UX Analytics

A complete guide to visual UX analytics.

A complete guide to visual UX analytics.
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Fundamentals of UX Testing

Introduction

Building a mobile app is only half the battle. Once that's been accomplished it's time to move on to optimising your app and monitoring the behaviour of your app users. And with over 2.7 billion smartphone users and over 4 million apps worldwide, the competition is bound to be fierce. In order to stay relevant, businesses have to remain sharp and offer a good mobile app experience to their customers. But how can they know if they're on the right track?

Here we are to help you optimise your app user experience by helping you with some of the pressing issues like -

  1. Who are your users?
  2. What is their onboarding experience?
  3. What are they looking for?
  4. How is the new upgrade received?
  5. Why are they not converting?
  6. What can we do to enhance the customer experience?

And more...

Difference between UX Testing and Usability Testing

User experience testing mainly consists of collecting qualitative and quantitative data from the user, whilst the user is subject to all or any aspects of a service or product. Qualitative or quantitative data is collected from the user to improve ux and is done using various methods and usually with the aid of a tool or service.

In simpler terms, user experience is how you feel about every interaction you have with what's in front of you in the moment that you're using the app. It includes measuring users' emotions, gaze movements, preferences, and all key details of behavior during and after use of the product.

Usability is the way of how a product may be used by users to succeed in specified goals. It addresses whether or not you're able to achieve a task or goals with a product or service. Usability testing is aimed to uncover what portion the merchandise (app, website) is easy to use, understandable, is it being able to satisfy the users needs effectively.

Many people confuse UX design with usability and the other way around. However, mobile app usability is a facet of UX that plays into the general relationship between user and the product. UX encompasses all aspects of a user's perception of a mobile app, including usability.

Importance of UX Testing

Data only shows part of the story. If you're only going by what analytics have to show you, then you're essentially guessing. Sure, it can be an educated, highly informed guess -- but you won't know exactly why things are failing on your site until you see real people using it.

A poor mobile app experience led to the below mentioned user reactions:

  • 48% are less likely to use the mobile app
  • 34% switch to a competitor's mobile app
  • 31% tell others about the poor experience
  • 31% less likely to purchase from your company
  • 24% have a negative overall perception of the company

UX testing gives companies unparalleled insights into the otherwise hidden lives of app users. UX analytics usually comes within the sort of a software that integrates into companies' existing mobile apps to capture, store, and analyse the information. This data is vitally important to marketing, sales, and product management teams who use it to form more informed decisions. Without a UX analytics solution, companies are left flying blind. They're unable to tell what users engage with and why they leave. Thereby, making your app more usable.

So analyzing the product's user-flow and overall UX will allow designers to discover many pain points and frustrations---to walk a mile in the users' shoes and uncover opportunities that will improve the product's user experience overall.

UX testing advantages -

  1. Helps uncover UX issues from an early stage
  2. Helps improve end-user satisfaction
  3. Makes your app highly effective and efficient
  4. Helps gather true feedback from your target audience who actually use your app. You do not need to rely on "opinions" from random people
  5. Improves retention and thereby your revenue

UX Testing Checklist

The primary goal of the UX testing is to seek out crucial UX problems before the app is launched. Following things need to be considered to make a testing success:

  • Start early - Start the UX testing during the early stage of design and development
  • Target audience -Select the appropriate users to test the app(Can be experts/non-experts users/50-50 of Experts and Non-Experts users)
  • Testers need to concentrate on  critical  & frequently used functionalities of the system.
  • Educate designers and developers that these testing outcomes are not a sign of failure but a sign of improvement

UX metrics you should be tracking

User experience is very subjective by nature. We can measure its effects on product engagement (e.g. page views, time spent, etc.) and conversions (signups). But how can we directly measure and benchmark UX?

The old paradigm of mobile analytics is geared more towards measuring progress against business goals. While still useful, they're lagging indicators of UX decisions.

Common metrics include:

  • Page Views- Number of pages viewed by a single user.
  • Uptime- The percentage of time the website or application is accessible to users.
  • Latency- The amount of time it takes data to travel from one location to another.
  • Active users- The amount of unique users to interact with the app like daily active users(DAU), weekly active users(WAU), monthly active users(MAU) etc.
  • Earnings- Revenue generated by the app.

While businesses should still track these metrics, it has to be remembered that they lack context for measuring UX. For example, an average time on an app of 5 minutes might mean users are highly engaged -- or just aren't finding the content they need.

User-centered metrics are hard to come by. Either the parameters are too generic to be useful, or too specific to be applicable across the board.

Session Recordings

What is a session recording/replay?

A session recording or a session replay may be a non-audio recording of a user's journey and interactions on your site. They include user's scrolling, clicks and form interactions and are usually anonymous.It is a process during which every user interaction on your app is recorded and replayed during a video form. Also named as session playback, session recording, and user session replay, it makes an important part of your optimization procedure and helps boost your rates of conversion. Moreover, it supports visualizing what an anonymous user encounters while on your app. Using UserExperior's session recording tool, you'll record user activities, like taps, clicks, scrolls, etc. in real-time.

How do session recordings improve the app user experience?

Session recordings provide every micro-interaction a user makes once he opens the app till he leaves.

  1. Helps you to know and empathize together with your user experience

    Using this tool, you'll put yourself in your visitors' shoes within the most natural and unbiased way. You experience what they go through as they browse your website, and build a more enjoyable and efficient user experience as a result.
  1. Identify the problems, bugs and barriers

    You can concentrate on the places where users grind to a halt, identify the broken elements and other issues. This is often clearly one among the fastest ways to spot user frustration and optimise your design.
  1. Find the explanations for bounce rate

    You can determine the explanations why your user is leaving your app without converting. you'll search for the patterns and see if there's any erratic navigation. See if they encountered any bug or a crash.
  1. Make a data-driven decision

    Having a recording makes it easy to share across teams, watch and helps you to form design decisions and optimizations. A data-driven decision always helps in making better decisions and getting the proper people on board.

What to look for in a session recording

After a couple of recordings, you'll probably begin to identify trends in your visitor behavior and therefore the way they interact and have interaction with apps. Understand users' entire journeys on the web site, including taps, scrolls, and more. Session recording facilitates careful assessment and study of user browsing behavior, discovery of experience breakage, identification of friction areas, which then helps fix what's broken, optimize user experience(UX), leading to improved conversion rates.

You'll notice the following –

  1. The navigation route of the user
  2. How visitors interact---or fail to---with buttons and clickable elements
  3. Unusual activity, for example, wild scrolling or repeated tapping
  4. If it takes too long to finish an action
  5. How visitors move around on the page and where they stop
  6. The problems with page loading(if any) across devices
  7. Broken functionality
  8. Incorrect or broken rendering

Insights from Session replays

  • Once you watch the user session usage, identify where the user was stuck or facing any issue, you are more likely to empathize with the user. So identify the areas of friction and spot the opportunities for change and improvement
  • Identify the areas/pages of distraction and why the users aren't navigating through the present page to the specified page
  • Find out the explanations for rage tapping If the user is tapping or clicking repeatedly on a component when nothing happens, you'll get to check if any element is broken or if your design is confusing people
  • Notice what proportion time it takes to perform a selected action - if you see people scrolling tons through a page/screen and moving their mouse around erratically before committing to an action, you would possibly got to investigate if they have all the knowledge they need to continue
  • Identify the bugs, glitches or issues,if any See if there are any functionality bugs, design issues or layout glitches and make the required changes

Advanced Session Analytics

You can combine the behavior and feedback tools to super-charge your work and obtain more insights.

Session Recordings + Analytics

Traditional mobile app analytic tools offer you many quantitative data insights about traffic and usage patterns. You can certainly make educated guesses about what's happening supported numbers and charts---but you're still missing some crucial context behind them both.

For example: what does one do after your analytics tools reveal that you simply have a page with many traffic but only a few conversions? As a primary step, you'll find an inventory of relevant recordings, review 10-20 of them, and begin observing what people actually do on the page.

Session Recordings + Heatmaps

Session recordings are captured for individual users and show you their actions across multiple pages, while heatmaps assist you in visualizing data from page visitors in aggregate.

When you have an interest during a specific page, heatmaps can give extra clarity to the insights you choose up from a group of recordings. For example, if you notice an equivalent behavior across 5 or 10 recordings, you would possibly be tempted to generalize and think that everyone visiting the page behaves within the same way. A heatmap will easily help you prove or disprove the assumption.

Session Recordings + A/B Testing

These two are closely linked. You can use insights that you simply get from recordings to define test hypotheses, and you'll also watch recordings of A/B test page variations to know what's making a page more successful than the other.

Session Recordings + Feedback

Quantitative (numerical) data is prime to creating data-informed UX decisions, but qualitative (non-numerical) data is similarly crucial.

After you observe interesting and/or unusual behaviors in your session recordings, you'll ask your visitors and customers for direct feedback and learn why they behave the way they are doing (for example, why they're close to abandoning your site). Even a one-question survey can offer you powerful insight and cause business-changing transformation.

Heatmaps

What are mobile app Heatmaps?

UX Analytics provides a very powerful feature called a heatmap. Heatmaps are a graphical representation of where a user or users have clicked, scrolled to, mouse hovered or looked at, on a page.

Heatmaps are mainly useful for their ability to record your activity and display the areas where you tap the most and spend the most time on. By comparing and consolidating user behaviour, heatmaps collect data and give the Product Managers and UX designers an understanding of the users' interactions.

You should always make sure to test your assumptions using heatmaps. This helps you determine whether or not your visitors are flowing down the conversion funnel or are dropping off somewhere in the middle of the journey.

What are the types of mobile app Heatmaps?

Every user's minute interaction with the app can be captured by touch heatmaps. This means that it records all gestures on their respective screens, which can be viewed later. This includes all kinds of gestures like taps, swipes, zoom or trail gestures. There are a variety of heatmaps that help the developer and UX designers understand and analyze user behaviour.

Tap Heatmaps

The Product Managers and UX designers team obtain insights into the basic gestures via tap heatmaps. Using these heatmaps, you can see which elements are getting the most attention and which elements are being ignored. This also helps the UI/UX designers to design in such a way that the user is effortlessly escorted to the right elements and convert.

Rage Tap Heatmaps

The developer team measures the user's frustration with the help of rage tap heatmaps. When a user tries to interact with a non-clickable element or a slow responding element, the user taps it continuously (over 2 taps) and then drops out from the screen. Using such information, the developer team can understand what was failing and remodel the UI to prevent further occurrences.

Long Press Heatmaps

These heatmaps are focussed on identifying the occurrences of long presses on the user's screen. If the action is unexpected or the elements covered under long presses are being ignored, these heatmaps can help in determining the ideal solution to fix it.

Furthermore, each heatmap is analysed in the form of the different gestures performed. This gives your team a clear understanding of the users' action on any particular screen:

  • First Touches: The first impression pertaining to the app's screen is crucial and these gestures help in learning and assessing the first touch of the user.
  • Second Touches: The next set of touches to be recorded, right after a user’s first touch, are labelled under second touch. This shows where the user has intuitively tapped after the first touch.
  • Last Touches: This is an important gesture as it helps in determining why the user has left your app, either at the end or in the middle itself. You can analyse the leaving touch of each screen in the heatmaps.
  • Quit Touches: Quit touches help your developer team in understanding the exact app events that led to users quitting the app. This helps in categorising the different problems faced into crashes, UI issues, etc.
  • Unresponsive Touches: These set of touches help uncover non-responsive areas in the app that users end up interacting with. These unresponsive gestures can be identified in the heatmap and help in determining the cause of unintended attention.

What are the benefits of mobile app Heatmaps?

Heatmaps can provide actionable answers to certain business-critical questions like why there is a decrease in conversion rates or why certain important actionable elements are getting ignored and so on. You can also determine:

  • Identify those elements that are getting the most attention: Using the colour tones of the heatmap will make it easy to find out which element gets the most attention. This helps in modifying the design and putting the most interactive elements in those spaces.
  • Increase conversions: Understanding user interaction with the specific application can help increase conversions. Using analytics and driving users to the most actionable elements will make it easier for users to convert.
  • Identify device-specific user behaviour: User behaviour changes from device to device, ranging from an iPad to a smartphone. Designers find heatmaps to be helpful when tweaking the UI for that particular device so that users do not face any issue with the application.
  • Usability testing: You can leverage heat map data to come up with a hypothesis for a future split test, and you can also run heatmaps on A/B test variations to provide more insights into why certain app versions are or aren't successful.
  • Reaching the intended content or neglecting to see it: Heatmaps can also determine whether the intended content is being ignored by the user or whether the content is getting the required interaction. These elements can be shuffled around so that they acquire the maximum attention.
  • Getting distracted by non-clickable elements: There are instances where users are distracted by non-clickable elements like texts and panels. The UX designers can change the UI using heat maps so that these distracting elements do not hamper users' experience with the app.
  • Funnel Analysis: You can get a detailed analysis of the funnel steps of any user when heatmaps are used in combination with the session replays feature. After creating the funnel, you can identify high drop-out rates on a specific screen and analyze heat maps to find out what's causing users to drop out in the middle of the journey.
  • User Frustration: Helps in identifying if users are frustrated with unresponsive screens or slow responding clicks through rage interactions.
  • User Behavior: Gesture sequencing is useful for the product and UX team to understand if the users are using the app and all of its elements the way it was intended to be used.

Analysing Mobile App Heatmaps

The main purpose of heatmap softwares is to let you generate maps that show user interactions from different points of view. The idea is that you should refer to all of them in order to understand your visitors' behavior.

You will be able to answer questions like, “Do people see what you actually want them to see?”, “Are they clicking on the key page elements”, “What are the important CTAs”, “Are there any distractions?, “Are people misled by non-clickable elements?”, and “Are there any issues and glitches across different devices?”

Here are five key ways to gather UX data through heat maps to test your ideas and identify optimization opportunities.

  1. Locate problem taps
    Quite often, users click on elements (e.g., images or headings) that they expect to be links. Some of these can be classified as a mis-tap, but heat maps can collect data from enough users to ignore such anomalies and show you typical tap patterns through your audience.
  1. Measure how far users scroll
    Not every user who lands on the app navigates down to the bottom of each page, and it is possible that essential content may be missed. Users often view the site from several different devices and apps, and they don't all get to see the same above-the-fold (the portion of the website that is automatically available without scrolling) information.
  1. Locate CTAs with the least and the most clicks
    CTAs (calls-to-action) are prompts for user action--usually buttons or links--which may be programmed primarily to encourage clicks and improve sign-ups or purchases. Tap maps record which CTAs have the most views, something that is commonly overlooked. You can analyze things that prevent users from noticing your key CTA right away, or you can recognise an opportunity to try and place a new CTA in an environment that encourages more user interaction.
  1. Showcase best performing design
    Heat maps help you to show how well your apps actually perform on clients and colleagues devices. Heat maps are very easy to interpret at a glance, and can better showcase your work to non-designers, helping you to get crucial buy-in to update website ideas or highlight popular projects.
  1. Optimize for mobile and desktop
    Responsive web design (pages that conform to different users devices) is a fast and efficient way to deliver content to all of your customers, but you need to note that scrolling on mobile devices will require a lot of changes of what looks like a few lines on the desktop. It is advisable to compare both smartphone and desktop heat maps to see whether significant CTAs are absent from mobile users or to detect any behavioural variations. You may need to develop different mobile and desktop interfaces to ensure good UX across all devices.

Advanced Analytics

Heat maps will definitely help you fix issues or make quick changes. But when you need a more in-depth understanding of how to improve the user experience, you'll get more out of heat maps by combining them with other behavior and feedback tools.

Heat maps + traditional analytics

With traditional analytics like Google Analytics, you'll get plenty of quantitative data points and learn about large-scale traffic and usage patterns---but numbers and charts will not, by themselves, answer questions you might have about what people want from your site, where they get confused, and where their attention goes.

By combining traditional analytics with heat maps, you can start a deeper investigation and find out why some of your metrics occur. Got a page with lots of traffic that doesn't convert? Set up a heat map, go through the heatmaps analysis checklist, and start seeing what's making people stumble.

Heat maps + A/B testing

As a visual tool, heat maps help you make informed, data-based decisions for A/B testing, updating, or (re)designing your website.

Both are so interlinked: you can use heat map data to define a hypothesis for a future split test, and you can also run heat maps on A/B test variations to provide more insight into why page versions are or aren't successful.

The idea is to create different versions of your web pages, ads, landing pages, etc. in order to compare how they perform.

Heat maps + session recordings

While heat maps help you visualize data from page visitors in aggregate, session recordings are created for individual users and show you their actions across multiple pages.

Session recordings are renderings of user browsing sessions, and they help you bring more clarity to some of the insights you pick up from a heat map. Instead of making assumptions about the clicking, tapping, and/or scrolling you see on a heatmap, try viewing some session replays and see how your users actually interact with your site.

Heat maps + on-page feedback

Use heatmaps to find design issues and other glitches and ask your users for feedback to improve the user experience.

User Pain Points

The users across the globe, go and download an app, out of need only. Their set of problem areas is known as the pain-points, which they try to overcome by using your mobile app.

Henceforth an app must serve the main purpose of helping the users to get the solution of their problems.

But not every user gets the right direction to solve their problems through a mobile app, and chuck the app out of their device in no time.

So many apps fail due to the negligence paid to the users' pain points. 

A few user pain points

Application Not Responding(ANR)

An ANR will occur if you are running a process on the UI thread which takes a long time, usually around 5 seconds. During this time the GUI (Graphical User Interface) will lock up which will result in anything the user presses will not be actioned. After the 5 seconds approx has occurred, if the thread still hasn't recovered then an ANR dialogue box is shown informing the user that the application is not responding and will give the user the choice to either wait, in the hope that the app will eventually recover, or to force close the app.

Crash

A crash is when an exception within the app has been thrown which has not been handled. For example, if you try to set the text of an EditText component, but the EditText is null and there is no try catch statement to catch the exception that your app will crash and will be force closed. The user will not see what caused the crash, they will be shown a dialogue telling that the app has force closed unexpectedly and will give them the option to send a bug report.

Rage taps

Rage taps are a simple, universal indicator that the app user experience could be improved.

Rage Clicks/taps are moments when users repeatedly click, click, click---and tap---on a website, mobile app, or any other digital experience because they're frustrated. Rage taps on your app can be a clear signal of a frustrated app user.They are a digital signal of a user's annoyance with your site's UX.

For many product managers, this metric is a game-changer.

Identification of user pain-points

Not every user actually complains when he/she is dissatisfied; most simply churn without saying anything.This lack of feedback leaves you in the dark---pondering high bounce rates and low conversion rates in confusion.

  1. Find out who your target audience First and the foremost you need to understand that every business is different, and so are its customers. Every bit of your mobile app must speak only about your users' needs only and you must identify what the specific set of the audience are eventually looking for from your mobile app and how your mobile app can materialize those needs through the app platform.
  2. Check the existing apps in the market There are many apps available in the market, and some are well-suiting your specific app genre as well. By taking a look at those apps, would help you find out how far the existing solutions are liked or rejected by the users.
    You can check how these app solutions have tried to answer the users' pain-points and how well users are enjoying those features. There are a couple of analytical tools to give you a check on these parameters, but there is one other way to check out and that is through reading the feedback of the users, and understanding the accurate state of mind of your users, while using those apps.
    In accordance with, you can make the required changes in your app concept and help it to come out as a real-time solution provider to your users.
  3. Conduct User Acceptance Testing Your beta testers give you honest feedback about the usability factor of the mobile app, and which features can be molded still to get the desired final outcome. An app journey initiated on these parameters opens a floodgate of opportunities to your business and helps it to get the best out of your mobile app concept.Henceforth, you must not avoid these steps at any given condition and must find out how your app can really help in solving the users' pain-points.
    Read more on how to reproduce and address the app crashes.  

Analysis

Video replay of the session would help you to analyse where the crash and ANR occured. Alternatively you can also get the complete stack traces of the crash and ANR to debug the issue.

When you watch sessions that contain Rage taps, there's a high probability of uncovering an insight on which you can take action---a.k.a. the elusive "actionable insights"---because Rage Clicks happen alongside the frustrating experience. Crash & ANR analytics are provided in one single dashboard indicating the number of users impacted, screens where crash/anr has occurred, the impacted device models and OS versions. This is the better and faster way to debug and troubleshoot app crashes.

Funnel Analysis

Conversion funnel analysis helps you to visualize and understand the actions which a potential user exactly takes in your app. This process is often described as a funnel because, as a marketer, you are guiding the users towards your conversion point.

Analyzing App funnels

Funnels don't just provide you with conversion numbers, they provide you with insight into how your users behave. Your app funnels have the potential to show you much more than just conversion rates when you dig into the data. Further analyzing them will point to potential areas in your app where users are having issues. They can also help you measure the value of your existing marketing campaigns and discover opportunities for new ones.

Number of users and conversion rates -- these two metrics alone help paint the picture from stage to stage and serve as a snapshot of your funnel's health. Tracking these helps you identify the users engaged in the funnel and how successful that funnel is in eventually converting those users. However, they alone can't tell the story of your users, and it's important to dig deeper to add context.

One way to start is by assessing the funnel's performance across specific date ranges to monitor both week-to-week performance and exact dates of marketing campaigns. Always take the time to click into the details of each event, as there is something valuable to learn about optimizing every stage of the funnel. That's where you'll find detailed information around user drop offs, screens viewed within the funnel, and data by different dimensions in a given time period.

A/B Testing

What is A/B Testing ?

Also known as split testing, is a marketing technique that involves comparing two versions of a web page or application to see which performs better. These variations, known as A and B, are presented randomly to users. A portion of them will be directed to the first version, and the rest to the second. A statistical analysis of the results then determines which version, A or B, performed better, according to certain predefined indicators such as conversion rate.

How do we perform A/B testing on mobile apps?

A/B testing is more complex with mobile applications. This is because it is not possible to present two different versions once the application has been downloaded and deployed on a smartphone. Workarounds exist so that you can instantly update your application. You can easily modify your design and directly analyze the impact of this change.

Here is how you can do Create a strong hypotheses- A correctly formulated hypothesis is the first step towards a successful A/B testing program and must respect the following rules:

Hypotheses must:

  • be linked to a clearly discerned problem that has identifiable causes
  • mention a possible solution to the problem
  • indicate the expected result, which is directly linked to the KPI to be measured

A/B test analysis

Two things should be taken care before you analyze the test results. 

  1. Sample size/Site Traffic
  1. Test duration

The statistical tests used to calculate the confidence level (such as the chi-square test) are based on a sample size close to infinity. Should the sample size be low, exercise caution when analyzing the results, even if the test indicates a reliability of more than 95%. With a low sample size, it is possible that leaving the test active for a few more days will greatly modify the results. This is why it is advisable to have a sufficiently sized sample.

And even if the site traffic makes it possible to quickly obtain a sufficiently sized sample, it is recommended that you leave the test active for several days to take into account differences in behavior observed by weekday, or even by time of day. A minimum duration of one week is preferable, ideally two weeks. In some cases, this period can even be longer

Advanced Analytics

An A/B testing solution lets you statistically validate certain hypotheses, but alone, it cannot give you a sophisticated understanding of user behavior.

It's therefore essential to enrich A/B testing with information provided by other means. This will allow you to gain a fuller understanding of your users, and crucially, help you come up with hypotheses to test.

Heatmap and session recordings

Both of these methods offer more visibility on how users interact with elements on a page or between pages.

User Feedback

User feedback through surveys, opinions, ratings and reviews could help you 

Gestalt Principles

What are Gestalt principles?

The Gestalt Principles are a set of laws arising from 1920s' psychology, describing how humans typically see objects by grouping similar elements, recognizing patterns and simplifying complex images. Designers use these to engage users via powerful -yet natural- "tricks" of perspective and best practice design standards. In the simplest terms, gestalt principles are  based on the idea that the human brain will attempt to simplify and organize complex images or designs that consist of many elements, by subconsciously arranging the parts into an organized system that creates a whole, rather than just a series of disparate elements. Our brains are built to see structure and patterns in order for us to better understand the environment that we're living in.

Background

"The whole is other than the sum of the parts." - Kurt Koffka

The Gestalt Principles of grouping ("Gestalt" is German for "unified whole") represent the culmination of the work of early 20th-century German psychologists Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Kohler, who sought to understand how humans typically gain meaningful perceptions from chaotic stimuli around them.

The mind "informs" what the eye sees by making sense of a series of elements as an image, or illusion. Early graphic designers soon began applying the Gestalt Principles in advertising, encapsulating company values within iconic logos. In the century since, designers have deployed Gestalt Principles extensively, crafting designs with well-placed elements that catch the eye as larger, whole images so viewers instantly make positive connections with the organizations represented.

Why is Gestalt Theory important?

Gestalt principles can quickly elevate a design that seems haphazard or like it's fighting for a user's attention to one that offers a seamless, natural interaction that makes your site feel familiar while guiding users toward the action you want them to take.

Laws of Gestalt principles

The laws of Gestalt principles will surely help you in UX UI design, using these laws in your design can improve speed, functionality, and clarity of the system

  1. Similarity 
  2. Continuity
  3. Closure
  4. Proximity
  5. Figure/ground
  6. Symmetry and order

There are also some additional new laws associated with Gestalt principles. Common fate, common region.

Law of Similarity

It's human nature to group like things together. In gestalt, similar elements are visually grouped, regardless of their proximity to each other. They can be grouped by color, shape, or size. Of course, you can make things dissimilar if you want to make them stand out from the crowd. It's why buttons for calls to action are often designed in a different color than the rest of a page---so they stand out and draw the visitor's attention to the desired action.

Law of Continuity

The law of continuity posits that the human eye will follow the smoothest path when viewing lines, regardless of how the lines were actually drawn. This continuation can be a valuable tool when the goal is to guide a visitor's eye in a certain direction. They will follow the simplest path on the page, so make sure the most vital parts they should see fall within that path. Since the eye naturally follows a line, placing items in a series in a line will naturally draw the eye from one item to the next. Horizontal sliders are one such example, as are related product listings on sites like Amazon.

Law of Closure

It's the idea that your brain will fill in the missing parts of a design or image to create a whole.In its simplest form, the principle of closure allows your eye to follow something like a dotted line to its end. 

Closure is quite often seen in logos, like that for the World Wildlife Fund. Large chunks of the outline for the panda are missing, but your brain has no problem filling in the missing sections to see the whole animal.

Another very important example of closure at work in UX and UI design  is when you show a partial image fading off the user's screen in order to show them that there is more to be found if they swipe left or right. Without a partial image, i.e., if only full images are shown, the brain doesn't immediately interpret that there might be more to be seen, and therefore your user is less likely to scroll

Law of proximity

Proximity refers to how close elements are to one another. The strongest proximity relationships are those between overlapping subjects, but just grouping objects into a single area can also have a strong proximity effect.

The opposite is also true, of course. By putting space between elements, you can add separation even when their other characteristics are the same.

In UX design, proximity is most often used in order to get users to group certain things together without the use of things like hard borders. By putting things closer together, with space in between each group, the viewer will immediately pick up on the organization and structure you want them to perceive.

Law of Figure/Ground

This is similar to the closure principle in that it takes advantage of the way the brain processes negative space. You've probably seen examples of this principle floating around in memes on social media, or as part of logos. 

The figure/ground principle can be very handy when designers want to highlight a focal point, particularly when it is active or in use---for example, when a modal window pops up and the rest of the site fades into the background, or when a search bar is clicked on and the contrast is increased between it and the rest of the site.

Law of symmetry/order

The law of symmetry and order is also known as pragnanz, the German word for "good figure." What this principle says is that your brain will perceive ambiguous shapes in as simple a manner as possible. 

Law of common fate

This principle states that people will group together things that point to or are moving in the same direction. In nature, we see this in things like flocks of birds or schools of fish. They are made up of a bunch of individual elements, but because they move seemingly as one, our brains group them together and consider them a single stimulus. This is very useful in UX as animated effects become more prevalent in modern design. Note that elements don't actually have to be moving in order to benefit from this principle, but they do have to give the impression of motion.

Gestalt principles and UX design

The Gestalt principles are an important set of ideas for any UX designer to learn, and their implementation can greatly improve not just the aesthetics of a design, but also its functionality and user-friendliness.

Learning to incorporate the visual perception principles of gestalt into your design work can greatly improve the user experience. Understanding how the human brain works and then exploiting a person's natural tendencies creates a more seamless interaction that makes a user feel comfortable on a website, even if it's their first visit.

More notably in interfaces,users must be able to understand what they see---and find what they want---at a glance. A good example are the principles of proximity and common region, as seen in many landing pages where colors and graphics divide the page into separate regions.For designers, the true trick of Gestalt is never to confuse or delay users, but to guide them to identify their options and identify with organizations/brands rapidly.

Designers must appreciate how the mind strives for ordered pictures and how easily ill-ordered elements frustrate users. Designers must remember that while the Gestalt Principles are universal to the human experience, fine-tuning their application demands attention to color use and other cultural considerations. 

Glossary

A/B testing

Also known as split testing, is a marketing technique that involves comparing two versions of a web page or application to see which performs better. These variations, known as A and B, are presented randomly to users. A portion of them will be directed to the first version, and the rest to the second. A statistical analysis of the results then determines which version, A or B, performed better, according to certain predefined indicators such as conversion rate.

App Onboarding

The onboarding process is a user's first impression of your app, and when designed correctly, increases the likelihood of successful adoption. When a user launches your app for the first time, the onboarding process reinforces your app's value and provides instructions that highlight key benefits and features. A strong onboarding process as per a case study, could increase your retention rate by 50%

When done well, app onboarding helps build strong relationships with users. If done poorly (or ignored altogether), you risk users never understanding how to use your app thus having a negative experience and possibly abandoning your app for good.

Audience Insights

The Audience insights is a UX professional's best friend. It is a comprehensive breakdown of who your user is? It provides details like, demographics, interests, location, which device they use, frequency or recency of the user, time of most engagement, etc. For instance,if a considerable number of users visit the website at night, one could opt for a Dark/Night time variation of the site or app.

Behavior Flow

Behaviour flow is an insight into the actual journey taken by users from the time they land on a website.It helps us identify the pages that bring the highest volume of the traffic. When you compare the behaviour flow with the time spent on site, it helps identify the pages that act as a 'bridge' and those that act as 'conversion hubs'. Thoroughly analyzing the behaviour flow will help a designer in optimizing the user's journey into meaningful, logical and easy steps that encourage them to fill a lead form, make a purchase, or read a blog in its entirety and then read more blogs on your website.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking an action, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase.

Cohort Analysis

Cohort analysis is how you'll identify how well your users are being retained and the primary factors that will drive growth for your app.

Conversion Rate Optimization

'CRO', is the process by which online companies optimize their digital assets in order to drive more visitors towards the desired action.

Design Audit

A Design Audit can help businesses answer compelling questions regarding their business and user satisfaction metrics. If we check the usability and viability of the user experience, it's important first to identify design bottlenecks that are hindering the cause. It can be anything that increases the cognitive load on the user and nudges them to bounce off the platform. What are users looking for, where are they getting stuck and at what point in the design interface do they leave without converting? A Design Audit can help you gather relevant answers to all of your process pain points. In 2020, audits will be the common diagnosis for most legacy businesses to optimize their online presence and increase their ROI.

Event Tracking

"Events are user interactions with content that can be measured independently from a web page or a screen load." --- Google Analytics This comes in very handy when to measure downloads, flash elements, video plays, ad clicks, pop-ups, etc. Depending upon the results, you can then iterate the design and test again.

Gestalt

It is a German word that refers to  "whole", "pattern", or "form". Gestalt theory has been founded in the early 20th century by German psychologist Max Wertheimer. Gestalt psychology is a school of thought which proposes that the whole of an object is more than its individual parts. That is, we cannot find meaning from breaking things down into parts; we need to appreciate the whole. When elements are assembled together, they turn into parts of a whole. Thus, in perceiving objects which have many elements, we tend to apply certain methods and arrange the parts into a structured system, and our minds tend to create a global whole to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions.

Goal Conversion Rate

Goal Conversion Rate is an insight that you must keep a track of, as it indicates whether user's are performing the tasks or actions that you want them to. Some examples of goals are: a thank you page,confirmation of the order page.When you define and configure your goals properly, Analytics will provide critical insights such as how many conversions took place, what is the conversion rate, etc. This provides crucial information about how well your website is performing and gives you cues about what UX changes you could make to improve the conversions.

Combine Goal conversion data with Funnels, a path that you expect traffic to take, to get deeper insights into how users reached that goal. When steps are specified, Analytics can track where users enter from or exit in their journey towards the goal specified by you.

For example, when you gather from the flow that most users tend to exit the website from a specific page, you know there is a problem there that needs to be fixed. This is of great help for a UX professional.

KPIs (key performance indicators)

KPIs reflect the overall goals of your business- such as revenue growth, retention, or increased user numbers. Metrics are all the measurements that go towards quantifying these higher goals.

Page Views

Pageviews are a great insight into measuring user engagement. Generally, more pageviews would mean that more users are engaging with your website. But that is not always the case. If the pageviews are very high as compared to conversion rates, it could mean that although the user moves from one page to another, they are not able to find the information they need in order to convert. This could mean a confusing layout, multiple features laid out in a haphazard manner or a Call to Action that is not clearly visible to the user.

Session Recording

Live recording your visitors while they navigate your website is a brilliant opportunity that allows your team to better understand their behavior and interactions. Using this tool, you'll put yourself in your visitors' shoes in the most natural and unbiased way.

Rage Taps

Rage Taps are moments when users perform repeated tapping on a mobile app, or any other digital experience because they're frustrated.They happen when an element's response is slow, broken or not responding.

UX metrics

UX Metrics are a set of quantitative data points used to measure, compare, and track the user experience of a website or app over time. They are vitally important for ensuring UX design decisions are made and evaluated using fair evidence rather than opinions.

Final Thoughts

There is no one size fits all set of UX analytics.Every product is built for a different purpose and with different people in mind. The best way to go about pleasing your users is to pay attention to how they interact, measure the key events specific to your product, and critically determine the areas where you can improve.As always, remember to balance the quantitative metrics against qualitative user feedback.

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