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How to keep visual design consistent while A/B testing like crazy

by
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
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Conflict between A/B testing and visual design

  • A/B tests lead to local maxima: make testing section high-performance at expense of the overall experience
  • “Hacking in” new design or feature is short term
    • New page element competes with previous ones and is not scalable

Solution: Have a central design vision and flexible structure

  • Avoid closed designs that are difficult to add or remove content
    • Everything fits perfectly, making it harder to change any elements
    • Symmetrical balance increases sensitivity to new content
  • Aim for open, A/B test-friendly designs
    • Opt for a modular design that is vertically-scaled
    • Variations to test: add or remove buttons, switch sections, etc.

King of A/B testing: Amazon

  • Modular design enables testing of horizontal bands of content against each other
  • Mastered experimental, low-cost approach to introducing features
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