The Power of A/B Testing on UX

A/B testing is a technique that is used measure which of two or more concepts that are relatively similar help an organization to attain a goal more efficiently. This technique, which is also referred to as split testing can be powerful in regard to UX because it allows a business to determine which changes will improve its website. The changes you make on your website can have a significant impact on user experience.

If you think it is time to use a more visible “add-to-cart” button, you can come up with two versions, A and B. Special software will help you to determine user experience with the two versions and allow you to gauge which one works better. The best version is the one that boosts user experience, which leads to higher performance and more conversions. The testing involves real online users to make it easy for you to learn how the two versions will work in reality.

Usability Research

Most organizations rely on usability research to identify usability issues that make it difficult for online users to complete purchases. This research is usually carried out by leading user research agencies. When the research is carried out the agencies offer recommendations to deal with the issues that are identified.

You may notice a slight change in your website performance once you implement the recommendations but it may be not adequate. A large number of UX teams fail to recognize the power of A/B testing on user experience.

There is no doubt that usability testing is necessary to allow an organization to comprehend the issues surrounding usability and how they affect its conversion rates. This testing makes it possible to see how online users use your website and what they are searching for.

It is also a good way to identify and comprehend their actions towards the various elements on the website. However, usability research does help you to come up with solutions to address those issues. Split testing offers solutions that are designed to boost site conversion and reduce friction.

Combining Usability Testing and Split Testing

Conventional usability testing can take several months and this can be very expensive for an organization. One of the main challenges that usability experts face is demonstrating the value of this technique using quantifiable outcomes. An organization needs to have concrete numbers to convince stakeholders to invest in this kind of testing. The numbers have to show the returns that the stakeholder will get from their investment.

This is where split testing comes in. Combining the information obtained from usability testing and split testing is an effective solution. Organizations can identify issues using the former and use the latter to come up with solutions. These two techniques work well together.

Combining the two techniques allows an organization to gather qualitative and user input feedback. Findings from the usability research can be used to determine which elements to focus on. This allows a usability expert to come up with effective design alternatives. The secret to successful testing is to focus on one aspect or page at a time. This makes it easy to measure outcomes.

When an organization generates alternative designs for a spot test based on the usability testing, it is much easier to recognize the specific elements that are helping to increase conversion rates. If you rely on A/B testing alone, you will have to guess approaches and measure their effectiveness.

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Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com
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