Your New Web Design Will Fail

The Bad News

I attended a webinar yesterday that presented some shocking statistics. The bad news is that your new web design will most likely flop. The speaker said even if you are the cream of the crop, in terms of design and mark up, you only have a 60% chance of your new design outperforming the original. Here I was thinking I was helping clients with my new designs.

The Good News

While it seems we are all doomed to fail, it is possible to turn that 60% success rate into 100%. All you have to do is A/B test. For those who are unfamiliar, an A/B test is where you take two versions, A and B, and test them against each other to see which converts more sales or leads. Usually A is the original and B is the new design. The logic is that if you just throw out an attempt for every 5 pages you do, 3 will out perform their original but 2 will be unsuccessful. If you go into it knowing you will have to rework the design and tweak it until your new design outperforms the original, then your success rate is 100%.

Why Should I Update

You’re probably wondering, why should I update my site if my new design will likely fail? Well, as mentioned before you can get your success rate to 100% by implementing A/B testing and tweaking the design after the initial test. Also, an old design hurts your credibility and trust with new customers. Studies show that 94% of people cite web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website. So even if your page is converting now, over time it will eventually work against you, simply by looking out of date.

My Thoughts

There are too many easy to use A/B testing tools out there that make it simple to test the success rate or “click through rate” of a new design. It’s something so simple, even a one man shop can do it. Even if you don’t understand web design at least you know you’re getting what you pay for. While it is shocking and disappointing that as web designers our success rate is statistically 60% at best, it’s encouraging to know that the tools to succeed are so accessible and cost effective, that anyone can do it. What are your thoughts?  Is A/B testing becoming as much a part of your process as browser testing? What A/B testing tools have you found are the most successful?



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