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  • Nimrod Arluk

Why A/B tests doesn't really work and how by using psychology you can make them work



A/B testing, also known as split testing or bucket testing, is a method of comparing two versions of a product or marketing campaign in order to determine which performs better. It's like a high-tech version of the age-old question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"


However, A/B tests have their limitations, and it is important to understand why they may not always work as expected. One reason is that A/B tests can be prone to biases and confounding variables that can affect the results. For example, if an A/B test is conducted on a website, the time of day, the location of the user, and the device they are using can all impact the results. These factors can make it difficult to accurately determine the effectiveness of the two versions being tested. It's like trying to compare apples to oranges, except you don't even know which fruit you're looking at.


Another reason A/B tests may not work is that they often do not take into account the psychological factors that influence user behavior. For example, the wording of a call-to-action button or the color of a website may have a significant impact on how users interact with the site, but these factors are not always considered in A/B tests. It's like trying to build a house without considering the foundation.


So how can we make A/B tests more effective? One solution is to use psychology to better understand user behavior and how it is influenced by different elements of a product or campaign. By considering factors such as motivation, emotion, and decision-making, we can create more targeted and effective A/B tests. It's like using a hammer and nails instead of just throwing bricks at the wall and hoping they stick.


For example, rather than simply testing two different versions of a call-to-action button, we could use psychology to understand why users are more likely to click on one version over the other. We could consider the motivation behind the user's actions and the emotions that the button evokes. By using this more holistic approach, we can create A/B tests that are more likely to yield meaningful and accurate results. It's like using a blueprint instead of just winging it.


In conclusion, while A/B testing is a useful tool for optimizing products and marketing campaigns, it is important to be aware of its limitations and to use psychology to improve its effectiveness. By considering the psychological factors that influence user behavior, we can create more targeted and accurate A/B tests and get a better understanding of what works and why. It's like using a map to get to your destination instead of just wandering aimlessly.

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