UX is at the intersection of product and design. If UI designers are fixated on the look and feel of an app, while product managers are focused on its functionality and usability, then UX designers fall somewhere in between.
A/B testing plays as big a role in UX design as it does in marketing. It’s difficult to make good design decisions purely based on gut feel, so many designers find themselves iterating based on real user behavior.
The problem is, there are countless factors that go into app design. And you can’t just A/B test everything — testing is only useful if you have a hypothesis first.
Here are a few elements that we recommend every designer to A/B test. Start with these, and you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your app’s entire user experience.
1. A/B Test Iconography
Iconography is one of an app’s most basic design elements. Frequent users won’t think twice about it, but your icons are one of the first things that new users see…
2. A/B Test Button Placement & Color
This is one of the classic design elements to A/B test, and for good reason. UI navigation happens faster than people can read, so text is often subservient to color and placement…
3. A/B Test Color Choice
Color is an important choice for UX designers. On one hand, it’s important to stick to a specific palette to establish brand consistency. But on the other hand, color plays an informational role in helping users navigate the app. Balancing the two goals is one of the major challenges that UX designers face…
4. A/B Test Typography & Legibility
UX designers aren’t copywriters, but text is still part of the designer’s job. The visual properties of text have a huge impact on its readability, especially when the user is only skimming. Simple, clear copy can be obfuscated by poor design…
5. A/B Test Screen-to-Screen Navigation Flows
Even though navigation flows aren’t visual, they’re an aspect of the app experience that should be consciously designed — and tested.
It’s easy to get lured into evaluating each screen in a vacuum, without paying attention to the overall flow. Yet there aren’t many apps that live on a single screen. If users have to navigate too many screens to access common functionality, or if it isn’t obvious how to get to a particular screen, you could be introducing friction without knowing it…
Iteration in UX Design
We’ve listed the design elements that you can’t afford not to A/B test, but there are many more that designers would benefit from testing. Furthermore, it’s important to understand how different segments of your audience respond to each design, rather than A/B testing on everyone and making blanket judgments.
The key takeaway here is the mentality of iterative design. A/B testing allows designers to quantitatively see the app through the eyes of the user. When combined with the designer’s own qualitative understanding of the user, the most effective designs are suddenly within reach.