A/B Testing vs User Testing: What Are the Differences?

usability testing

Companies frequently choose one of these tests over the other without appreciating the benefits of combining them. Because the benefits of one test may occasionally outweigh the downsides of the other, the learning from usability tests and A/B testing support each other in refining your conversion optimization plan.

All sites are attempting to boost traffic, and they’re also attempting to increase conversion rates in order to generate earnings. Identifying and optimizing their client pathways is thus critical. It is possible to develop a series of tests, such as usability tests and A/B testing, to discover the challenges that their websites are experiencing.

User testing

User testing, also known as usability testing, allows you to understand the demands of people and their behaviour. This information is qualitative, and it provides a comprehensive, detailed, and extremely useful source of information that helps the organization understand what operates and what does not function in its offer.


  • Improves the user’s understanding of himself as a person (and not just as a virtual visitor).
  • Provides extensive and frequently unexpected data sources via which the organization uncovers new opportunities for progress.
  • Always provides a workable solution to improve the user experience.


  • Substantial time and financial investment for essentially theoretical results.
  • The observed outcomes are not quantifiable; hence the organization cannot assess the income potential of the test findings.
  • The results are based on the personal behaviour and opinions of a small number of people.

A/B testing

A/B tests are based on a company-conceived notion that tries to test and measure the efficacy or otherwise of a suggested modification. They are based on particular, targeted adjustments, the results of which will be inherently quantifiable.


  • Real-time surveillance and rapid installation (number of clicks, conversion rates, heatmap).
  • Results that are quantifiable and meaningful (KPIs and ROI simulation).
  • Allows for a great deal of flexibility in modifying one or more points on a page.
  • In the long run, it is quite inexpensive and needs little work.


  • Significant forethought (identifying areas to change/monitor).
  • Not every test yields a result.
  • A high number of visits are required to statistically verify the claims.

Tests that are distinct but complimentary

The decision among these 2 tests is primarily determined by the topic you wish to answer: How much is it? Why? If your inquiry is about quantifiable results from a particular modification on your site, you must do an A/B test. Usability test will better satisfy your goals if the goal of your inquiry is to know the behaviour of your customers.

Even though the methodology and goals of user testing and A/B testing vary, their features can readily compliment one other. It is suggested that you use both sorts of testing in the same order. Beginning with a usability test allows you to identify the sources of friction that need to be addressed. You can then run an A/B test to verify the appropriateness of the modifications you’re thinking about making.

The most critical requirement for obtaining reliable results from your A/B testing is to develop strong testing hypothesis that will include the change of parts that are really used in the transformation process or that significantly impede the process. Learn more about the creation of test hypotheses.