Amazon’s Joey Herzberg on ensuring that work is always aligned with what the customer wants

Home / Interviews with Experimenters / Amazon’s Joey Herzberg on ensuring that work is always aligned with what the customer wants

Hi Joey, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! How have you been?

Hi Rommil, thanks for having me. I have been doing great, enjoying this beautiful spring weather and of course running lots of experiments.

Let’s start. I’d love to learn more about you. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I currently work at Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a website optimization manager. AWS provides on-demand cloud computing services to businesses all over the world. My role serves the marketing website to assist stakeholders in finding ways to optimize the customer experience through data analysis and iterative testing. I have been working in the optimization space since 2015 and prior to that was a front-end web designer. To me, optimization was a perfect segue, which allowed me to validate my designs using A/B testing and qualitative data.

So… I guess you don’t have any issues with traffic then lol. I’m jealous. Obviously, Amazon is well known for its Experimentation culture. Is there something that you feel that they do right (that you can speak about) from a cultural perspective that we can learn from?

Amazon is heavily customer-focused and works hard to earn their trust. We use data in every decision we make on the website to make informed decisions in order to deliver the highest quality product to our customers. The culture at Amazon thrives off of experimentation and finding bold ways to develop products and experiences that delight its customers. 

You can never go wrong with a customer focus. In your opinion, how do the worlds of design and experimentation fit together and how can we do a better job in leveraging both in our work?

Design and experimentation work closely together to create better experiences for our customers. It’s critical that designs are validated using experimentation to understand the impact to the business and the customer experience. I enjoy collaborating with the design team to create new experiences for tests that closely follow brand guidelines and UX best practices.

As someone who prides themselves on leveraging Experimentation to improve the customer experience, how do you go about ensuring that your work is always inline with what the customer wants?  

The backbone to every good experiment is using meaningful data to understand the customer’s intent. Having a good mix of quantitative and qualitative data allows me to provide recommendations that keeps the customer top of mind when optimizing the website. User research sessions are a great way to quickly understand what resonates with your website visitors. Many times I will use this research as a foundation for the hypothesis when setting up an experiment.  

Changing gears a bit. I’ve read that you are a FAA-certified drone pilot and shoot commercial footage. Tell us a bit about that and do you have any gigs that you’re particularly proud of?

I have been flying drones for commercial and recreational purposes over the past 5 years. What started out as a hobby ended up being a side hustle that allowed me to flex my creative muscles in a different way. I’m most proud of a promo video that I shot and edited for one of the southeast’s largest real estate companies. The footage was used on their website homepage and on billboards.

Wow, that’s amazing! I’m really interested in drone photography, but I’m always too scared I’ll wreck it. I’m terrible at remote-controlled things.

Finally, it’s time for the Lightning Round!

Are you a Bayesian or a Frequentist?

That’s kind of a personal question… j/k… Bayesian for sure.

If you couldn’t work in Experimentation, what would you do?

I previously worked in UX design and have a robust background in front-end web development. My passion is experimentation but my fallback is customer-driven UX design. 

Describe Joey in 5 words or less.

Creative, Resourceful, Driven, Funny, Scrappy.

Thanks for taking the time to chat today!

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Rommil Santiago