Methods of UX Research & Analytics

Find out what methods of UX Analytics will help you to create the perfect UX! 

Methods of UX Research & Analytics 1

We are back to discuss UX Research & Analytics.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the number of methods that present themselves to start with your UX Research. In the following, they will be broken down.

This table distinguish between methods of quantitative and qualitative UX analytics:

Qualitative and quantitative UX research

Let’s start with the qualitative methods first:

Usability Testing

Usability testing is straightforward: You assess the UX of your product by testing it on users.
You do not ask for the users’ opinions though. Instead, you observe systematically.

There are two main variations of usability testing:

Hallway testing: You ask strangers
Expert review: You bring in experts in the field (for example students for testing an app for students)

Usability testing lets you:
– Analyze usability issues before product release
– Analyze performance
– Analyze if participants complete tasks successfully
– Analyze how long it takes to complete a task

Session Replay

Usability testing is great, but there are several issues:

  • Time: You will spend more time to plan and execute an usability test
  • Participants: You need to find fitting participants and pay them
  • Cost: You need professional equipment to conduct a good observation

Session Replay is a cost and time efficient alternative that is easily performed on a daily or weekly basis.

With Session Replay, you can record and replay videos of real user sessions.
You can review the whole user journey, including touch interactions and time spent on each screen.

While Usability testing provides you with more details, Session Replay has the benefit of observing your users in a natural setting.

Focus Groups

Focus groups usually comprise a small group of ~6-10 people.
After using your product, the group gets together to discuss the issues and benefits of your UX.

A moderator leads the discussion.
You will need a good moderator because it is hard to determine if a discussion makes sense.

Sometimes a point that appears to be irrelevant on the surface might prove valuable if you analyze it afterward.
After the discussion, you will need to create a report and evaluate.

Diary Studies

As the name suggests, diary studies collect information by having participants write entries every day.

That has the advantage that there is a longer time frame involved, you are not just limited to one session.

However, diary studies have the tendency to be inaccurate. This is because of the low control of participants and the nature of recalling events. I think Session Replay is the best alternative here.

User Feedback

Chances are that you are using this already. You are already receiving e-mails and comments that give you feedback on your product.
This feedback is valuable as it comes from your core users.

However, with a business operating at a medium or large scale, it is hard to take all feedback into consideration. It is also hard to centralize this feedback, especially if you get dozens of comments per day.

Heatmap UX Research

Heatmaps visualize your user’s actions by overlaying colors.
The “hotter” (redder) the color, the more interaction.
Heatmaps are popular. That’s because they are easy and fast to understand due to their visual presentation.  

Here is an example of a use case:

UX heatmap research

You can instantly see that most users are logging in via Facebook. Now you can use that knowledge and move the FB button to the top to improve your UX.
Heatmaps are especially helpful in testing your most important button:
CTA (Call to Action).

Quantitative Analytics

Web Analytics

With Web Analytics, you can view every type of data you can imagine – as long as it is expressed in charts or numbers. You can track views, clicks, active users etc. With most tools, you can even set your own metrics.

You should always look to be using one web analytics tool, I am recommending Google Analytics or Mixpanel.

Form Analytics

Form Analytics are, as the name suggests, conducted in forms. It is a direct way to ask users for feedback and express it in numbers, making the results easy to test.

For example: “How easy do you find it to navigate through our app from a scale from 1 to 10?”

However, there is a thin line: You can annoy your users by asking for feedback all the time.
Ironically, using this UX analytics might lead to a worse UX.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is an industry standard.

Let’s say you are undecided on what is the best way to proceed with a screen, so you implement two versions of what you want to test (Layout, Button colors etc.).

Afterward, you check which version had the best conversion rate and where the user stayed the longest.
Now you have an empirically proven result that shows you the better version.

However, this form of analytics only works if you already have a large number of users. As a rule of thumb, the data only gets relevant after being tested with at least 2000 users.

Click Testing

Click testing shows what part of the screen users click on first, or what sequence they are using.
You should track each click, as well as the time it takes the user to make the click.

This way you can find out what click-path your users take intuitively.

And with that, we are done – for now.
Are there any other parts of UX Analytics that you want me to write about? Let me know in the comments!

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Methods of UX Research & Analytics