A/B testing is an integral part of the design process for every UX designer who is striving to make informed choices while designing websites, apps, or products. A/B testing gives you an opportunity to get into your users' minds to assess their likes and dislikes in a quantifiable way. As a UX designer, there's nothing more valuable than that. It is your key to understanding what works and what doesn't.
When it comes to improving your user experience, relying solely on the gut can prove detrimental to your outcomes. The key lies in leveraging user-lead data. After all, you won't truly know whether a particular web page, app, or landing page will work with your audience until you test it out in the real world.
A/B testing lets you compare two or more versions of webpages or mobile apps to find the best option that converts best. Of course, to get good results from A/B testing, you need to use the right framework and execute it correctly.
Keep reading to learn what A/B testing is, the benefits of A/B testing, why every designer should conduct A/B tests, what designers need to A/B test, and how to perform the entire A/B testing process.
What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing, also known as split testing or bucket testing, serves as a reliable methodology for comparing two versions of a product, website, application, or concept to determine which option performs better. This technique involves showing two options randomly to users and then using statistical analysis to determine which variation is more effective in achieving the desired outcome.
The goal of A/B testing is to understand user preferences and improve the overall user experience and engagement.
Benefits of A/B Testing?
The benefits of A/B testing are substantial in the fields of UX and UI design. By conducting experiments and comparing different versions of a product, website, app, or concept, A/B testing eradicates uncertainty and allows for precise evaluation of implemented changes. This process empowers designers to align the final product with user preferences, resulting in exceptional user experiences and significant improvements in conversion rates.
In fact, better UX design resulting from testing could increase conversion by 400%.
By subjecting different versions to rigorous experimentation, designers can identify the most effective elements that resonate with their target audience. This systematic approach saves companies substantial resources by preventing costly mistakes and subpar designs, particularly during the critical design phase.
Exceptional UX is about seamlessly facilitating user goals with the least friction possible. While methodologies like eye tracking and heatmaps provide valuable insights into user behavior, combining these with A/B testing takes it a step further by identifying which solutions truly resonate with the target audience.
Although seemingly minor, these changes have the potential to influence user behavior and drive remarkable outcomes. HubSpot’s recently conducted an A/B test on button color and found that simply changing the CTA button color from green to red increased the number of clicks by 21%. In the world of website optimization, that's huge.
A/B Testing in Design: What Should You A/B Test?
A/B testing can be a valuable tool for design teams, offering the flexibility to tailor tests according to specific goals and drive bottom-line improvements.
Here is a list of elements that designers often choose for A/B testing.
- Headlines and copy: Test variations of headlines and copy to see which version resonates better with users and increases engagement.
- Calls to action (CTAs): Test different attributes of CTAs like colors, text, placement, and design to see which version leads to more clicks and conversions.
- Navigation and menus: Test different layouts and organization of navigation menus to pinpoint the version that enhances user navigation and streamlines information retrieval.
- Images and visuals: Test different ideas and visual elements to see which resonates better with users and helps convey the message effectively.
- Forms: Test different form designs and lengths to see which versions lead to more form completions.
- Layout and design: Test different layouts and design elements like color schemes, font sizes, and styles to see which version is more visually appealing and effective.
- User flow: Test different user flows to see which leads to more conversions and a better user experience.
While this list provides valuable starting points, the options for A/B testing are limitless. But most designers test these popular elements as they provide significant benefits at relatively low cost.
Also, A/B testing is not a one-time operation. Designers can test different elements individually and combine gathered information to check which solutions are more user-friendly and goal oriented.
3 Ways Designers Can Make the Most of A/B Testing
1. Focus on One Variable for Each Test
To derive maximum value from A/B testing, it is crucial to concentrate on a single variable during each experiment. By isolating a specific design element, such as a call-to-action (CTA) color, you can confidently determine its true impact on conversion goals.
For instance, consider the HubSpot example where they examined the effect of altering CTA colors, resulting in a remarkable 21% increase in clickthrough rate. Since only a single variable was changed in this particular test, it became clearly evident that the CTA color change directly influenced overall conversions.
In short, A/B testing is most effective when comparing two designs simultaneously. Testing three or more designs in a go will divide the traffic between too many variants to provide statistically significant results.
2. Use the Right Tools to Make A/B Testing Easier
While knowing which design elements you want to test is essential, running these A/B tests can seem daunting, especially for those new to the process. Fortunately, these days various user research platforms are available to facilitate A/B testing seamlessly.
Affect UX is one such platform. It is a comprehensive platform that empowers businesses to optimize user experiences through various user research methods, including advanced A/B testing.
By leveraging such tools, designers can seamlessly experiment with different design elements, optimize user experiences, and boost engagement.
3. Embrace Continuous Testing
A/B testing is not a one-time endeavor; it's a dynamic and iterative process that fuels design optimization. Once you've conducted an initial round of A/B testing, your journey has just begun.
By consistently testing your existing high-performing designs against new variants, you unlock endless possibilities for improvement. Embrace the power of continuous A/B testing to refine your designs, enhance conversions, and stay ahead of the competition.
Stop Guessing and Start Making Smarter Design Decisions with A/B Testing
A/B testing is an invaluable tool for any UX designer to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions. It provides data-driven evidence to support design choices and challenge preconceived notions.
Incorporating A/B testing into your design process can significantly enhance the user-friendliness of your digital product, website, app, or concepts.
By keeping the end-users in mind and testing regularly, you can make incremental improvements that lead to a more positive impact on your business's bottom line.
We hope this article has convinced you about the powers of A/B testing. Experience and iterative learning are crucial to make the right decisions in an online environment. So, get testing.