Identify and fix UX issues

1. Use services like SessionCam or ClickTale to view heatmaps and session videos of the first 15 seconds that visitors see your site, and get an idea of their first impressions.

Missouri University of Science and Technology used eye-tracking software and infrared cameras to monitor student’s eye movements as they scanned different site elements. When participants were asked what sites made a favorable first impression, their top three responses were: Color – Should be pleasant & attractive. Contrast – Type should be easy to read. Main Image – Should be appropriate for expectations. In the study, users were allowed to view the pages and consider them for as long as they like in order to form their opinion. When scanning, their eyes spent a cumulative time on the following areas: The Logo – 6.5 seconds. Main Navigation Menu – 6.4 seconds. The Search Box – 6 seconds. Main Image –  average time of 5.99 seconds. Social Icons– 5.95 seconds. Written Copy – 5.59 seconds. Bottom Of The Website – 5.2 seconds.

2. Research your visitors, what they're looking for, and where they are coming from to improve traffic acquisition and influence users flow from one page to another.

There are a number of factors that contribute to a seamless UX before the user ever lands on the website: The level of detail the company spent on understanding their market. How well they targeted traffic. How they used their traffic data to refine their approach to getting your attention. Understanding the user’s journey can help to bridge the gaps that may occur between the click at the traffic source and landing on the website. Oli Gardner, co-founder of Unbounce, calls this “Conversion Momentum,” which involves starting the conversation on one channel, for example, a blog post, email, or organic search result, and continuing the conversation on the landing page.

3. Use heatmaps and analytics data to find out how far visitors scroll down a page, and look for UX issues where visitors tend to stop scrolling.

How far down the page a visitor goes can help you to understand where there might be clogs in the UX of the individual site pages. Common drop-off points might point to UX issues.

4. Talk to visitors at the scroll abandon points you identified earlier using a tool like Qualaroo Survey or Live Chat, to seek insight on why they're leaving.

5. Look for weak points in your user flow by looking at metrics like scroll depth, user's time on page, # of pages visited, and CTR to key pages.

For instance, Outright, an accounting & tax prep site changed their user flow from a single page form that asked multiple questions to a multi-step form that made it very clear what was coming next, and an option to skip the step. Outright’s page before: Outright’s page after: Now once the user has added all of their info, Outright tells them that the import has started and invites them to enter another account or start using the interface. Outright significantly simplified its user flow and decreased the cancellation rate by 20%, effectively improving the average customers’ lifetime value. They seem to have continued improving their process milestones by implementing an in-app onboarding process to familiarize new users with the controls. Making these kinds of improvements to the UX might help reduce churn and increase retention and referrals.

6. Combine scroll depth with other metrics such as user's time on page, heatmap data, and quantitative feedback loops to create better hypotheses that you can use for UX tests.

Try to create simpler ways for visitors to convert.

7. Configure Google Analytics to track the behavior of users who perform secondary actions like watching explainer videos.

Secondary actions aren’t the primary goal, but are desirable actions your visitors should take that support them moving towards the primary goal. Common secondary actions are: Watching the explainer video. Visiting the FAQ area. Playing with an interactive widget. For example, Wistia tested 3 versions of their video thumbnail on their pricing page to see if it made any difference in how many people watched the video. They found that 2 of the versions performed much better, increasing the total time watched by 50%, and keeping visitors more informed about the product and plans.

8. Find out how real people respond to the changes you've made, using a video testing platform like YouEye or UserTesting.

Ideally, use video user testing at both the beginning to help find issues, and the end to see if there was an actual improvement in user experience. There are a number of applications for video user testing that can help you gauge real responses and receive honest feedback on specific areas of the user experience. Alternatively, test your challenger designs before the implementation of a live test to obtain real feedback and find major flaws before going into a live A/B test. This scale is designed for online shop categories, but you could modify it to measure the performance of UX changes on any page: Good: If the change increases sales of specific items. Better: If sales increase and scroll depth remains the same. Even Better: Sales increase and a higher percentage of users scroll down the page. Best: Sales increase, higher percentage scrolls down to bottom of page & more sales of items at the bottom of the page.