Fast validated insights with A/B Testing in Surveys with Survalyzer

Fast validated insights with A/B Testing in Surveys with Survalyzer

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing, commonly known as split testing, is a methodological approach for comparing two versions of a webpage, product, survey, or any other variable, to determine which one performs more effectively. Rooted in scientific principles, A/B testing involves presenting two variants, labelled as A and B, to different segments of an audience under similar conditions. The goal is to observe and analyse how each variant performs, based on measurable criteria such as user engagement, conversion rates, or survey response accuracy.

AB Testing in Surveys

Surveys are essential for understanding audience preferences. A/B testing in this context is a methodical approach to comparing two variants of a concept, determining which resonates more effectively with the target group. By presenting Variant A to one segment and Variant B to another, researchers can gather concrete data that informs strategic decision-making. This process is not only methodical but also ensures that decisions are backed by solid evidence drawn from actual user feedback.

Sample questions might be:

  • Please rate your general liking of this product concept?
  • Rate the visual appeal of this product concept on a scale from 1 to 10.
  • What’s your initial reaction to this product?

After finishing the survey, we gather the outcomes for every concept tested. The one receiving the highest score or most favourable feedback is then suggested for use.

Common Uses of A/B Testing using Surveys

A/B testing is a mainstay in market research, employed to make data-driven decisions across a variety of contexts. Here are some typical scenarios where A/B testing is applied using surveys:

  • Product Feedback: Researchers may use two survey versions to test consumer reactions to different product features or branding elements.
  • Price Sensitivity: Different pricing models can be tested to gauge consumer price tolerance and optimal pricing points.
  • Marketing Messages: A/B testing helps in refining advertising copy by assessing which messages resonate more with the target audience.
  • Customer Preferences: Surveys can be used to test preferences between two service models, delivery options, or customer service approaches.

A/B Testing in Survey Design

Transitioning from these common uses, A/B testing can also be directed inward, at the surveys themselves. Instead of focusing on external products or services, the subject of the A/B test becomes the survey design. Surveys can benefit from A/B testing in several aspects:

  • Question Wording: Similar to picking the right words in a crucial conversation, testing different phrasings can lead to clearer, more accurate responses.
  • Format Variety: Like offering a diverse menu to cater to different tastes, experimenting with multiple-choice versus open-ended questions can affect the depth and quality of feedback.
  • Question Sequencing: Strategically ordering questions—sensitive ones at the close, contentious ones at the open—can influence the honesty and bias in responses.
  • Visual and Interactive Elements: Just as illustrations enliven a story, the right visuals and interactive elements in a survey can boost engagement and comprehension.

In addition to these aspects, A/B testing can be specifically utilized to test and optimize the survey for higher completion rates. By comparing different versions of a survey, you can identify which elements most effectively encourage respondents to complete the survey, leading to better response rates and more comprehensive data.

Implementing A/B Testing in Survalyzer

Survalyzer offers two primary A/B testing approaches to mitigate the bias that can occur when respondents evaluate multiple products or concepts sequentially: the Monadic Test Design and the Rotation Test Design.

  • Monadic Test Design: This design involves participants evaluating only one product or concept. It’s akin to a standard A/B test where each participant sees only one variant. This method is particularly effective when you have many products to test, as it doesn’t significantly increase complexity with the number of products.
  • Rotation Test Design: In this design, participants evaluate all or some of the products, but the order in which they see them is varied. This helps in controlling order bias, ensuring that the evaluation of one product doesn’t influence the perception of the next. However, it’s worth noting that the complexity of implementing this design increases exponentially with the number of products.

To navigate these complexities and implement the design that best fits your study, Survalyzer provides four variations of test setups to balance between randomness and equal distribution. Whether you’re conducting a simple comparison or a comprehensive multi-product study, these options allow you to tailor your approach effectively. For a deeper dive into setting up these A/B tests and understanding their intricacies, we invite you to explore our detailed help center article: Monadic Design Knowledge Base.

A/B Testing in Survalyzer Surveys

In Survalyzer’s A/B testing framework, group affiliation is managed efficiently through value assignments. Each respondent is categorized into a group and this categorization is tracked using a custom variable. This variable then informs which particular version of the survey content each respondent sees, creating tailored survey experiences across different groups.

For those interested in exploring this feature further or downloading the template, more information is available in our education center article on A/B testing.

Filtering Survey Data Based on Group Affiliation

Ensuring an even distribution during A/B testing is handled by a counter mechanism that assigns participants to groups. This allows for a fair comparison of survey results across the board. Once the data is collected, it is analyzed by segmenting responses according to the “SplitGroup” variable, simplifying the process of identifying which survey version yields the best results.

A flowchart with four steps: 'HYPOTHESIS' at the top, 'CONCEPT A,' 'CONCEPT B,' and 'CONCEPT C' in the middle, 'EVALUATION,' and 'DECISION' at the bottom, with brief explanations on the right.

A/B Testing in Survalyzer's Reports & Dashboards

Pro Report, part of Survalyzer’s Professional Analytics, simplifies the analysis of A/B test results. It visually displays data for each group, so you can quickly see which survey version works best. It also checks if the differences in responses are significant or just by chance. With the table wizard’s ‘Variable based segmentation’, such as ‘SplitGroup’, comparing results across survey versions becomes straightforward. For Professional Analytics users, this feature includes significance testing for each data segment.

Dashboard with ab testing survey results from Survalyzer platform

Presenting results from your A/B tests

To see a real-world example of how Survalyzer’s A/B testing capabilities can be used to improve survey results, take a look at this dashboard visualizing the results of an A/B test comparing two different question wordings.

Effective survey dashboard design is essential for this phase, where clarity is key. A cluttered or poorly designed dashboard can obscure results, hindering decision-making. Our ‘4 Common Mistakes in Survey Dashboards‘ article addresses common design issues to help you display data clearly and make informed choices.

Calculating Significance Between Groups

Survalyzer uses statistical tests to figure out if the differences we see in survey responses are just by chance or truly significant. It does this by comparing the actual responses to what we’d expect if both groups were the same. If you want to know more about this topic, be sure to read our detailed article about statistical significance and significance testing in Survalyzer.


Summarizing, A/B testing is a key part of survey research. With a conscious approach, it can improve response rates by fine-tuning questions and layout, and ensure accuracy when gathering data. Furthermore, it can improve user engagement and provide a deeper understanding of the audience. If you’re interested in leveraging A/B testing for your surveys feel free to reach out to our sales team. Set up effective A/B tests tailored to your needs with our help.

Christian Hyka

Managing Partner

Optimize Your Research Through A/B Testing

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