The goal of A/B testing is to deliver the best experience for your users. It gives you the opportunity to serve and test photos, copy, video and UI — and see which ones perform and delight the best. Because this process is more time-consuming than testing the prototype or MVP, it’s easy to skip this process and just go with what feels to work best. But A/B testing gives you and your team 100% confidence that the experience you’re serving your users is the best possible one. The best possible experience makes for excellent products and most of all, happy users who will become happy customers.
What exactly is A/B testing?
A/B testing is an experiment where users are shown two different variants. You’re checking to see, through analytical evidence, which experiment performs the best.
Real life examples of A/B testing?
There are popular apps like Uber Eats, Instagram and Facebook who are always serving tests to users. In 2018, Instagram made it easy for users to add music to their stories — but not all users. If you didn’t notice, the feature was rolled out across accounts bit by bit. This allows for bugs to get caught early, and for features to improve as they release. An A/B test isn’t always testing two versions of a product — it can also mean serving one experience to one group, and serving another to another group. From that, you can see which makes users happier.
Instances when you’d roll out an A/B test
- You’re launching a new feature
- You’re making a new product
- You’re promoting a campaign, idea or practically anything!
You’re launching a new feature
So, you’re about to add a new feature. You and your team have different ideas about what would work and what won’t work. Why debate when you can test it with users? Settle the debate once and for all and see what works. Oftentimes, designers and developers build what they believe is cool, which is amazing. But the key is to build what users love. It’s time to start testing your new feature. Do users prefer one functionality over the other? What about the name of the feature? Is there a name that works better than another? What about UI — are there discrepancies in one experience versus the other? Once you’ve served these experiences to different users, be sure to look at the numbers. The numbers will give you insights on user behavior, you’ll want to fold this into your next iteration.
You’re making a new product
Making a new product can be stressful. You’re working on something you hope your users will love, but you can’t always be too sure. How will you know the majority of users will love it? A great way to test it is to run an A/B test. First, be like Airbnb and create an A/B testing framework. When you have a framework in place, this creates uniformity and consistency with how you run experiments. Plus, it’s a great way to own the product development process that will become unique for you and your team. In that article, Airbnb engineers look at different ways to use the platform. They pose key questions like ‘What do users want to do first?’ An A/B test will result in knowing that users first want to see the locations of their potential Airbnb, then photos, prices, and descriptions. But what if you learned users prefer price over location? The only way to notice this is to serve two different experiences. You’ll check the numbers and behavior and see just how users engaged with the product. These insights are gold.
As you can tell, you can run wild with A/B testing. The key is to find the best possible experience because it does exist. Once you find the best possible experience, you’ve found success. With UI and UX, it’s all about what makes your users most happy. A/B testing leads to excellent products because excellent products are built on only the best insights.
Start running your A/B tests today!
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