Back to all posts

Why multivariant (A/B) testing is an essential part of your continuous improvement and risk management strategy

Kathryn WhartonProduct

Making changes to a live app can be risky. Especially when you have a large user group that relies on your product every day.

Toby Li, one of hedgehog lab’s senior product managers, believes  testing is an ideal way to reduce the risks associated with integrating new features into a live app.  

“Testing a new function with 100% of users is very risky,” Toby says. “multivariant testing offers a way to validate assumptions about new features and gauge how they will be received by users before launching them to everyone.”

We recommend multivariant testing as part of every app development process and work with our clients to find approaches that provide the best return on investment for their product. 

Let’s find out more about multivariant testing and why it should be part of your continuous improvement and risk management strategy.

What is multivariant testing?

Multivariant or A/B testing in app development is where two versions of the same app feature are shown to two user groups and data is gathered to determine which one is more effective. 

It’s a research tool that validates developers’ assumptions about how to achieve a particular objective - whether that’s to increase engagement, improve use of a function or encourage a specific behaviour in app users. 

There is often a C to the A/B. The C comes in when a control group is introduced to the test. The control group will typically use the existing version of the app - without any of the variants shown to the A and B groups - to test whether the app performs just as well without any changes. 

How does multivariant testing mitigate risk?

There are three main ways that multivariant testing can support risk management in app development: 

Removing the guesswork

Testing validates assumptions about how users will respond to a new feature. It completely removes any guesswork by providing clear data on users’ behaviour.

This eliminates a huge element of risk associated with launching new features as everything can be tested with small groups first before rolling out to the entire user group. 

Improving return on investment

Rolling out new features to a live app can be costly both in terms of time and money. 

A/B/C testing allows you to focus resources on the features that benefit your app’s performance the most. Through testing, you can gauge whether a change will drive the impact you require and can then determine if the resource needed to roll it out justifies the return on investment provided. 

Making big decisions easier

Changing a live app can have a significant impact on a company’s reputation, technical capacity and the app’s user experience. It’s not something to be taken lightly. 

Testing provides an insight into how those changes will be received by users and confirms whether all of the technical requirements are in place to support them. It offers invaluable reassurance that introducing the change is the right thing to do, so it’s much easier to make big decisions about the future of your app. 

Get in touch

Our expert team of product managers and developers keep up to date with the best practices in app development and are happy to chat about risk management strategies for your digital products. Get in touch with them today.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with industry insights then sign up to our monthly newsletter here.