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Why Should You Use A/B Testing?

We certainly talk about testing a lot in our articles but often on a more surface level, which is why today we will go a little bit deeper and discuss why you should use A/B testing. Sometimes within the industry of web design or app design and development people use ideas and concepts they expect other people to fully understand without ever delving into them.

So today we take a step back and look at what A/B testing is and the very important role it plays in both app and web design.

What is A/B testing?

In a nutshell A/B testing is a simple method to choose between two options; option A or option B. For example, you might have two images you are trying to decide between for your homepage. Rather than picking your own personal favorite, both pictures are presented to a target audience to “test” which one resonates better.

In most cases you ask the audience a question such as, “Which image feels more trustworthy?” or something along those lines to help define what you are getting from a change.

Testing can be done on virtually any aspect or change from images to colors, wording, placement of items, length, fields to complete and more.

There are companies that specialize in running A/B testing scenarios and many web design or app design companies host their own testing to ensure that when they make a change to a page or app design that it resonates properly and positively with the target audience rather than negatively.

You MUST Test!

The idea of testing is a critical component to online success. Why you ask? The simple answer is information overload. There are just too many options out there for consumers these days which makes every aspect of what someone does on a website or in an app extremely critical.

Every action and every conversion directly affects your bottom line.

What testing does is help ensure that the decisions and changes you make created positive increases on conversions and actions versus negative. In some cases it you might only see a minor change such as a 1 or 2% increase in clicks or conversions but even those small changes add up and are always better than a negative change.

For example, there is conventional wisdom in the industry, backed up by statistics, that adding additional form fields on a page for users to fill out reduces conversion rate. That makes sense as users typically want to fill out as little as possible, but is it always true? Of course it isn’t! There are no absolutes out there so while in most cases it might be true, for your given target audience the change you might think of doing could have a benefit of increasing conversions by 50% which your could lose out on if you followed that conventional wisdom.

You won’t know unless you test it.

While some people simply make a change and then track what happens in a live environment, why would you want to risk potentially negative effects on a large scale? Even the smallest changes should be tested and properly vetted if your goal is to have a site or app that is optimized for success.

The Bottom Line

While best practices are always a great starting point, they should never be relied upon exclusively. The same goes for hot trends and ideas you see and hear about because what is good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.

If you take the time to properly compare options not only to other options but also to what you currently have, you will be able to make the changes you should that will increase your bottom line versus changes you hope will work. That is why you should use A/B testing or insist that your web design or app design company is doing it.

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