A heatmap is an analytics method that aggregates user interactions. The data is displayed in a color-coded graphical representation.
On the heatmap, you can see where users are interacting and in which frequency.
Heatmaps allow you to analyze where your users tap, which parts of the screen they ignore, and where they get frustrated.
With this, you can find typical usage patterns and identify critical elements on each screen.
Moreover, you can find out if CTAs perform well or if you need to improve them.
Heatmaps have a special position in the analytics landscape.
They are not a fully qualitative method because they are based on an aggregation of data.
They aren’t a quantitative analytics method either though, since heatmaps don’t measure numbers — heatmaps are based on math, but you can’t measure them on it.
Heatmaps are a method in between qualitative and quantitative.
In a nutshell, heatmaps give the answer to the question: What are users doing?
You won’t get the whole context as you do with session replays, and you won’t get detailed numbers for sophisticated analysis.
What you’ll get is a way to find and fix problems quickly for each screen. You’ll get a fast way to find new ideas to validate. And you’ll get a powerful complement to existing analytics methods.
There’s a wide variety of heatmap tools available for the web. All of them have their pros and cons — we recommend Hotjar or CrazyEgg.
For mobile, the market is much less saturated. The reason for this is that the technology for heatmaps is much more complex for mobile apps.
UXCam is the market leader for qualitative mobile apps and is trusted by app experts such as Nissan, OLX, or NBC. You can start analyzing your app's heatmaps for free here.