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Data Driven Design & the Tools to improve UX
Website design based on actual user experience

How many times have you left a website without buying anything or disinterested because the process was too difficult or confusing, there were too many steps to get through, you were asked for irrelevant information or you couldn’t change something with your order etc?  You click your mouse in a few places, go around in circles. Click your mouse a bit harder in some boxes and eventually, leave without buying. It’s a common and growing problem. 

The chances are that you will have lost some users due to one (or more) of the above reasons.  So, imagine if you could design a website that gave the very best user experience – based on actual user experience and not the guesses of the web design team.

Data driven design allows you to do just that!

Data driven design is website design that is grounded in evidence allowing you to tailor the user experience to a specific audience based on hard facts and insights. It is about making informed website design decisions by evaluating data, implementing the findings which, in turn, leads to improved business results.

The most effective high-converting sites put user needs first. However, even the best designers in the world cannot predict what your user’s needs are or what they want to see. Data driven design helps you overcome this by seeing how users interact with your site and providing hard data to guide site design that is useful and useable to your users.  

How?

Data tools, such as Lucky Orange, Hot Jar and Optimizely, allow you to track user mouse movements and view user screen activity on your website, seeing exactly where users are facing difficulties or frustrations on your site and providing heatmaps showing which parts of your site are of most interest to your users.

For example, using screen recordings, it’s possible to watch anonymous users and what they are doing on your website. You may identify a problem that many users are facing, such as struggling to add a product to the cart as they are missing completing a prior step. This may be leading to high cart abandonment. By making a simple change to make the checkout process easier and removing the frustrations that you observed via the screen recordings, you may significantly increase your conversions.

Another example: heatmaps show the parts of your site that users are viewing and clicking the most. This gives a good indication as to the content that users are interested in and potentially what they want more of. Taking a deeper look at the conversion funnel may identify that you are losing users at a particular part of their journey and it may be because your site is lacking the content they are after, so perhaps adding additional content would help to better guide them through your site.

Why is data driven design important?

-          it helps to overcome the fact that no one knows exactly what user’s needs and expectations are

-          it helps move beyond best practice and stops all websites being treated with the same UX approach

-          it identifies and puts the user’s needs first

-          it proves or disproves assumptions of what you think should be done

 

So how can data driven design help you?

Data driven design helps you to:

-          uncover current online user frustrations and improve experiences

-          understand what users care about most and further expand on these

-          discover new things about your site and the users

Bottom line, data driven design should allow you to improve the user experience, producing the highest quality product at the lowest cost and improve website ROI.

In summary, using actual hard data from users on your site will tell you how users are using your site, where they are stopping and faltering and where they are leaving.

“The best-case scenario for data driven design is using quantitative data to identify issues and to benchmark current performance, and then using real-time qualitative user testing to understand why you’re seeing those numbers and how to improve them.” — Ashley Moreno

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Monique Oosterbaan

Author: Monique Oosterbaan
Published: 01/08/2018