April 5, 2018
Website redesign: User testing or A/B testing? Client testimonial.
Redesign: a major and ongoing challenge.
We have been seeing an increase in the frequency of website and mobile app redesign each year. This is mainly due to increased competitive pressures and business challenges in the digital world, which today drives more than 50% of retail sales (IDC Futurescape Study, 2016).
A major redesign project introduces significant upheavals on the part of teams in charge of optimizing digital interfaces. It‘s a considerable investment in terms of time, effort, and budget.
Unfortunately, after the redesign, it happens all too often that the site or application's conversion rates decrease, or even plummet to the level of a company disaster. To avoid this, teams in charge of redesign projects often rely on testing.
Testing during the redesign... when and how?
Our clients have many questions:
What to test? The current website, the mock-ups, the formula, the site after the redesign?
Which type of test? A/B testing, user testing, functional testing?
How to test? Internally or with suppliers?
This is why we regularly write about testing methodologies and client case studies, in order to shed light on this subject.
A/B Testing or User Testing? Testimonial from our client at La Grande Récré
A/B Testing or User Testing? This is exactly the question our client, La Grande Récré, was pondering. Here is an excerpt from our interview with Aurore Dayan, Web Project Manager for the e-commerce website, La Grande Récré.
Hello, Aurore. Can you describe the dilemma that you were facing when you first contacted Ferpection?
"We had a project to update our conversion funnel. Following some benchmarking, two wireframe models were proposed: one version that was all on one page, and another version that was more traditional, involving three steps.
Each checkout option had its advantages and disadvantages. The team could not decide, even though the majority were in favor of the one-page checkout.
We first thought about developing two versions of the checkout, in order to do the A/B testing. But that meant going through all the steps: mock-ups, development, integration, and finally A/B testing. This translated into a lot of work, a lot of additional budget, and two to three months of extra time overall.
That's when I first met Ferpection. We had not yet done user testing, but the thought of testing in advance got everyone on the same page. In addition, we heard great feedback from Ferpection's other clients."
So how did the user testing project end up going?
"The solution turned out to be clear and easy to use. The implementation was faster than expected, and the remote testing even more so. The study took ten days, including the analysis.
Ferpection guided us through every step, particularly in the choice of testing protocol. We decided to test from the (animated) mock-up step, and to submit variant A, followed by variant B to half the sample, and variant B, followed by variant A to the other half. At the end of the test, each sample was asked to compare the two versions."
And what were the results?
"The results were very much in favor of a three-step checkout, even though the team was initially more in favor of the other scenario. Without this user test, we would not have made the right decision. In the end, users said they saw all the information without having to scroll.
Beyond this core finding, curiosity compelled us to go through all the feedback, beyond the synthesis performed by our Ferpection analyst. This has deepened the learning from this study and has helped identify new avenues for redesign optimization, as well as fuel our post-redesign A/B testing roadmap."
What advice would you give to our readers?
"In the end, it was good to be able to test the animated mock-ups. In the future, I think starting even earlier and testing the current site to better guide the specs of a future redesign would be a great idea. Another important point: I would advise your readers to plan time for analysis and, above all, to implement the improvements identified by the testers. This is why I advised starting them as early as possible in the process."
How do you see things in the future?
"As with the A/B testing that we are continuing to use, we are planning to systematize the use of remote test users to optimize the UX of all our major projects. We hadn't thought of it in 2017... but we've already allocated budget for it in 2018! "
La Grande Récré has clearly moved into agile, user-centric mode!
Towards continuous optimization of digital interfaces!
Their case illustrates the story of user testing. It's all about testing early in order to learn and correct early, if necessary.
As is often the case, American companies are far more advanced in this area. Three-fourths of them say they do user testing to evaluate their current websites and/or mock-ups in the upstream phase of their redesign processes.
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