Long gone are the days when design used to rely almost solely on the creativity of designers.
Technologies are sophisticated, subsequently rendering users more demanding. UX design has been blurring the line between art and science. According to Adobe, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if its layout or content is visually unappealing. A similar percentage of website visitors will bounce if images take ages to load.
Enter data science to help you avoid death by bad, unintuitive design.
Eliminate educated guessing
Successfully executed UX design has a strong scientific basis. You must make informed decisions. So before you start designing, it’s essential to go through 6 steps that mimic the scientific method:
- Ask a question
- Do research
- Develop a hypothesis
- Run experiments
- Analyze your findings
- Make an informed decision and implement it
Never throw darts in the dark and make assumptions on what will get website visitors to stay longer and convert. There’s a sea of information for you to dive into and find what you need. The problem, however, isn’t to collect all that vast data on user preferences. It’s to process and analyze it in a systematic manner to provide you with ready-to-use insights.
Unrightfully neglected by UXers, Google Analytics (GA) can make your life easier. This free tool helps you learn valuable information about visitors: what they’re doing and looking for on your website, where they come from, how much time they spend on each page, whether they engage with certain content, or whether mobile visitors behave differently than desktop visitors, among many other things.
How to make the most of Google Analytics:
Optimize your Bounce Rates
Assess which pages have the best and worst bounce rates. Apart from allowing you to access the report for each individual page, GA offers analyzing your landing pages and establishing the sources from which visitors enter your website.
Improve your Average Time on Page metrics
As the name suggests, this report shows you how much time a visitor spends on a particular page engaging with content. A lower average time indicates that visitors don’t react to your content particularly well, especially if that page features a lengthy blog post. This is a sign to optimize it. In certain cases though, a visitor quickly leaving means they easily found the information they were looking for.
Get to the bottom of Device Usage
This is a metric that has become increasingly important over recent years. Bear in mind that mobile traffic is expected to grow 7-fold from 2016 to 2021, according to the Cisco Mobile Forecast! With this report, find out how your visitors access your website. If you notice that your mobile sessions are extremely short, then fix things and take a multi-device friendly approach.
Obtain insight into Demographics
Gender, age, interests, level of education, income, location, and other information are crucial to understand the requirements of your target audience and their preferences when it comes to user experience and satisfaction.
Data Science + UX Design = More Conversions
Based on relevant metrics, you can build a website with UX design capable of capturing visitors’ attention and prompting them to fill the form or make a purchase. By having access to a huge volume of processed data, you’ll be able to pinpoint what exactly to do to make your design appealing and functional.
Fine-tune your layout
A/B testing has long been the most effective way to determine the performance of each element on your web page. However, this hit-and-miss method is time-consuming. Hence, a dynamic website design with adapts based on visitors’ interactions is the way to go. Heat map analysis is another tactic to boost conversions. By monitoring the eye or mouse cursor movement, you can get an idea about what colors, fonts, buttons, or types of content make your visitors tick. Since this can be pretty challenging, check out the works of acclaimed agencies specializing in web design to pick up some tricks of the trade.
Polish your content
As you know, content still reigns supreme. However, it won’t do much if visitors can’t locate a useful piece on their topic of interest. That’s why a search box is a must. This tiny element not only helps your visitors navigate your website easily, but also sheds a light on whether the results people get correspond with what they’re searching for. As a result, you can make your content more valuable and meet their expectations.
Personalize your website
Relevant visitor data is crucial for tailoring your content and giving each visitor a unique and personalized experience. The point is to avoid one-size-fits-all messaging and addressing your target audience in a bland, generic manner. Instead, connect with them on a deeper, more personal level by displaying adaptive CTAs, messages, or visuals. With segmentation, you can target different audience groups with suitable messaging and imagery, and avoid the redundant information they don’t care for.
Analyze your traffic
New leads are the lifeblood of every business. In order to understand how to optimize lead generation process, you need to identify what the most effective methods are and insist on them. Evaluate every acquisition channel and leverage those which bring the most qualified traffic. Spying on your competitors is another way to steal some of their thunder and copycat their successful tactics for your own benefit.
Maximizing Your Data’s Value
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
This quote, mistakenly attributed to Albert Einstein, perfectly sums up the importance of trying a variety of things to create the best UX design. Sometimes a seemingly small and irrelevant change can make all the difference.
A few things to bear in mind when you’re assessing your data:
A/A testing is as equally useful as A/B testing
It’s used to prevent a false positive result which occurs due to an error in data reporting. False positives account for a whopping 80% of all A/B test results. But, if you show two random groups the same landing page or CTA, instead of two different variations, you can ensure the quality of execution as well as of your analysis tool.
Watch out for a novelty effect
Sometimes, the early performance of a redesigned website might show a sharp upward trend. Not because of the improved UX design, but because of the interest in its changed appearance. This quickly wears off, and you’re presented with a more realistic situation.
Beware of Twyman’s law
It can mislead you into believing that an interesting and unusual stat is correct. This glitch can be the result of a certain bias, data errors, or even bad design or test circumstances.
The instrumentation effect is another threat to the validity of your UX design research
This occurs if you change the instrument, observers, or measurement device during the process. So, make sure that your experiment is tested before it goes live. This means that you should use different browsers, devices, and an extra pair of eyes to help you prevent any issues.
In conclusion, data science can be vital to the success of your UX design. It holds the key to your visitors’ behavior and expectations, but you must learn to use it and be aware of its potential pitfalls.