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Conversion Rate Optimisation Using UX Methodology


Here at twentysix, our data team that deals with Conversion Optimisation, UX and Analytics share similar approaches and ideas about the experience of a user on a website. We collaborate to share tools and methods which in turn create a holistic approach to usability and optimisation for our clients. Our CRO process heavily utilizes analytics data: we assess user journeys, usability and design. Oftentimes, analytics data is used alongside UX analysis to find out more about the user’s behavior when the progress through a client’s website and how their experience can be improved.

Below we explore some tools and methods that we use:

EyeQuant

We use EyeQuant in our initial page analysis. EyeQuant uses an algorithm to predict how a user will view the first section of a page within the first 3 seconds of landing on it.

conversion-optimisation-eyequant

Image taken from Eyequant.com, showing the points of focus the user will see within the first three seconds of landing on the page

Heatmap & Clickmap Analysis

Heatmap and clickmaps run alongside our A/B tests. The heatmaps show areas of focus on the page and clickmaps provide more information with regards to where the users is clicking on the site. We use them to determine how users are using the site, if the focus on the page is where we want it to be and if not, we consider how we can improve this to help increase click-throughs to desired destinations.

conversion-optimisation-vwo-heatmap

Image taken from vwo.com. Image shows the consolidated number of clicks for a selected area on the page 

Heuristics Evaluation

We carry out in-depth analysis which includes a Heuristics Evaluation. This involves reviewing common page templates, tasks, functionality, conversion points and elements using a number of requirements which define a high standard of web usability and assists in identifying the severity of areas which need improving.

 

conversion-optimisation-heuristics

Example of the Heuristics Evaluation criteria, severity and score

On Colour Contrast and Legibility

Colour is one of many signals we use during optimisation work, taking into consideration the visual weighting on a particular page – if the content is visible and legible against a background with regards to contrast, lightness or darkness, the size of the element, density and complexity of the design, how different elements are perceived when next to each other.

On Text: Clarity of headlines and content

Often for page optimization exercises, we may improve content such as headlines or introductory text. This may include making the value proposition clearer and surfacing benefits which are often buried under layers of paragraphs or further down the page.

The following points from Jakob Nielsen (http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/) suggest that pages should use ‘scannable text’ to help users scan and capture important information quickly and easily:

  • Highlight keywords
  • Use meaningful subheadings
  • Use bulleted lists
  • Focus on one idea per paragraph
  • Use inverted pyramid style – starting with conclusion
  • Use half the word count (or less) than conventional writing

When the user lands on the page they should be provided with enough relevant and motivating information presented in a clear manner that will encourage them to progress to the next steps. For example, listing benefits in a bulleted format is one of many techniques we use:

conversion-optimisation-benefits

 Maximizing Hit Area: Fitts Law

Fitts’ Law is a mathematical model used in design to illustrate the time it takes to reach, find or click an element (usually a button or image or link). It takes into consideration the position, distance and time to move the mouse to a specific target as well as the size of the element in question. When applied in usability-centred design, this means that a very small object will become significantly easier to click when given an increased size around the area for it to click on, thus maximising hit-area.

Additionally, through heatmap analysis we have found a common issue where many users try to click on elements that do not link to another page, or look like they were meant to be clickable. To avoid any frustration from the user trying to select a specific link with a small target area we increased the click target area such as in the example below:

conversionoptimisation-bigtarget

Image taken from http://www.webresourcesdepot.com/bigger-clickable-areas-with-bigtargetjs/
Examples of click areas – In the first example only a small section in the content is clickable such as a ‘Read More’ link or a CTA button below the content. In the second image everything in the pod, including the title, image and text are all clickable and link through to the relevant page.

 

Form Label Alignment

We saw a significant increase in the number of conversions for one of our tests when we include basic UX recommendations such as the one explored below. Top-aligning form labels allows information to be read vertically, enabling the users gaze to flow naturally down the page and reducing cognitive load.

form-label-alignment

 

Diagram taken from http://www.thatwebguyblog.com/post/15-steps-towards-better-form-usability. This shows how the users gaze should flow naturally down the page when completing forms as opposed to the  stressful left to right version

Using Google Analytics for Additional UX Insight

Google Analytics is used to find further information on where users start their journeys, where they go to and where they go next. Are there any areas where users are dropping off the site for no apparent reason? Are users not completing their transactions as they should be?

It could be that there is something missing on the page that make the user unable to complete a specific task which causes them to go back to the previous page, or even drop off the site. Internal links, drop off points, distractions, goal destination, time on page, if the page is aimed at the relevant target audience and if has been designed in a way that makes it usable for that audience and so on should be taken into consideration.

 

Importance of Event Tracking

Set up events not just to measure conversions but also to detect usability issues. For example, you can implement event tracking to see if users are having difficulty progressing through form fields, before the form is submitted. Insight derived from this, coupled with other useful analytics metrics and additional tools such as session recordings, we could surmise that the form may need to be simplified, perhaps too much information has to be filled or there is not enough clarity in the messaging. It could mean that the user does not have the required information available and has to locate it, which could lead to the creation of a new option to allow the user to provide this information at a later stage to avoid losing any potential conversions.

 

Using keyword data in design

Google Analytics also provides keyword information for what users are searching for to arrive on the websitesite and also within site searches. This information can be used to improve usability and navigation for example e.g. using common search terms in the relevant categories to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for with minimal effort or producing accurate, relevant search results or ideas for smart search options to reduce drop offs from performing a search task.

Conclusion

Overall, our team benefit from using tools like Analytics, test results data plus crossover insights from UX workshops, surveys and methods. This allows us to see the wider picture for a particular campaign, testing strategy or web build: true end-to-end user experience and performance optimization.

 

Want to find out more about what CRO can do for your business? Contact us here.

 

Sarah Maudsley is the Conversion & Insights Analyst in the twentysix Conversion Optimisation team. She helps our e-commerce clients achieve business goals using data analysis, multivariate and A/B testing.

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