The Perfect Combination: Why Running Both UX and A/B Tests on Your Site Leads to an Optimized Conversion Path
The best user experiences will not only generate conversions, but will also boost customer loyalty and enhance your brand identity. The quest for the best UX leads starts with testing. By combining UX and split (A/B) testing, you’ll gain even deeper insights about your users’ behavior and needs to drive successful a digital marketing strategy for your site.
Measure twice, cut once
You've probably had a moment like it: You eyeballed a measurement in your house or while working on a craft and then cut wood or paper to match the measurement - with mixed results ("I cut it twice and it is still too short"). This is why professionals always measure at least twice to ensure that when they cut the materials, they can be quickly assembled, making for a quick job that satisfies the customer.
The digital world works in a similar way. Page layouts, ads, forms, CTAs, images, and content require multiple measurements to ensure that you are going to have an exact fit for your target audience. You are, however, measuring a much trickier, more ethereal material: your customer's needs and wants. By using UX testing to inform your A/B tests, you will increase the effectiveness of your prototypes and deliver the kinds of solutions and content that your customers really want.
A/B testing narrows the field
A/B testing definitely helps you to understand what your customers prefer, so it is surprising that Gartner found that only 33 percent of marketers were using it to improve their customer experience. But not testing key elements along your user’s journey can have big consequences. For example, you might have created a homepage or landing page based entirely on what your designers think looks best or leadership believes aligns with your brand messaging, not by responding to your users needs, preferences, or pain points. Because A/B testing requires a significant amount of traffic and time to get the best results, the number of A/B tests that you can run annually can be somewhat limited. This kind of testing is very effective at narrowing down your choices, but it can only deliver a black-and-white answer between two different scenarios. That’s where UX testing comes in to fill in the gaps…
UX testing delivers the big picture
UX testing requires checking the usability for a page or site, and it reveals why people interact with your design the way they do. Does your mobile site languish while your main site gets all the action? It could be that your pages are not optimized for mobile or that your customers are not excited about shopping via smartphone. This kind of answer or complex insights is not always easy to see with only A/B testing. Since UX testing asks probing questions of users while they are engaging with your site, you can better understand their problems, friction points and goals. Finally, UX testing definitely improves your A/B tests by helping you to create more informed, better-designed tests. Improved designs improve the effectiveness of A/B testing, making it more likely that you can set up and run relevant tests and ultimately realize your goals of creating an optimized site with an intuitive conversion path.
UX and A/B, together in harmony
By combining UX and A/B testing, you can boost your insights into what your customers want and need, identify key friction points and obtain better results. While performing UX testing first and following it with A/B testing to finalize your prototype is one useful approach, you can also use the results of your A/B testing in future UX tests to enhance the reliability of newer designs and content. Both tests yield critical customer information. UX testing delivers more qualitative information, helping you to better understand what works. A/B testing eliminates the guesswork about which prototype is the best. You need both if you are committed to delivering the best to your users.
If you are still on the fence about UX or A/B testing or just want some help getting started, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.