A/B testing is one of those buzzwords that never seems to go away yet either isn’t understood or utilised for its benefits to projects. Fundamentally A/B testing gives you the ability to compare two different approaches to a solution side by side. This can be with anything from a mobile application submission screen to a micro advertisement on a live website.
A/B testing is mostly done at two different stages of a project. Either during the User Experience design stage, before the website is live or when testing new features and techniques while it is live.
If using the latter option, the most commonly used method of this is to use tools like google website optimiser or Visual Web Optimiser. Both options allow you to place two different versions on your website and allow 50% of your traffic to go to option A and the other 50% to go to option B. As mentioned this method is perfect for when the site is already live and you are trying to raise your conversation rate on a desired call to action, but it can be quite difficult to implement due to requiring development resource to code and place the element on the site. Don’t let this put you off though as not everything is right the first time and over time trends change. So this can be an ideal way to test new ideas and solutions to a problem on an already implemented platform.
It's best to complete some A/B testing during the user testing section of your User Experience exercise early on. Here at Nudge during our User Experience sessions we would design two different options.
In the picture above, you can see an example where we put two example wireframes together for testing at the user experience design stage. During this phase we get a number of users (not from within your business or agency) to run through chosen scenarios and observe the outcome. In this example variation B ‘converted’ (got the desired outcome) 67% of the time and performed better than variation A. Still, this process is best to complete during your wireframing and testing stage of a project to iron out any problems before the site goes to design and development.
Here at Nudge we love to experiment and double check our thoughts are correct to give you the perfect solution. A/B testing allows us to do all this for you and make sure you get exactly what you want from your site.