It’s important for Web site visitors to be able to easily and comfortably find what they’re looking for. A better user experience translates into better conversion rates, as well as happier visitors and customers.
You can use A/B testing tools to support these goals. A/B testing is about putting multiple versions of a page up on a Web site and comparing their performance. How you measure performance is up to you. You can prioritize conversions, downloads, or some measure of user experience such as engagement, time on site, or user satisfaction.
In other words, A/B testing doesn’t have to be just about sales and conversions. As long as you have something to measure, A/B testing is a tactic you can use to support your goals for improving a Web site’s user experience.
A/B Testing and User Experience: Frenemies or 1+1=3?
Some people see A/B testing—with its devotion to quantitative metrics and the optimization of conversions—and UX research as frenemies. But in reality, A/B testing and UX research are quite complementary.
While A/B testing can tell you which of several versions of a design is better, it doesn’t tell you why. And it doesn’t tell you what to test in the first place. If you don’t start out with a solid research-backed hypothesis, the results of the majority of the experiments you run will fail to suggest useful changes. On the other hand, qualitative UX research such as usability testing, user interviews, and surveys can help you understand where there’s a problem, why it exists, and what a potential solution might be. Once you have a hypothesis, tactical A/B testing can help you to measure the impact of whatever changes you’ve made to a Web site. Together, A/B testing and UX research can give you a holistic view of potential solutions.
Choosing the Right A/B Testing Tool
There are quite a few A/B testing tools available on the market, including many affordable options. While these tools empower UX professionals to conduct A/B tests, they don’t necessarily ensure they’re doing it right! There are some common myths about A/B testing. You need the right tool, process, and resources to ensure you’re getting the most out of A/B testing.
Tools differ on their price, the depth of features they offer, and their ease of use for nontechnical users. Some tools focus solely on A/B testing, while others offer advanced segmentation, behavioral targeting, and personalization capabilities. Because segmentation and personalization features are all about serving up the most relevant content to each individual visitor, these capabilities can provide better support for UX goals.
Some A/B testing tools include UX research features as well, including heatmapping, session recording, and qualitative surveys.
The Top A/B Testing Tools to Consider
Authentic product reviews are a good way to unpack which A/B testing tool might be right for you. To get you started, here is a list of the top nine A/B testing and personalization tools on TrustRadius.
Optimizely supports A/B and multivariate testing. It enables users—with or without technical expertise—to make dynamic changes to their Web site, test the variations with live traffic, and measure the results. It includes features for Web and mobile experiments, Web personalization, and analytics.
Optimizely reviewers like its ease of use for nontechnical users, who can quickly and easily set up new experiments. Reviewers also praise the results dashboard for tracking test performance.
Monetate is a personalization engine primarily for use by the retail industry. The product enables brands to create individualized experiences for site visitors, with a live analytics feature and machine-learning capabilities. It also offers advanced integrations into other products across the marketing stack.
Monetate reviewers praise its personalization features, robust analytics, and training support.
Qubit offers capabilities for A/B testing, personalization, visitor analytics and insights, and tag management. Retailers are its primary users—among other industries. The tool combines visitor behavioral data with qualitative feedback to support personalization efforts.
Qubit reviewers praise its advanced data and analytics features, as well as their responsive support team.
Maxymiser is Oracle’s Web site testing and personalization solution, which is part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Enterprises are its primary users. This tool includes features for both A/B and multivariate testing, personalization, and predictive insights.
Maxymiser reviewers praise the ease and depth of its integration with other systems, as well as the level of services and support the company provides.
Dynamic Yield is an omnichannel personalization and optimization platform for marketers, ecommerce brands, and publishers. It includes features for A/B testing, personalization, audience segmentation, and recommendation engines. Its primary customers are mid-sized companies in the Internet and ecommerce industries.
Dynamic Yield reviewers—particularly those with technical skills—praise its robust functionality, as well as the company’s customer support and knowledge center.
VWO offers features for A/B and multivariate testing, segmentation, and targeting, as well as visitor-research tools such as heatmaps and clickmaps and usability testing. It is useful to companies of all sizes.
VWO reviewers commend its unique features such as heatmaps, the level of customer support the company offers, and the quality of the WYSIWYG editor.
AB Tasty offers features for A/B and multivariate testing, multipage testing, segmentation, and personalization. It also includes user-engagement features, with a library of widgets for creating pop-ups, surveys, chats, and countdown banners. It is used mainly by mid-sized companies, as well as some enterprises.
AB Tasty reviewers appreciate its ease of implementation, segmentation and personalization features, and top-notch customer support.
Evergage touts this tool as a real-time personalization engine. It includes features for behavioral tracking, segmentation, personalization, recommendations, testing, analytics, and attribution. Based on the reviews on TrustRadius, its largest customer segment is mid-sized companies in the computer-software industry.
Evergage reviewers praise the tool’s user interface and robust feature set, as well as the company’s incredible support team.
Kameleoon is a Web-site optimization solution with features for A/B and multivariate testing, behavioral targeting, multipage testing, personalization, price testing, and cross-browser testing. It also includes some UX analysis features such as heatmaps. The company offers a freemium version. Companies of all sizes use this tool, including many in the retail industry.
Kameleoon reviewers appreciate the tool’s ease of implementation, segmentation capabilities, and the visual editor’s ease of use.
Going Beyond A/B Testing for a Better User Experience
There are other tools that are helpful in understanding and improving the user experience. In addition to the obvious value of usability-testing tools, survey tools can help you get qualitative and even in-the-moment feedback from your customers and Web-site visitors. Web-analytics tools can help you understand broad metrics that pertain to user experience—such as time on site and bounce rates. In-page Web-analytics tools can help you analyze visitor behavior on a single page, using features such as session recordings and heatmaps. These tools help you to identify areas of confusion, technical errors, and barriers to conversion.
Before selecting an A/B testing tool—or any of the other types of tools I’ve touched on in this article—consider what might be the best solution for you, based on the size of your company, the resources that are available to you, and the capabilities you require.
As the Research Director at TrustRadius, Megan’s mission is to ensure that the company gathers the highest-quality data from authenticated reviewers and provides useful, curated reports to prospective software buyers. Prior to joining TrustRadius, Megan was Director of Sales and Marketing at a media company. She holds MA degrees in Journalism and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas.