Heat mapping has become more than a buzzword – it’s one of the most useful tools in an agency’s arsenal. It tests if a design is living up to the promises of the strategy by validating or disproving assumptions.
So what exactly is it? Heat mapping is a visualization technique that shows where users spend time on your website (or any interface). It turns user behavior data (clicks, time spent, scrolling data, etc.) into colour-coded maps of how your site is being used (or not used).
Let’s break it down in practical terms – here are 5 things heat mapping helps designers do:
Increase conversions – Conversions are actions that you want users to perform – heat mapping helps to figure out what users are actually up to. Maybe key content is not getting enough clicks, or important buttons are being neglected. A heat-mapping tool will reveal your user’s journey and choices.
Test assumptions – Specialists undoubtedly know something about guiding user action, but even the best of us make incorrect assumptions. Do you think that an icon is communicative enough, or that your call to action is clearly defined? Find out for sure.
Visual comparisons – A/B testing is where you give different versions of a website to different user groups and compare the data. Being visual people, designers (and marketers) can easily compare and contrast heat maps.
Make the right argument – Ever had a disagreement between creative and client? The lines between right and wrong can be hard to discern, especially when it comes to key details, but heat mapping helps you find the right solution without getting egos involved.
Spot patterns – Sometimes there are surprising links between different actions, like users who come from a specific link having a unique behavior pattern. This knowledge can be gold for targeting content and special offers.
Interested? Start with Crazy Egg, the web’s most well known heat mapping tool. It’s user-friendly and well documented. Do you have tons of heat maps and wonder what’s next? Understand the data, re-consider decisions, and tweak the design for higher conversions – that’s what sets informed design apart from pretty pixels.