Behavioural user testing tools are invaluable to help us understand what your users are doing. What your users say they will do and what they will do are two completely different things. Unfortunately. Therefore, identifying exactly what they are doing, without spying on them, is invaluable.
This is different, in my eyes, to task-based user testing which is more about setting users defined tasks and instructions for them to follow. Behavioural user testing, instead, gives users the freedom to do what they want thereby demonstrating real user journies. This takes the instruction out of it and therefore instead of loosely defining user journies for a user to follow, you are giving them ultimate freedom.
User testing tools
I use two tools for my behavioural user testing needs:
The user playback tool is very powerful. It’s like a video recording of where the user goes throughout the site. The code is implemented on your site, it’s small and quick don’t worry, and tracks up to 1,000 visitors that come on your site. You can segment your visitors by device, resolution, country and so forth to identify and view those users that come on your site and what they do. The output will be numerous videos (1000 of them) that you can filter through, analyse and glean insight from.
I often advise that just because one user does a specific thing or action, not to generalise and assume that this is how all users do it; each visitor is different. Therefore complimenting this with other analytics is highly recommended.
Generally reviewing 1,000 visitors can be an arduous task. My recommendations for making this a smoother process is to filter your user requirements by:
- Page they entered on (eg. homepage)
- Device resolutions (segment by mobile, tablet and desktop)
- Time spent on site (sometimes it’s not worth reviewing those that last 7 seconds on the site)
After filtering, we have a sub-set of users that go through real-life user journies and are extremely interesting. On occasion, reviewing hundreds of small sampled users we find errors throughout the site – especially cross-browser inadequacies.
Get in touch
If you’d like to learn more about a structured UX approach I’m more than happy to discuss this with you and your requirements. I’m certain with my track record in using this approach I can facilitate in a proven methodology that will get the best out of your team and the most efficient user-centric solution for your client.