By Owen Fay . Posted on February 28, 2022

Is usability testing costing you too much time and money? Businesses don’t grasp what usability A/B tests are or how to perform them appropriately, many businesses make testing mistakes that cost them time and effort they can’t afford.

A usability A/B test can provide a significant return on investment if done correctly. These tests assist you in moving your company in the right direction by identifying the needs and wants of the users. Testing allows them to simply generate more sales-qualified leads, grow their email list, and even raise conversions significantly. However, all of the advantages of usability testing come with certain challenges.

In this blog, you’ll learn how to avoid the common usability testing errors that many businesses do and how to use usability testing in the correct way to identify the techniques that may increase your conversions. The following are 5 common challenges most businesses encounter in usability testing.

Challenge 1: Deciding What To Test

You can’t just pick and choose which elements to test in the heat of the moment. The more you can test a new idea, feature, or business resource, the better.

However, as you test more features businesses tend to try to clump them together. As a consequence, participants may become less focused, resulting in misleading results.

Framing your test for the resource you want to test is critical; for example, testing a new feature is different from testing a new logo. You’ll use different templates, ask different questions, and the responses will provide you with valuable insights.

With live products, testing ideas allows you to determine which functions or concepts are worth your time and effort, and which should be abandoned because they are no longer useful.

Challenge 2: Creating a Hypothesis

What is a usability A/B testing hypothesis, and how does it work?

A usability A/B testing hypothesis is an assumption that explains why you are trying to obtain feedback on your business and how you can use them for optimization.

Among the most critical challenges to avoid is failing to develop a valid hypothesis. The pre-test research comes into play while forming the hypothesis; having enough information will guide you to the hypothesis that will work best for your test.

You’ll need to figure out where your business’s challenges are and how the test will solve them. This won’t happen until you have a usability testing strategy in place and have done some research.

To come up with a hypothesis, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Understand what the overall goal of your usability test is.
  2. Know what the ideal outcome is and what it means if it is true.
  3. Consider potential improvements that could result in more of the desired behavior of your audience.
  4. Determine how you’ll assess performance, so you’ll know for sure whether a certain adjustment affects conversions.

Challenge 3: Choosing the Right Sample Size

number of responsesMany people assume that raising the number of participants, hopefully creating a larger significance in usability testing is the only way to sell the results to management. A lot of the time we think that the only way to get statistically significant data is to have a large sample size.

That’s not always true, a small number of participants can still give you significant results, but you need to identify the right audience size for your business.

We often finish a test too soon or don’t collect enough data to make the best decision because we want the findings as soon as possible. Another rationale for the demand for big samples is the belief that more people equals more knowledge.

Larger samples need more planning, preparation, and execution effort due to their size. A larger sample also comes with higher cost ,which is due to the compensation of the test subjects and the researcher’s increased working time.

Challenge 4: Analyzing Results

Even though measuring results is just as important as testing, it’s one of the biggest challenges in the testing process. If you don’t dive into the results effectively, you won’t have full confidence or be able to make data-driven marketing decisions.

Fortunately, Poll the People has done an excellent job of making it simple to go through the responses and determine the genuine winner of a test.

However, picking a winner can be difficult if both versions appear to be successful and receive a lot of positive feedback, or if both versions receive a lot of negative feedback. The two possible variants of a result can be:

1. A Successful Test

Sometimes, the ‘votes’ will determine a winner, but only by a slight margin, and both selections will receive positive feedback. The majority of the time, a tester will launch the winner but fail to interpret the findings properly.

When examining data, the question to always ask is “Why?” Why did they pick option A instead of option B? Why did the panel say that one of the logos is superior to the other? The answers you get from the panel will help you answer these and other questions, as well as give you a complete picture of the test that you can utilize for future tests.

2. A Failed Test

Another challenge you might encounter is if there is a winner but both alternatives have received mostly negative results. Negative feedback can actually be more beneficial to your organization because it can indicate that neither of the versions you test is the best for your company to implement.

Negative feedback will cause you a lot of new problems, but it will also help you create the best elements for your company and put you on the road to success.

Challenge 5: Creating a Testing Culture

Usability A/B testing is a continual and dynamic process, which is one of the most important things to remember. This is one of the biggest challenges a company faces.

There should be a cycle of testing the aspects of your business that vary regularly for your optimization efforts to be effective.

Ad copy, content images, and any new features or ideas you might have should all be tested to ensure you aren’t spending your time, money, and effort on things that won’t help you achieve your goals. The challenge isn’t only testing everything; it’s also creating a culture of quality testing that will benefit you in the long run.

Usability testing is a process that requires multiple parts of your business to be on the same page. Make sure the design and marketing teams communicate to ensure you are getting the most out of a test. Each part of the business that is involved needs to understand the results of a test and what they mean to continue to optimize the business and create a testing culture.

It will aid in the organization of a large number of comments, data, and insights gathered during usability testing sessions.


Why stop after one test when the testing process may help you make the best decisions for your business and set you up for success?

Make sure to prioritize usability concerns to prevent launching elements of your business that users do not find appealing or do not want.

You can get your usability testing off to a good start now that you know the usability testing challenges that can waste your time, effort, and money. Poll the People is a pioneer in usability A/B testing and excels in assisting companies like yours. Learn more about Poll the People’s usability testing services, or Sign Up to get started optimizing your business.

Owen Fay

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