How to Take an Analytics-First Approach to UX

November 2022
 minute read
man going over colored data analytics charts on multiple computer screens

When it comes to cultivating a loyal customer base, one of the most important things ecommerce businesses of all sizes need to consider is your user experience. If your user experience (UX) isn’t up to par, then you will likely experience a high bounce rate and lower-than-expected conversions. Luckily, the team at Responsival are UX specialists that know how you can audit your site using an analytics-first approach. If you are interested in learning more about how you can use analytics to audit and improve your site’s UX, keep reading! We’re going to be diving into all of the most important metrics you should use and how to apply them to your current site.

What Exactly is UX Analysis?

When you perform a UX analysis, you are getting an idea of how users interact with your site

young user experience designers brainstorming in conference room
The user experience should be a top priority for every industry.

Undergoing a UX analysis for your site can be extremely helpful and ensure that you can achieve higher revenues and conversion rates in the future. A UX audit is the process of collecting and analyzing data about how your audience interacts with your website. Then, when you analyze the data that you have collected, you can create actionable strategies for improvement. Once you have your data and have completed your analysis, it is time to start applying the newly synthesized information to make changes to your site.

In some cases, it can be difficult to imagine the types of insights that you will glean from your UX analysis. To give you an example, let’s say that you have a popup on your homepage that asks users to sign up for a newsletter. That’s great—this is common for a lot of websites and is a good way to access your target audience. However, if this popup is difficult to opt out of, then many users may abandon your site altogether. By conducting an audit, you can catch these issues before they become too big of a problem. Take it from the UX specialists, conducting an audit and analysis can catch issues with your site that otherwise would go unnoticed. At Responsival, we pride ourselves on combining responsive design with our expertise to create user-centric site designs.

When we discuss UX analysis, there are two main types of data that we are discussing—quantitative data and qualitative data. These two types of data both provide critical insights, so it is important to consider both equally. In the next sections, we’re going to detail how these types of data are gathered and what they mean for your UX analysis.

What is Quantitative UX Data?

By collecting quantitative UX data you can crunch the numbers and discover areas for improvement

analyzing tables of data on a clipboard
There are several different types of quantitative data that make up a UX audit.

Quantitative data—as opposed to qualitative data—is based on measurable, quantifiable insights. This means that all of the data pulled from a quantitative UX assessment is based on numerical value. There are a few common ways that UX specialists can get these important insights on your site. Let's take a look at a few examples of UX tests you can run to get a better understanding of your site’s performance.

  1. Time for Completion - For a lot of quantitative UX assessments, users will be asked to complete a specific task for your website. One of the easiest ways to measure UX is to time how long it takes a user to complete a specific task on your site. This could be making a purchase, scheduling an appointment, or whichever task you are currently testing for. If the task takes too long for the users, then this is a sign you need some analysis to determine the issue.
  2. Success Rate - In addition to the time for completion, you will want to track the success rate of each user. If many users are unable to complete the task on your site, then your team will need to take a closer look.
  3. Error Rate - Should users encounter stopping points on your site—like a broken link—then they will contribute to the error rate. Finding errors on your site is an important aspect of a UX audit. Site errors are some of the most easily identifiable issues that you can begin fixing once your UX audit is complete.
  4. Satisfaction -  After completing a task or exploring your site, each user will be asked to provide a numerical satisfaction score.
  5. Customer Effort - Users will be asked to gauge how much effort they expended trying to complete an assigned task on your site.
  6. Net Promoter Score® - This is another metric where users are asked to rate their experience using your site. Net Promoter Score is a trademarked metric that assesses how likely users are to recommend your site or service to another person. By measuring the likelihood that someone will recommend your site, the Net Promoter Score metrics can organize users into promoters, passive users, and detractors. 

By using all of these different metrics in your UX audit, you can prioritize your analytics as you develop or redesign your website. In the next section, we’re going to go over some of the most commonly used methods that are used to gather these site metrics.

How to Collect Quantitative UX Data

Quantitative data can be collected through surveys or heatmaps

large black notebook with sticky notes displaying qualitative research methods
Qualitative data take into account individual opinions and observations about your site.

There are lots of ways to collect data for a UX audit. Today, we’re going to be discussing some of the most common methods used to collect the data needed to properly complete a UX analysis for your site. The first method we’re going to cover is surveys. After your user has completed a task on your site, you can present them with a detailed survey where the user can voice their opinions about different aspects of the website on a numerical scale. This can be everything from overall user experience, visual appeal, effectiveness of CTAs, and more. When you are creating a survey for a UX audit the more details you can get from your audience, the better. That means you should be asking questions about every aspect of your site so you can get a comprehensive picture of avenues for improvement.

The second way to collect quantitative data that we’ll be discussing is through a heat map. A heat map is a way to show you how your users are moving their mouse and interacting with the content on your website. Different types of heat maps can display different important metrics. For example, there are heat maps that track how users scroll, where they click, and how they move the page. When this information is put together in a composite heat map, you can see exactly how your users are interacting with your webpage. After you have completed your analysis, you can make sure that the hotspots on your heat map are matched with your CTAs and other important navigational aspects of your site.

How to Collect Qualitative UX Data

Qualitative data allows users to provide their opinions on your site

employees testing new virtual reality program in the office
Lab usability tests are used across a variety of industries—including VR.

Unlike quantitative data, qualitative data is based on subjective information provided by the users. Instead of providing you with purely numerical data, a qualitative assessment will give you the opinions of individuals that you can then analyze. Qualitative data can be collected in several ways. Some of the most common qualitative data tests come in the form of lab usability testing, open-ended surveys, and session recordings. All of these different tests are designed to follow the user throughout their journey through your website as they encounter different pages and complete different tasks.

Lab usability tests are set up in a similar way to standardized tests. Lab tests are conducted using a moderator to observe the user as they navigate the site. During the lab test, the moderator will take notes and identify any pain points experienced by the user

Qualitative surveys are often built into the test site. For example, users can navigate your site but are stopped at different checkpoints to provide their open-ended feedback on the experience so far. Users can detail their experience in the form of a few sentences or a short paragraph based on the prompt. 

The last method for collecting qualitative data we’ll be discussing is screen recording. Much like a lab usability test, user behavior on the site is observed. However, in this test, the user's journey is tracked through a screen recording rather than via a moderator. Screen recordings are useful because they can be replayed several times to better understand user behavior.

How to Analyze Your Website Based on Your Gathered Data

Now that you’ve gathered all of your data from both quantitative and qualitative assessments, it's time to start your analysis

typing on a laptop data analysis concept art with 3d graphics in white
Data analysis will help you make the right decisions for improving your website.

How you analyze your collected data can make or break your entire UX audit. You may have gathered all of the information you need, but it is what you do with that information that really counts. In this section, we’re going over the steps you need to take with your UX specialists to start planning improvements to your site. Let’s get started!

  1. Establish Issues You Want to Address - If you are conducting a UX audit, there is likely a good reason. Whatever this reason is—low conversion rates, high bounce rates—you should start there and begin analyzing your data with your most prominent user issues as a top priority.
  2. Properly Organize Your Data - If there are common roadblocks that your users are running into during the audit process, you want to properly document and organize this data. If your audit is going well, then these areas for improvement should be easily identified and organized. For example, if people are having a hard time finding or returning to their shopping cart, organize all of the shopping cart-related issues together. You may take notice that users are having issues with different data types like surveys or screen recordings, so it is important to also organize your data by data type as well.
  3. Start Planning Out Potential Fixes - Once your data is properly organized, you will probably notice some patterns in user behavior. Once you notice these patterns, you can begin planning out the fixes you need to make. During this process, you should assign each problem a priority level. For example, if there is an issue with your site that prevents conversions, then that should be your top priority to fix.
  4. Write a Comprehensive Report -  After you’ve identified the problems you need to fix and established their priority, it is time to create your report. A UX audit report is the easiest way for you to share your findings with other departments or an external web developer. Your report should clearly state the findings of the audit and provide suggestions for future improvements.
  5. Start Implementing Changes -  Once your report is complete and approved, it is time to start making changes to your site based on the analytics from your UX audit. By completing every step of the process, you can be sure that you are making worthwhile improvements to your website that will help you reach your goals as a company. No matter what your goals are, a UX audit can help you discover ways to make your site more intuitive and enjoyable for every visitor.

By conducting a UX audit and taking an analytics-first approach to your UX, you can create a better site that your users will want to visit and will feel comfortable visiting repeatedly.

As a web development agency with a team of UX specialists, Responsival is here to help you address any and all issues with your website. From performing a UX audit to optimizing your site speed, Responsival can take care of everything. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you increase your conversions and customer satisfaction.

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