Heat mapping is a popular usability testing tool to identify what users are clicking on and where receives the most user attention. You can use it to identify the parts of a page that attract a lot of clicks, and those that don’t. From this we can then reposition content, resize buttons change navigation labels and make calls to action more prominent.
On occasion heat mapping can show us much more than this however. When undertaking a redesign or an improvement to a landing page it gives us a sense of priority; what is the most prominent element on that page? If it isn’t what was assumed, why? Is the current element not prominent enough?
Recommended heat map tools
Both have similarities with a click-based heat map, move-based heat map and scroll-based heat map. Perhaps Crazy Egg offers a tad more – you can see Paul Olyslager’s article on his experience with Crazy Egg for more information. Ultimately, they both provide the same functionality and
The benefits of heat maps are numerous, but there are also considerations to be had when analysing
- What are your research objectives? Are there are research objectives before starting this? If so, would heat mapping satisfy those objectives? This type of service is one that provides overarching data on a single page only.
- Validation is always required. Heat mapping can be used to validate an assumption or, even better, as a precursor for validation. With this, because the data provided is somewhat vague, we will often need to further validate the “hows” and whys” behind this data; perhaps by using task-based remote user testing or feedback polls.
- Be careful in your analysis! Just because something doesn’t receive attention doesn’t mean that it’s not important to a user, it may mean that it’s just not prominent for the majority of users to notice. The same applies the other way around; just because something receives the most attention may not mean that it’s the most important priority for a user, just the most noticeable.
- Mix click heat maps with move heat maps. With the potential misunderstanding above, comparing the two different types of heat maps could aid further in understanding the users thought process.
An example of a heat map for one of my clients helped indicate the most attention driving elements of their homepage which aided in the ultimate redesign of the site.
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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.