Users are at the core of everything we do. From conducting usability reviews to carrying out customer surveys and reviewing Google Analytics data, our discovery process combines qualitative and quantitative research to enable us to deliver the best possible experience for our clients’ users.
Going beyond Google Analytics
Key metrics such as page views, bounce rate and time on page allow us to hypothesise which content is important to users and target which pages aren’t performing well in terms of engagement. This data is great for planning information architecture and content, but it doesn’t give us much insight into how users really behave on-page.
Enter behaviour analytics tools
Behaviour analytics tools such as Hotjar, SessionCam and CrazyEgg allow us to see exactly how users behave on-site and on-page, taking some of the guesswork out of data analytics. Heatmaps and scrollmaps give us insight into where users click (or don’t), how far they scroll and what they stop to look at. Metrics such as rage clicks (when users repeatedly click on a specific element) can identify pain points, and dead clicks (a click that results in nothing happening) can identify bugs or areas that aren’t functioning as users would expect. Plus, session recordings provide hard evidence for how users interact with the site, including how they navigate across pages and how long it takes to complete an action.
It’s rich visual data like this that allows us to go beyond numerical data interpretation, giving us a well-rounded view of how users are accessing content. This enables ourselves and the client to make data-driven decisions that enhance the user experience, leading to what we’d hope would be an increase in conversions.
I recently got the opportunity to work on a discovery project for a client with the tracking in place to get stuck into these powerful tools, and see first-hand the value they can deliver.
By watching session recordings, we were able to identify issues with the navigation. Delayed hover feedback was confusing users, and hover tunnels – passages that users have to move their mouse through to click an item – meant that users would accidentally close the menu they wanted and had to work harder to navigate across the site.
Using heatmaps and impressions (when a user stops scrolling), we were able to see where users clicked or paused the most. We used this data to make recommendations to the content structure of heavily-visited pages, such as prioritising items that users were most interested in by placing them towards the top of the page.
Scrollmaps on mobile pages demonstrated that users rarely stopped to read large chunks of text, suggesting that these should be cut down for key selling pages on mobile. This would reduce the length of pages, keep users engaged and get them where they want to be quicker.
Looking at a map of dead clicks, we recommended that components such as product cards have larger target or ‘hit’ areas that enable users to click through to the content without having their mouse over the call to action button.
Although subtle, the impact of changes like these are difficult to argue with. We recently designed a landing page for our client’s new product launch and are already seeing improvements to engagement compared to existing product pages with similar content. This is a testament to the business value of the combination of behaviour analytics tools and data-driven decision making.
Tracking platforms are really powerful when it comes to understanding your customers and gathering actionable UX insight, especially when paired with other tracking tools such as Google Analytics. With so much data available, it’s never been easier to make sense of user behaviour, reach informed design decisions and monitor performance.
If you’re interested in working with us to improve your website’s user experience, why not get in touch?