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UX Analytics: tools and processes to improve UX

by | Apr 13, 2022 | UX optimization

Have you ever tried to eat a big meal with your eyes closed? If you’re like most people, you would just end up making a mess of yourself if you would do so, wouldn’t you?  Well, in that perspective optimizing your ux is  no different than eating. UX analytics gives you a sight of what is actually going on  and where with your users on your app/software/website. 

What is UX Analytics?

UX Analytics are tools to measure the user experience of web pages / softwares / apps. If you’ve got these tools in place, you can use them to analyze the data about when, where, and how users interact with your digital product. 

In other words, you use UX analytics to monitor user behavior. For example, you can monitor things like:

  • The time spent on a page
  • How quickly the user navigated to different parts of the website
  • Which links were clicked and so on. 
  • What parts of a website need better design (whatever “better” is for you)
  • Where visitors like to or end up spending most of their time on your site/app, etc.
    … And answers to thousands of similar questions – you get it.

Can UX analytics make all difference?

The need for having an objective UX analytics set up on your digital properties comes simply from the fact that without it,  you’re flying blind and relying (most likely) only on personal opinions of your own or teammates or friends to improve your digital products or website.  And the problem with that can be best described by this quote from sadhguru:

Even if you choose to rely on customer feedback to improve these things, you will virtually never be able to achieve the speed, efficiency, and scale of improvements that you can if you’re using statistical tools from UX Analytics in a systematic way.

UX Analytics as a process

Speaking of systematic ways, let’s go over the key steps you can follow to really integrate UX Analytics In your business in a practical manner:

Step 1: Data collection: This is where you set up a method of collecting the user behaviour data  on your web/app 

Step 2: Turn it into information you can process.

Step 3: Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you can use to concretely come up with a way to see how the user experience is objectively and set targets.

Step 4: Revise and evaluate continuously.

Quantitative UX Analytics tools

1.     Web or App behaviour analytics

These are statistics about how your users behave on your website – they can tell you all sorts of information, such as how much traffic you get, where your visitors are coming from, how long they stay on the site and what they click on. 

Most common tool for this is Google Analytics or “GA”. So common that 29.3 million websites around the world use it for their web behaviour analytics.

Example tools: Google Analytics, Matomo, Segment, Mixpanel

What it can help you achieve: Better conversion rate, higher engagement with your website / app.

2.     Funnel progression & drop-offs

If you have a sales funnel on your website you absolutely need to be tracking how users proceed  step by step in your funnel:  the conversion rate per step,  where they drop off,  where they drop off to, and so forth.

Example tools: GERU, Funnelytics, Hotjar, Smartlook

What it can help you achieve: Find out why you’re not getting as many sales or goal finishes as you expected (whatever your goal: sign-up/sales/etc.)

3.     A/B tests

A/B tests are when you show two variants, version A and version B, of your web-pages to a 50-50 split of your traffic and test the change before implementing it across your full traffic. When you perform A/B tests, you can ‘tag’ different metrics such as bounce rate (to test engagement), conversion rate (to test performance)

Example tools: Google Optimize, Optimizely

What it can help you achieve: Find out the conversion or engagement impact of small changes if you test them one by one in an A/B test.

Qualitative Tools

The qualitative tools are about understanding how your users are not just interacting with your product, but what’s going on in their head as well. This can be difficult to measure and track, but it’s important because it can help you improve the quality of the product or service you’re offering. For example, getting feedback from users at a 30-minute interval makes it easier for them to pinpoint issues they might have – where they don’t understand something, for instance.

4.     User testing

The goal of user testing is to thoroughly check how people interact with a product by giving them tasks and then interviewing them about their thoughts as they perform the tasks. This allows designers to see how the product performs in real world conditions and make improvements before making deployments into live environment.

Example tools: Maze, Lookback, UserTesting.com, or any user testing platform

What it helps with: Get qualitative usability data of your web / app with questions answered from users that are representative of your real users. Get questions answered that can help you improve your UX.

5.     User interviews

Interviews can also be used to evaluate usability, as well as gather demographic information, such as gender and age. 

interviews are often conducted with real users to test websites and apps for accessibility issues or usability issues so designers can make necessary changes for more accessible or usable products.

User observation is another type of qualitative research method that is commonly used in user experience design. It involves watching how people behave on a website or app and taking notes on the interaction between them and the site/app itself so it can be understood what makes people’s interactions with your digital product successful or unsuccessful.

Example tools: Zoom / Skype (video calling platforms), or user testing platforms

What it helps with: Uncover insights from actual users of your product or users that can represent your customers, and get improvement insights based on actual experience in the market or with you that you may not from quantitative tools.

6.     Heatmap analytics

Heatmaps are great for understanding what users are actually doing on your website in an aggregate way. Heatmaps can identify areas of high concentration, making it easy to assess which parts of the site need more attention. There’s three kinds – click maps, scroll maps and move maps.

Example tools: Hotjar, Smartlook

What it helps with: Figure out whether your individual webpages need improvements to help users navigate the content on it smoothly.

7.     Session recordings

Session recordings are a lesser known type of UX research. They allow you to replay the sessions of your users so you can really see how they behave and why they might not be converting. 

Example tools: Hotjar, Smartlook

What it helps with: Helps you assess if user’s goals are being met on site, what is frustrating them and what attracts them to stay on the site.