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A/B Testing for Websites: How to Design Tests for UX Wins
- 14 Sep 2023 7 min read
Want to design the supreme user experience (UX) for all your website visitors? Get into A/B testing for websites today to discover data-driven ways to reach your UX design’s fullest potential.
A/B analysis is a tried and tested technique that expert marketers use to improve their work. From pay-per-click (PPC) ads to social media campaigns and even to UX design, digital marketers often utilize this form of experimentation to discover key insights for optimizing their executions.
So whether you’re fixing up a clothing brand’s ecommerce platform or A/B testing for medical websites, you’ll want a list of tips and techniques to design effective experiments for your UX optimization needs. With this guide by Propelrr, you’ll see the hows and whys of using split experimentation to develop an accessible, usable, and enjoyable UX for online users to visit today.
Let’s get started with this excellent digital marketing service by getting into the basics of A/B experimentation first.
How can A/B testing help you improve UX design?
A/B testing, also referred to as split testing, is the process of comparing two versions of a website, web page, or web element, so that you can determine which one works best for your online audience. This process is also commonly used in other digital marketing environments, like PPC advertising, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and more.
Split testing can be useful to your UX design optimization in many ways. For example, you can easily experiment on different landing pages for websites with A/B testing, to be able to discover the best version for your brand’s needs. You can also conduct A/B split testing for mobile websites to ensure full compatibility on different devices.
Testing and experimentation are a key part of UX, as they can help you gain insight into how you can optimize a design to the fullest. These practices will help you test hypotheses, discover new insights, and apply successful changes that are backed by a strategic and scientific process today.
Techniques in designing A/B tests for UX optimization
Ready to dive into techniques for designing experiments that’ll help improve your website UX? Check out this comprehensive guide for the best tips and practices to optimize your site for search right now.
1. Preparing for A/B testing.
The first technique you need to practice when designing an experiment is to prepare and define a clear objective.
Are you comparing certain keywords for optimization? If so, why are you doing that in the first place? By clearly defining your objective for a test, you’ll be able to identify more aspects of it, like your key metrics, audience segments, and more.
Your metrics should help measure satisfaction with the customer experience, while your audience should be segmented into meaningful groups that allow for targeted testing. In clarifying all these aspects ahead of time, you’ll set your experiment up to clearly address an objective that’ll help you hit your business goals in the long run.
2. Formulating a hypothesis.
After preparing the basics for your analysis, the next technique you’ll need to employ is the formulation of an effective hypothesis.
A hypothesis should pose a question that is answerable by your experiment. For it to be effective, it needs to be rooted in data-driven insights such as your website traffic, retention rate, bounce rate, and other forms of past data.
The data-driven hypothesis you set should help to identify a feasible and impactful change in your UX. If, for example, you want to optimize your website on mobile, you might set a hypothesis that tracks a decrease in site loading time and subsequent bounce rate.
3. Designing variations.
With your objective, metrics, hypothesis, and audience in mind, you can create variations on your UXfor comparison and contrast. Your variations include a “control,” or the existing version of your UX, and a “variant,” or the new version of your design. The variant should only express change in a single variable, otherwise you’ll convolute the comparison and make it harder to get clear results.
Throughout the duration of your experiment, you’ll also pit the two variations against one another in order to determine the version that helps you achieve your overall objective best. As you run the comparative experiment on your audience segments, you’ll also need to randomly assign users to the control and variant groups in order to reduce bias and maintain the test’s validity.
Lastly, you should ensure that your audience sample size is large enough to garner relevant results. If it’s too small, then you won’t garner enough data to achieve statistical significance; if it’s too large, then your analysis will take too long and will use up more resources than necessary.
4. Implementing A/B tests only for websites.
Now that your research and preparation stages are done, you can employ techniques for implementing the comparison on your UX. The best way you can set up and run an effective experiment is by using A/B tools and infrastructure that automate your implementation and help collect findings from your split analysis.
These automated tools should also help you run your experiment on audiences for a specific amount of time. Make sure to determine this duration beforehand, so that you can collect an appropriate amount of significant data for the comparison.
You can also utilize UX design tools to implement your comparison. Use them to create UX variations that provide consistent experiences across your audience segments, for a fair comparison overall.
5. Monitoring and collecting data.
Once you hit the ground running with your analysis, you need to monitor results and collect data in real time. This practice will help you keep track of the experiment’s progress and ensure its consistent performance all throughout.
This practice will also help you spot unexpected anomalies right away, so that they don’t spoil the progress of your analysis. Monitor results and set up tracking mechanisms using the previously mentioned A/B tools, and you’ll be able to gather enough relevant audience datafor your analytics needs today.
6. Establishing statistical significance.
Once your test has run its course, you can analyze your findings, draw meaningful conclusions, and apply the results to your UX. This requires the selection of an appropriate statistical method, based on your established metrics and goals.
What statistical significance level works best for your given analysis? How much valid data do you have to collect in order for you to declare the results as statistically significant? Make sure to set these bounds clearly so that you can determine a winner between your variants successfully.
As long as you set up your A/B test properly, and it runs without any interruptions or anomalies, you should be able to determine a clear and sure winner between the two test variants. Armed with these insights, you can finally make a data-driven decision that’ll help you design and improve your existing UX.
7. Making informed decisions.
As you apply the results of the analysis to your UX, make sure to keep track of the update’s practical implications. Beyond applying the results and calling it a day, you need to track the real-life impact these changes have on your users’ experiences, to see if they align with your projected findings.
By recording these findings, you can continue to make informed business decisions around your experimentation, to see how you can improve the design of your A/B analysis in the future.
8. Iterating and improving continuously.
One thing you might not know about marketing experimentation is that it doesn’t end with just one test. In fact, your journey has just begun. As you learn more and more about what does and doesn’t work for your audiences, you’ll need to run even more analyses in order to continuously improve each iteration of your brand’s website.
Through successive testing and progressive refinement, you’ll be able to gradually optimize the customer experience of your web design, in order for it to reach its fullest potential. So make sure to constantly learn from results, incorporate new insights, and iterate your UX continuously today.
9. ROI of A/B analysis.
This process of split experimentation might seem arduous and never-ending to the novice digital marketer. After all, isn’t it redundant to conduct the same type of test over and over again on your brand’s own website design?
The truth is that you aren’t actually conducting the same test again and again. The setup is the same, but you’ll actually be comparing different elements, variables, and variants of your website’s design with every iteration. This iterative process is how you’ll gain valuable insights with every run – thus creating a valuable return on investment (ROI) for this continuous process.
10. Communicating results
Now that you know the value of improving your UX through consistent A/B testing, you can communicate the results of your experimentation to stakeholders within and outside the company.
You can communicate results effectively through data visualization that tracks the improvement of your design over time. As you run more tests and apply their findings accordingly, you’ll have a wealth of data to present to stakeholders to prove that your techniques get positive and surefire results for the brand today.
Roadmap for successful marketing experimentation
It’s a long and winding road to optimize your website’s UX to the fullest. But with split testing, you can define your direction with data and make the road a lot less rocky in the long run.
Just remember to apply the basic tenets of A/B analysis to your iterative website design process. Through these tenets, you can consistently collect new findings and information that’ll bolster your decision-making for a better UX overall.
Uncover new ways to improve upon your UX with A/B testing today. Remember to bring these key takeaways with you as you hit the road with this new marketing experimentation practice:
- Drive decisions with data. By testing, collecting, and strategizing with data, you can drive better user experience optimization decisions while maintaining a rich wellspring of historical findings too.
- Keep your users in mind. Always include the real-life customer experience in mind as well. While data can help you make decisions, users will determine whether those decisions actually work or not in real time.
- Ask for help as you combine expertises. Applying marketing experimentation to UX design requires a wide range of digital marketing skill sets – so don’t be afraid to reach out to the experts at Propelrr for assistance with these two fields today.
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