A/B test your way to glory

Often when we are looking to transform our lives for the better, we think that it must all happen in one big leap. But that can be unworkable. In fact, the most significant changes come when small tweaks accumulate into major changes.

Enter A/B testing

Part of the tweaking process is known as “A/B testing.” A/B testing is when you conduct a quick, short term test between two different approaches (A and B) to see which one works better. Having established the better performer, you discard the other option.

Well designed A/B testing is good for rapidly evaluating options and weeding out the low performers. It’s also an effective method to generate new possibilities. The end goal of A/B testing is to generate solutions and drive improvements to products and processes.

For example, a company may operate two simultaneous versions of their website to test which one attracts more views. The version being tested includes a small change: it can be as little as a few words added or removed, different font, colours and so on.

Avoid doing everything all at once

What happens if you try to implement large scale changes all at once? The impact is that you get overwhelmed; you get caught in the midst of large changes that are difficult to reverse; big changes cause major disruption in your life and that may further worsen the challenges you’re already dealing with.

Small tweaks are easier to create, reverse, analyze and isolate from other factors. They are cost effective, don’t occupy as much of your time and will not cause disastrous consequences should they go wrong.

Once a given small change proves successful, you can build on that success and create more changes and improvements. Welcome to the era of era of A/B testing your way to glory.

Put it in practice

Apply this approach in your life. Pick something in your life that is not working well. Devise two different solutions and implement each one for a week. Take stock at the end of your two week trial. What worked? What didn’t work? Write some notes. Go with the better solution and continue tweaking.

Remember that A/B testing must be contiguous and the results are never final. Each round of solutions eventually creates the next set of problems. Keep your eyes on the big picture and do not quit.

Happy testing and let us know what you create.