Pairing Web Analytics with User Experience (UX) Research

web analytics user experience ux researchIn this post I am going to share ways you can ingrain simple user experience (UX) feedback into your web analytics data. Whether you use Adobe, Google Analytics, or other web analytics tracking platforms, all businesses can benefit from learning more about the "why" behind the clicks in addition to all of the "what" data you collect.

Isn't UX used only during web development and for new designs?

Many businesses choose to use UX research only during times of web development. UX research and evaluations are popular for new website designs or a revamped websites, and rightfully so. But UX is often forgotten about until it is time to refresh the website, which could be years later. UX is an essential piece of web development but I argue there are also several overlooked benefits to conducting UX research in tandem with your web analytics. This is accomplished in-house if you have someone with a strong research and interviewing background or by hiring an outside consultant, advisor, UX professional, or market research firm.

Why do I need UX for my web analytics data?

Let's say your average time on a specific page is 15 seconds and has a bounce rate of 80%. Without UX feedback you are unsure if this is good or not. Did your website visitors find what they were looking for and leave resulting in a positive outcome? Or is this bad because users could not find what they were looking for or the page loading time was too long? Meaning your website visitors exited quick because they were frustrated after clicking to this page? Without UX, you may be making incorrect assumptions.

What's the easiest way to get started with UX research?

Outside of an evaluation or audit, the simplest form of UX research that will get you immediate feedback from actual website users is by using telephone interviews or in-person interviews. With UX telephone interviews try to utilize a free screen sharing program (e.g., Join.Me or equivalent) so you as the researcher or client can watch the user browse the website as the interview progresses. In-person interviews are effective but can bias the results because the participant is placed in an artificial setting (focus group room, interviewing room, etc.) and may not behave on the site as they normally would at home or work - known as the Hawthorne Effect. If you bring your users into another setting, make them feel comfortable and at ease with the research process. Building rapport is key.

How do I recruit UX participants for the research?

When looking to recruit individuals to participate in this qualitative research, consider using a post on your social media sites for your business mentioning the details of the study with a contact form to participate. Another options is adding an online registration form on your website asking participants to participate, similar to a website survey.

How do I schedule interviews? Do I need to offer a reward?

Once you have a pool of participants, email them to set up a convenient date and time for the UX interview so they can set aside 20 to 30 minutes for the research. This works better than calling them on the spot to complete as they may rush responses. Prepare an interviewing guide with warm-up questions, specific scenarios you'd like the user to try on the site, and detailed questions to answer your objectives. Many research firms offer a small rewards as a thank you for participation.

How do I compile all of the feedback into the UX report?

Once fieldwork is complete compile your thoughts and notes from the interviews. Recording the interviews while they take place always help so you are not wasting time taking notes during the interview. Think about creating 4 or 5 high level themes from the UX that can drive strategic changes to the site. These findings should be developed into a PowerPoint report to share with your web analytics team which should provide some significant and quality UX feedback to supplement your web analytics.

Drive Research is a user experience market research company in Syracuse, NY. We pair our skills in web analytics with traditional market research and UX to provide you a full perspective of insight and recommended changes. Contact us at [email protected] or by calling 315-303-2040.

User Experience (UX)