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Why A/B Split Test is Important for Your Web Design?

When a reputed medical ecommerce website, suggested that they change the color of their ‘sign-in’ button on the home page, their web designer was pretty much annoyed. He did make another variation of the button color ( he changed the green color to red), but decided to run the a/b split test on the two versions. Much to his surprise! The website’s conversion rate increased from 1% to 1.5%.

AB Split testing in web design

Though there was a minor change in percentage, it proved two things here –


1. First, the company was right in its suggestion

2. Second, traffic responded to the red color more than the green one.

In some other place, Maria Powell, a freelance web designer, decided to split test her website’s contact page. She decided to replace the icon of a telephone with her own image, while the two worded text – “Contact Maria” was kept the same. After a week, she found that the contact page having her image, received more number of clicks.

The above two cases have one thing in common. Both shows how an a/b split test decided the matter as to which version best engages with the website’s traffic. This also efficiently proves that every design needs to undergo a split test before coming up with a decision.

What is an A/B Split Test?

Let’s not go into any elaborate definition. In simple terms, it is a method used to test which version of your website element works the best with the audience.

While designing a website, you may design it according to what you think is the best. You may like it, your client may too. However, are you sure that your design will be liked by everyone? How do you know that your design will help your client’s ecommerce marketing?

This is where an a/b testing comes. With this test, you get to see how viewers are reacting to your design. If you are designing a website for your client, you design two template options and then run a test to see which one is the most preferred. The one that has the highest conversion rate, is the one chosen.

Why Split Testing Is Necessary For Web Designers?

There is no need to explain its importance, as you have already understood it by now. However, if you still feel that running such a test is a waste of time, then read on as I elaborate the points which is necessary for a designer more than your client:

1. Helps To Increase Efficiency

As a designer, you may feel your work is perfect when you stand from your side facing the mirror. However, with an A/B split test, you get to see how a design looks when people are looking from the other side of the mirror. This will help to increase your design efficiency as you will work more on improving your design and try experimenting, to see how people will react to your creation.

2. Easy Testing Without Hassles

This is an efficient and inexpensive way to test your target’s reaction. Though you might need some help to set up a split test, split testing can be done without a third party help.

3. Helps To Derive Exact Conclusions

By performing an A/B split test, you can resolve any kind of dispute (within your mind or among your team), by coming to exact conclusions. Deriving exact conclusions will help you to make the changes accordingly and move on with your next experiment.

4. Make Monetary Improvements

As a site owner, running such a test helps to improve your interaction with your online customers. You can understand what appeals to them and what not. The right data, helps to understand a human psychology and act accordingly. On the other hand, as a web designer, you will be able to understand your client’s business requirements. A satisfied customer will always recommend you to others.

Things To Keep In Mind While Split Testing Your Design


Decide On Your Hypothesis

By hypothesis, I mean deciding your formula. What do you want to split test? Which part do you think will cultivate better results, if tested? Once, you have made your firm decision, running a split test becomes easy. Even a scientist needs to have a clear picture in his mind when he starts his experiments. In the first case study above, the medical company wanted to change the color of the ‘sign-in’ button, since they thought the color was not influencing their customer’s mind or a feeling of call to action.

Always Be Ready For Negative Results

Situations may arise, when you have thought the result of a particular test to come out in some other way, but ultimately produced a different outcome. As a designer, you should always be ready for this and have an open mind. Otherwise, there is no point in running a test if you think the test is futile.

Decide On Your Call To Action

While designing, think which design gives out a call to action. Whether a button which says ‘Sign Up To Join’ will be more engrossing or a simple ‘Join Today’ will generate more number of clicks? Whether the ‘its free’ word will turn out to be a magic when placed beside the ‘sign-in’ button?

Perform Simultaneous Testings

This is important. You need to test both the versions at the same time. If you run one test at a particular time while you run the other at some another time, then you may arrive with different results. You may receive more likings for one page, which would otherwise bring out a different result, when compared with the other design.

Split Testing Needs To Be Done At Regular Intervals

Don’t just think that after undergoing a split test, it ends there. You need to perform regular split tests to make the better use of your web designs.

Remember, no one wants to look into a shabby looking design or even a design that is a month older. People may lose their interest. So you have to make sure that their eyes are always fixed, looking out for something different and new. An A/B split test is the answer. You can also go for multivariate testing to combine different results under one umbrella.

Image Courtesy: Business2Community.com

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Sudeep Banerjee

Written by

Sudeep Banerjee is the Founder & President of B3NET Inc., the leading Orange County Web Development firm, since 1999 in California. He is a forward thinking leader with expertise in Digital Marketing, Web Design and Mobile Application Development and Amazon Sales Consulting. He is an author, speaker and a consultant with 28 years of experience. He loves to play Basketball and Golf.