- Read time: 3 mins
- Tech level: low
- Key point: A/B testing differentiates a good website from a great website.
The Problem: Superior products and services – inferior website results
You can offer the best product or service and still fail on the internet. Quality can be rock solid but sales limp if your website does not connect with your target audience. You know this. It’s why you’ve invested in the design and development of a website. It’s a key component of the brand. How do you know if the site design will turn visitors into customers? Can you quantify the effectiveness of a design before it launches?
An effective website is user-friendly
To achieve your organisation’s goals (such as increase in leads or sales), potential customers must find your website easy to use.
Unfortunately, website designs are often driven by back-end developers who want flawless code or front-end designers who want the trendiest look. The end user (the most important player) is often forgotten.
That’s where information architecture (IA) and user-focused design helps. These practices are concerned with making information accessible, easy to find and easy to use. When you hear terms used like “user experience” and “user interface” it’s all about making things user-friendly. Because if you don’t make it easy for users, they won’t use it; no matter what “it” is.
Just as buildings are designed to be accessible to all people, web content must be designed to be navigated and used by everyone, regardless of their experience or the type of computer technology used.
Can ‘user-friendly’ be tested?
At first glance, usability and accessibility seem to be highly subjective. But just as a building can be tested to determine its accessibility, web content can be tested for accessibility as well.
A/B testing compares two versions of a page or bit of content to see which one performs better. You're probably familiar with split testing for ads. Two ads are tested to determine which one produces more favourable results. The winner is implemented while the loser is thrown on the rubbish heap.
A/B testing services apply the same split testing to all aspects of your web product. Navigation, photos, and text can all be subject to A/B testing. Not only can user friendliness be tested, it must be tested to maximise your results.
Good UX versus Great UX
The degree to which a user experience (UX) design company understands your business, understands your target audience, and tests to make sure the end product achieves the results you want, is what distinguishes an average UX design company from a great one. There are many UX designers, but not all are results focussed.
A/B testing in practice
A/B testing services lead to websites being built and launched more effectively for optimal performance. It must be a standard part of an effective UX design process. For example, Polished Pixels was engaged to rebuild a website for a secondary college in Victoria. The client wanted a site that would appeal to their site visitors, be easy to navigate, and easy to use.
The testing process
Four designs were A/B tested. In addition to regular A/B testing services, a Net Promoter Score was calculated based on the likelihood of the visitor recommending each version of the site to a friend, family member, or colleague.
The users got what they both wanted and needed. A/B testing (in this case ABCD) indicated a clear winner that was confirmed by the Net Promoter Score. As a result, countless meetings and internal discussions regarding the design choice were avoided. A/B testing allowed the development to proceed based on hard data. The effectiveness of the design was verified and quantified before the site launched.
The college gained a website that was an asset to their brand, not a liability. Polished Pixels got to do what we do best - build successful websites for market leaders. It’s the difference between good UX and great UX, and a compelling reason to use an A/B testing service.