencing flirtatiously with BD and Corp Dev (both EVPs) only to have the proposal rejected by a 'regular' PM, who ultimately owned the product and wasn't very pleased to be brought into the process at a later stage.
Instead, we should have asked early on who is going to be involved in the decision process 'given we find a great strategic fit'. Getting a soft Yes, that'd be him/her/me on this also helps the general sales process.
I agree with that. I think from a titles point of view it's also worth noting that BD roles at start-ups is 99% about selling, whereas BD at big companies is often more about being a filter for things that a PM might want to 'buy', and shielding them from what they don't. That's part of the reason that the most badass start-up BD people don't come from big company biz dev teams.
EyeQuant is the world's first scalable neuromarketing web service that instantly predicts where users will look on a screenshot or website. We help companies and advertisers to optimize designs for dramatically higher conversion rates and improved usability faster and more efficient than ever before. Our customers include Google, Spotify, Groupon and some of the world’s best conversion optimization agencies. And we’re just getting started. In 2013, we are going to release a product that you’ll want to tell your grandchildren about. Hint: it’s not a photosharing app.