Do you know how your product is doing? Let data help you improve your product’s UX.
This article is part of the Founder’s Guide to UX Research, where we break down methods that will help you and your product team understand your users, improve your product eXperience, and exceed your business goals. See our previous article on Usability Testing and the eXperience Audit for more.
Right now, companies are buzzing about data as the sexy tool to solve their products’ problems. It’s easy to find and capture data, but also all too easy to fall into a rabbit hole where you have too much data and don’t know what to do with it.
“Big data, machine learning, AI, it’s all the rage!”
Hold your horses. There are easier, more accessible ways to make use of data, and we’re going to explore how to use that data to improve your product’s web presence.
Today’s topic: product/website optimization.
Product/website optimization is the practice of tracking metrics from the usage of your product — such as behavioural data — and implementing improvements to your product based on insights gathered from those metrics.
You will need to instrument your product/website to collect metrics.
Instrumentation, while vastly popular for DevOps, is a very powerful UX tool as well. It is a fast and easy way to collect data from a large sample size of users. Our recommendation is to pair quantitative data (via tools like Google Analytics) with qualitative data (via tools like Inspectlet) for the best outcomes.
Alternatively, you can also use tools that do both, like Hotjar or Fullstory.
Because of its ability to collect large amounts of data, instrumentation provides organizations many avenues to analyze and optimize their products. When undergoing product optimization, it’s important to focus on specific goals to help the business; these include evaluating user engagement or tracking metrics such as conversions, acquisition, and retention.
Instrumentation tools in the market provide three methods of collecting data:
Using any number of these methods or a combination of methods will help you understand how users are using your product.
Instrumentation is easy to set up but may require an expert to analyze and synthesize the data. Because of the low initial cost and longevity of the tool, instrumenting your product has great potential for ROI.
Web Analytics (via products like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Pendo) is an effective method for gathering quantitative data on users, ranging from their demographic information and behavior to the devices they use to keywords, click metrics, and time on page.
In short: Who is coming to my site and what are they doing?
Session analysis is an extremely powerful addition to Web Analytics. Web Analytics tells you who is doing what on your site, and Session Analysis tells you how people use your site through session recordings via tools such as Inspectlet and Fullstory. This, in turn, allows you to quickly identify areas of friction to improve on.
Intercept surveys are a well-known method of collecting user feedback and impressions of your site to gauge overall satisfaction and sentiment. Methods such as NPS, CSI, and Leikert scale questions yield recognizable and reliable metrics for comparison. Integration into your site makes this a low cost option to implement.