How to use Analytics to Design Experiences

July 2, 2014

Nowadays, more and more user experience designers are turning to quantitative-data sources to help aid their research and design. The only problem with analytics is that it can become a very distracting, never-ending process unless you are focused on what is meaningful to you and your design process. This blog takes a look at how you can use analytics to help design your experiences for your users.

First lets refresh what user experience (UX) actually means. UX refers to any experience that you have with a website. It is easier to think of it as a metaphor for any experience you have in your life. When you visit a place, the experience doesn't stop when you leave but extends beyond that day and that time. UX professionals are responsible for making sure that users have a great experience on their website. It has to function correct, be visually attractive to users and help them to complete their goal. It is important to keep this in mind when using analytics to help the design process.

Here are three general ways that analytics can help:

  • Behaviour: Analytics can tell you how users navigate through your site.
  • Problems: Highlight problems areas on your website in the user flow;
  • Devices: Analytics can tell you how many users are accessing your site on different devices.

User behaviour

You can use analytics to track how users navigate through your website. You can see where they go after they leave your homepage and establish the top visited pages. You can see if your users are visiting the pages on your website that you expect or if they are taking a really off turn. If your users aren't taking the journey on your website that you would expect, or one page causes users to leave, then you can change the experience so you get your desired outcome.

Solving issues

It is a good idea for UX design teams to work with optimization professionals to decide upon a measurement plan so you know your website is going to meet certain goals. You need to break down the bigger conversions and the smaller actions that help your users to complete the goals on the website. You then need to identify the web-analytics that will help you track your specific goals and conversions. The UX team can then use web metrics to diagnose and fix issues on the site.

Device type

Finally, you can determine whether or not your user is accessing your website on their mobile device or not. Obviously a mobile experience is much different than one on a laptop or desktop computer. More and more people are using their mobile devices and you need to know if your mobile traffic is increasing. The chances are it is. You need to make sure that your user have a great experience on every device and you need to monitor their activity in each space.

Analytics can be used more specifically depending on your individual goals and funnels. Make sure you have clear key performance indicators and conversion goals before you begin using analytics to help design your experience.

Do you use analytics to help with UX? What platform do you find most useful? Google Analytics?

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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