A/B Testing

By Samantha Silver


      Good research does not have to be a super in-depth, complicated process. UX research that can garner a great deal of valuable insight can oftentimes be done in a simple, cost-effective manner. As seen through the 5-Second Test, some UX tests can be administered in basically five seconds which then allows for many people to complete the test in a short period of time. The more people who can complete a test or a study automatically means a greater response rate, and therefore, a greater yield of results. Quick and easy UX tests are not only effective in terms of the qualitative and quantitative data they can yield, but they are also cost-effective due to the quick and easy way in which they can be carried out. So, what are some other quick yet effective forms of UX tests that we can easily carry out?

      In comes A/B Testing. A/B Testing, also known as split testing or bucket testing, is another quick and efficient form of UX testing that can generate both qualitative and quantitative data that can provide valuable insight into a users experience. Much like the Five Second Test, the A/B Test is relatively easy to set up and employ, which means that it can generate a large amount of valuable and insightful results.

      Much like the 5-Second Test, A/B Testing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Participants are shown two different versions of a product or webpage (an A and B version) side by side and then asked a series of questions to see which versions, the A or B, was liked better. This can be done by just showing individuals the A and B versions then following up with questions, or it can be conducted in a group setting as well. Since it is relatively easy to conduct, A/B Testing can be administered to large numbers of participants and therefore yield a great deal of valuable and insightful results.

      This test can be particularly effective if you are unsure about what kinds of modifications or updates to make to your design, app or webpage. By showing participants the original design in one version, and the modified version in another, you can gain insight into how the specific changes or modifications can potentially impact users. The A/B test provides clear data to the ways in which the modifications impact users as compared to the original version.

      If you are conducting your own A/B Test, it is important to note that the changes or differences between the two versions don’t necessarily have to be huge changes. This is also part of what makes A/B Testing a cost-effective and quick test to carry out. While you can show a complete redesign of the page or app for the two versions, changes can also be as simple as changing a single headline, button or color.

      The best part about the A/B Test is that it allows teams, companies, even individuals, to easily learn more about how certain elements of their product or design affects their users. It provides a valuable snapshot of the user’s experience while interacting with or looking at a particular design or page. The goal of user experience continues to be to create the most seamlessly, effective, engaging and innovative experience for users possible. Through conducting quick but effective UX tests like the A/B Test or 5-Second Test and utilizing the valuable qualitative and quantitative data they yield, we can get closer to accomplishing that goal.


READ MORE: Microinteractions: The What and The Why, The UX of Scrolling, Three Clicks Rule: UX Best Practice Revisited, What is Linear UX?, Accessibility in UX Design

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