Mobile App Heatmaps: How to Use Them

Touch Heatmaps are one of the best tools for getting inside your user’s head and understanding behavior patterns

Mobile app heatmap guide

In-app analytics solutions like UXCam often boast of having heatmaps in their lineup of tools, but what are mobile app heatmaps, why are they such a great tool to have and how can you start using them?

Users today have a large variety of options for their mobile apps.

The Google app market alone has around 3.2 million apps. The Apple app store has ~2.5 million.

With such a competitive market, knowing your audience and how they use your app is more important than ever.

88% of online users are less likely to return to your site/app if they’ve had a negative experience.

So how do you ensure that the user’s experience is ideal and how do you know what to work on to enhance the UX?

It’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to sit next to the user while they use your app, so how do you see what they are experiencing?

Touch Heatmaps are one of the best tools for getting inside your user’s head and understanding their behavior on your app.

What are Heatmaps?

what are mobile app heatmaps

In short, mobile app heatmaps are a visual overlay of an array of colors to represent user interactions.

Heatmaps represent the average user activity, this allows you to see which elements get the most attention.

The human eye can comprehend an array of colors more easily and much quicker than we can analyze a set of numbers.

Heatmaps aggregate large numbers of data from users and compile it in a way that allows us to quickly and more accurately draw conclusions from the results.

For this reason, heatmaps are best used in large groups of data and show us extremes (either where the most activity is or the least).

How Heatmaps can help you

So we’ve covered what heat maps are but why do you want them? What can they do for you?

Optimize Your Mobile App Interface

A visually appealing and easy-to-use app will bring customers in and keep them coming back.

With the use of heatmaps, you can see what is getting the most attention from the user and what is getting overlooked. In doing so, you gain a better idea of what the user wants out of your app.

mobile app heatmap gestures
UXCam’s heatmap solution captures sophisticated gestures such as long-press, trail and zoom gestures.

Perhaps the user is trying to click on a word or image that is not clickable? This is an excellent opportunity to add a link to this area to bring the user closer to what they are looking for.

Create a Better User Experience

Let’s take a closer look at a scenario from UXCam.

A company using UXCam, let’s call them Photos Inc., uses heatmaps to understand user behavior. This is the result:

mobile app heatmap tool

Based on the results, we can see that Photo Inc.’s login page was adequate but perhaps not ideal for its users. With heatmaps, we see that most users log in with a Facebook account instead of an email address.

To increase user login and improve the user experience, Photo Inc. just had to move their Facebook login button to the top of the other options.

This made the Facebook sign-in more prominent and moved the email sign-in to second on the list. The first impression is 94% design related.

Just that little change could spiral into big improvements for Photo Inc. What improvements could you make to your app?

Increase Conversions

A Call To Action (CTA for short) is only useful if your readers see it and tap on it. If no one sees your CTA because it’s too far down the page or it’s in an odd place then you will see a drop in user onboarding.

If users are attempting to click on an area that isn’t linked, you can consider putting a CTA in a high traffic area that is otherwise wasted.

Mobile App Heatmaps: How to Use Them 1
Gesture Selection in UXCam

Mobile heatmaps are one of the most helpful tools for identifying the problems that users are encountering. See where your users are getting hung up in the process and where they abandon the process.

Does the app need to include more directions for the user? Maybe there’s something that could be simplified?

Perhaps you’re asking for too much too soon. Whatever the problem, it’s important that it’s taken care of so you can encourage more users to use your app to meet their needs. Mobile app heatmaps are a fantastic tool that can save you time, money and even a headache or two!

Best Tool for Mobile App Heatmaps

UXCam is the market leader for mobile app heatmaps.

It supports native iOS, Android, ReactNative, PhoneGap/Cordova, Xamarin and Flutter.

Heatmaps are just one feature that UXCam offers:

Mobile App Heatmaps: How to Use Them 2

UXCam integrates easily and quickly into any app. Where other analysis apps may affect your performance, UXCam is lightweight, with no performance penalty.

It also integrates with other programs you may use such as Adobe Analytics, Firebase Crashlytics, and more.

UXCam offers a risk-free trial.

Get started with UXCam for free now.

mobile heatmap guide


What are mobile app heatmaps?

Mobile app heatmaps are specifically designed to work on iOS or Android mobile apps. They show which elements of your app get the most engagement.

How do mobile app heatmaps work?

To use mobile app heatmaps, you first have to install the UXCam SDK. The SDK captures usage data, which then gets used to generate heatmaps for your app.

How do you read mobile app heatmaps?

You should segment your app heatmaps based on specific gestures. This will help you to perform a detailed analysis.

Mobile App Heatmaps: How to Use Them