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Analytics for UX Designers: Best Practices & Tools

October 26, 2020 By: Alex Torres

What is analytics for UX designers? What is data driven design?

With the help of analytics tools such as Google Analytics, UX designers develop a deeper understanding of how their users interact with websites, native mobile apps, and other digital products. Like data scientists and software developers, UX designers depend on analytics tools to collect and examine important user data so that they can build products that customers love. 

Some analytics tools also help UX designers identify their users’ target demographics, including age, geographic location, and interests. Designers lean on this information to create user personas, which represent the needs, backgrounds, characteristics, and behaviors of a certain user demographic. For UX designers, creating personas is super important, as it allows them to create products that truly satisfy customers’ needs. 

No two analytics tools are exactly the same, but most analytics and data-driven design platforms offer tools and services for understanding the user’s journey, such as session replay & recording, heatmaps, conversion rate optimization calculators, user flow maps, end user segmentation, web metrics, and real-time analytics. 

UX designers rely on these various methods to quickly identify costly bugs, reduce customer friction, optimize funnels for maximum conversions, align on priorities, and much more.  

How do UX designers make data-driven design decisions?

UX designers employ a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods throughout every stage of the design process, from start to finish. 

Session replay

Session replay (also known as user recording)  platforms such as Quantum Metric and Contentsquare come with tools that allow UX designers and other stakeholders to watch how users interact with a website or application so that they can get the  full picture of their users’ behavior. Besides learning how users navigate from page to page, UX designers use session replay tools to observe users’ clicks, mouse movements, scrolls, and taps. 

Session replay software also teaches UX designers how to better empathize with their target users, how to guarantee that designs are effective, and how to drive conversions by quickly addressing unexpected hiccups in the user interface. UX designers working for an e-commerce website, for instance, might use session replay tools to identify why potential customers failed to complete a transaction or abandoned their overflowing shopping cart.

Conversion rate optimization calculators

One of the most important goals for UX designers is to ensure that their product’s conversion rate, which is the percentage of users on your app or website that complete a desired action, remains high. Conversion rate optimization occurs both at the macro level (completing a transaction) as well as the micro level (identifying where users click the most on the website). 

Conversion rate optimization tools help UX designers identify and develop intuitive features that lead to desired actions, such as subscribing, registering as a new user, signing up for demos, making a purchase, watching a video, and downloading a case study about a B2B service. 

When a design is misleading or unnecessarily complicated, users are more likely to leave the website or app without completing the desired transaction, leading to a higher bounce rate—and more importantly, a potentially steep and unnecessary loss in revenue. 

Heatmaps

Heatmaps are another popular analytics method that UX designers count on to discern how users spend time on a website or app. Customer journey heatmaps make it possible for UX designers to visualize their users’ rage clicks, incomplete scrolls, and confusing mouse movements. 

If a user is frequently clicking on a static feature, for instance, a click heatmap might prompt a UX design to start building an interactive feature that leads to more conversions, such as crucial links. 

Real-time analytics tools

While session replay tools allow UX designers to watch recorded sessions of how users interact with a website or app from start to finish, real-time analytics assist designers with spotting problem areas immediately and swiftly proposing a solution. 

Web analytics tools

Most UX designers rely on analytics tools like Google Analytics to keep track of important web metrics, including demographics such as age & gender, page views, bounce rates, and the average time users spend on a certain page. 

Web metrics provide key insights into a website’s macro and micro conversions, making it easier for UX designers to recognize opportunities for optimizing the user journey and increasing the product’s overall conversion rate. If one page is generating a higher volume of traffic than the rest, then a UX designer might decide to add additional features, buttons, or links to that page.  

Designers also use web metrics to determine a website’s most common landing pages, and whether users arrived at the website via direct links, referrals, Google searches, or social media. 

Mobile analytics tools

As more and more companies turn towards mobile-first customer experiences, a new category called product analytics tools has emerged, and mobile analytics is becoming a crucial component of that category. 

Many traditional web analytics tools can’t analyze the mobile application experience, which has led UX designers to take advantage of cross-device mobile analytics platforms, such as Quantum Metric. 

Web analytics platforms like Quantum Metric offer UX designers, developers, and other stakeholders one version of the truthcross-disciplinary teams learn how their users interact across their digital portfolio, including a company’s native apps, websites, and hybrid mobile apps.

User/behavior flow maps

Like session replay, behavior flow maps offer crucial insights into how users navigate through an app or website. User flow diagrams map out the user’s step-by-step journey through the product, allowing UX designers to better empathize with their target audience’s motivations, pain points, and logic.

End user segmentation 

Many websites and apps host a large number of users that come from a wide range of backgrounds, so UX designers often turn to end user segmentation as they start to develop a stronger sense of their user base. End user segmentation enables UX designers to break down their user base into smaller groups based on user behavior, characteristics, interests, age, geographical location, and other demographics, such as occupation. 

Content strategy 

UX designers also collaborate closely with graphic designers, content writers, and content strategists to make sure that the product’s visual design and wording resonate with their target audience and drive conversions. 

Session replay, conversion rate calculators, heatmaps, real-time analytics, and web metrics are all tools that UX designers and other stakeholders employ to locate wording that confuses users or interactive images that fail to drive clicks. 

What data-driven design tools do UX designers use? 

UX designers make data-driven design decisions with the help of web analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, heatmap tools such as CrazyEgg and Hotjar, real-time analytics tools such as Flink, and session replay tools such as Inspectlet and Lookback

However, most of these analytics tools fail to capture the full picture of the design process, meaning that many design teams remain siloed from other stakeholders, including software engineering, marketing, data science, IT/ops, and sales.

This is why more enterprises than ever before are turning to Continuous Product Design (CPD), an innovative approach to building digital products that incorporates business, behavioral, and technical data across all of a company’s digital products (web, native app, and others) into one platform. 

How can enterprise UX designers use Quantum Metric to build better native apps and websites?

With Quantum Metric, the industry leader in CPD, design teams can access analytics, session replays, end user segmentation tools, technical insights, and data visualization, all in one place. This way, UX designers and other stakeholders have access to a single version of truth that is easy to understand, quantified, and based on actual user experience. 

Quantum Metric’s platform provides key information about user engagement, app crashes, API performance, and other important pain points, whether captured on websites, native apps for mobile, or hybrid apps.

UX designers, IT/ops, software engineers, and other stakeholders are able to pair web and native app analytics with Quantum Metric’s high fidelity session replays so that they can better understand each user’s every move. Quantum Metric’s uniquely secure data capture method, device level encryption, ensures that any personal information is encrypted and secured. Sensitive data is encrypted on your customer’s device, so data is always encrypted when it is sent and stored. 

Different UX design disciplinesincluding experience strategists, interaction designer, user and researchers—use Quantum Metric’s platform at various points in the product life cycle, from unearthing hard-to-find bugs to evaluating the performance of a native app’s redesign. 

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Continuous Product Design (CPD) mobile analytics

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