Heat Map Analysis: Understand User Behavior And Improve UX in SaaS
Wondering how heat map analysis can influence your product UX? SaaS companies use different types of heatmaps to identify user behavior in the app to spot friction points and, hence, improve UX and conversion elements.
In this guide, we’ll touch upon various heatmap examples and their benefits for SaaS use cases. Read on to uncover product growth insights!
- A heat map is a graphical representation of user activity on your website or application with color-coded values. A heatmap aids in providing visual data on where visitors focus their attention when they visit a page/feature.
- Scroll maps provide visual representations of how far down the page users scroll.
- Feature click maps show the frequency and duration of users’ clicks on various features.
- Hover maps track mouse cursor movements and show how visitors interact with key elements on a particular page.
- Eye-tracking heatmaps track users’ eye movements to understand which elements and parts of a page are most visually attractive.
- Heat maps help companies identify elements that visitors aren’t noticing, track user engagement, and improve customer experience by making changes to website design.
- Heat map analysis is about analyzing heatmap data to understand in-app interactions and identify roadblocks in the user journey.
- Heatmaps also provide the data to investigate the reasons behind user drop-offs and point out areas that lack onboarding.
- Pair product analytics and Google Analytics with heatmaps to collect multiple data points to truly investigate the reasons behind customer behavior.
- Employ heatmap data in your A/B testing to get more context and understand what drives conversions.
- Make heatmap analysis data more meaningful by segmenting users with similar goals and characteristics, and see how they perform in your app to detect patterns in different segments.
- Track dead clicks and unveil friction with heatmap tools.
- Userpilot is best for in-app user performance tracking thanks to its feature tagging and heatmap tools.
- FullStory is known for its Rage Click heatmaps that show how often users are clicking something on the page, but no action is taken. This pinpoints potential user frustration and present bugs.
- Hotjar is best for visualizing customer behavior thanks to view clicks, taps, and scroll maps.
What is a heat map?
A heat map is a graphical representation of user activity on your website or app, where color-coded values are used to compare different elements and identify trends.
Product teams use different types of heat maps to assess in-app user behavior and activities, such as clicks, hovers, etc.
This helps identify areas of friction in the user experience, bugs, or lack of functionality. Heatmaps can also provide actionable insights into which features customers use and how they can be improved.
Different types of heat maps
Several types of heat maps can be used for SaaS products, depending on the data that needs to be analyzed. Below are the most popular ones.
Scroll heatmaps provide a visual representation of how far down the page users scroll.
The use cases of scroll maps include analyzing the effectiveness of web page elements such as CTAs, videos, or banners. In SaaS, it helps determine the proper length of landing pages that describe features and solutions.
With scroll maps, you will know how many visitors scrolled through a certain page but stopped short of the bottom, what percentage scrolls to a certain depth and abandon the page, etc.
Feature click maps
Feature click maps show the frequency and duration of users’ clicks on various features.
This type of heat map helps product teams understand which features are most popular and which need improvement.
In the example below, you can see how often users engage with different features in the app. The warm colors signify high engagement, while cold colors mean low engagement. Userpilot’s heatmap also shows total and unique clicks in a given time period.
Mouse-tracking heat maps or Hover maps
This type of heatmap tracks mouse cursor movements and demonstratively shows how visitors interact with key elements on a particular page.
For SaaS teams, hover maps are of paramount importance since it helps discover the least/most-clicked elements, which is useful for assessing the effectiveness of a page layout and content placement.
Eye-tracking heat maps
Want to understand which parts of web pages are most visually attractive and drive conversions or, vice versa, lead to churn?
Turn to eye-tracking heatmaps to gain insights into the effectiveness of a website layout and user confusion. As a result, you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments for increased engagement and customer satisfaction.
What is the purpose of a heat map?
If summarized, a heat map aids in providing visual data on where visitors focus their attention when they visit a page.
Heat maps allow companies to identify elements that visitors are not noticing, track user engagement, and draw conclusions about website design to make changes and improve customer experience.
Key benefits include:
- Visualize web page or product usage data to spot patterns and trends.
- Track user engagement in-app across the whole customer journey to identify drop-off points and spot areas lacking onboarding.
- See if the users interact with key page elements to adjust marketing messaging and UX and drive conversions.
What is a heat map analysis?
Heat map analysis is the process of analyzing the data collected from heat maps that allows SaaS products to track in-app interactions, identify roadblocks in the user journey caused by poor UX or glitches, and therefore, optimize the product for a better user experience.
Why is heat map data analysis important?
Here, we’ve put together real-life examples of how SaaS companies employ heatmap analysis to identify and address areas for improvement. Let’s learn.
Evaluate customers’ in-app interactions with your product
Color-coded heatmap areas in blue display ignored features/parts of a site.
Based on that, we can draw conclusions that customers simply haven’t experienced the value of that features (i.e., they either don’t know of their existence or can’t figure use cases out). Then, you should guide users to use that feature with tooltips.
To identify which features lack attention, use feature tagging in Userpilot. That helps tag specific features and see how they engage with them within different customer segments.
Investigate the reasons behind user drop-offs
If your users are dropping off, a heatmap tool can help you identify friction points and the reasons behind the churn. Common obstacles that heatmaps unveil:
- Bad product design
- Technical errors
- A lack of onboarding
- A user path differs from the predefined one
As such, if you spot a high drop-off among new users, you can implement a checklist to get users to experience product value and increase conversions.
Improve user experience based on real data
Last but not least, heat map data analysis aids heavily in developing a good UX by uncovering unfinished tasks.
For example, how many users navigate back and forth when performing XYZ tasks or how many users start engaging with a feature but drop off in the middle of the process?
How do you analyze heatmap data?
Here, you’ll look over the four-step process of heat map analysis to make data-driven decisions. Apply the following approaches separately or combine them together, depending on your purpose. Let’s jump into it!
Use product analytics to make heatmap data meaningful
Heatmaps are not always easy to interpret, and sometimes they don’t show the full story of visitor behavior.
So you shouldn’t rely on heatmaps alone if the insights you gained seem dubious and inconclusive. It’s better to turn to product analytics to collect multiple data points to truly investigate the reasons behind customer behavior.
You can start by digging down into areas of the site that are underperforming or not working with Feature & Events analytics. In doing so, you might find trends among users and paint a complete picture of what customer segment experiences an issue.
Employ heat map data in your A/B testing
A/B tests help you quickly identify what drives more conversions, but they lack context.
When experimenting with call-to-action buttons or testing a new feature design, A/B tests tell you that A works better than B on the same page, but it doesn’t explain why.
In turn, a heat map shows user interactions within your app and highlights areas of interest. So heatmaps provide the context that A/B tests lack, making them more effective at identifying user preferences.
You can also employ heatmaps at the beginning of your A/B testing. Meaning you can first identify a lack of engagement with a feature using heatmaps and create a tooltip to pump up feature discovery. A/B tests whether the trick improves feature adoption.
Segment your customers to see how different users behave
To make heat map analysis data more meaningful, you can segment users with similar goals and characteristics and see how they perform in your app. This will help identify patterns and drive further analysis.
Imagine feature click maps show turbulences in the user engagement with feature F. Users click chaotically on the page and scroll up and down, eventually leaving the page.
Once the friction is located, you can dig down and segment customers who have interacted with this feature by multiple criteria to precisely understand what user segment manifests drop-offs and address the issue accordingly.
Track dead clicks and unveil friction
Heatmap analysis allows companies to identify dead clicks or links that are clicked on but don’t lead to any action.
This can be a sign of confusion, dissatisfaction, or simply an indication that the user didn’t find what they were looking for.
The good news, it can be fixed easily since you know what button/link causes the trouble. For instance, to inform users, move the button, add a message, a tour, etc.
Heatmap tools you can use to analyze user behavior
We’ve compiled a list of four web analytics tools with a heatmap feature and outlined the main benefits of each tool. Let’s find a solution for your use case.
Userpilot – Best for in-app user performance tracking
Userpilot is a platform for comprehensive product analytics that include features like heatmaps, feature tagging, and advanced segmentation. The tool also has solutions for creating onboarding flows, modals, tooltips, and more.
What’s unique is that Userpilot also displays the total interactions, unique users, and unique companies count for a segment and time period of your choosing (see the screenshot). This works thanks to feature tagging that you have to set up before heatmaps.
That said, feature tagging monitors all the interactions (user clicks, hovers, etc.) with any UI element in the product so you can understand feature engagement.
Additionally, Userpilot offers features for creating personalized onboarding flows, NPS surveys, building checklists, a resource center, and more. So it’s safe to say that you’re all set for collecting different insights throughout the user journey.
FullStory – Best for identifying website bugs
FullStory provides access to heatmaps that are imperative for a comprehensive user behavior analysis. It’s easy to set up and can be used to track clicks, taps, and movements on a page from mobile devices and laptops.
Its Rage Click heatmap shows how often users are trying to click something on the page, but no action is taken. It is particularly helpful as it pinpoints potential user frustration and present bugs.
Hotjar – Best for visualizing user behavior
Hotjar heatmaps allow you to view your website’s clicks, taps, and scrolling behavior. With its intuitive click heatmaps, overlay feature, and scroll maps, you will get visual representations of how customers navigate your website.
Hotjar also offers Session Recordings which give you an even deeper understanding of customer behavior. With it, you’ll be able to watch recordings of real visitors interacting with your website, so you can make informed decisions to improve user experience on your site or in-app.
Heatmap and in-app engagement analyses combined unveil the whats and whys behind low NPS scores, high churn, or vice versa, a decent engagement. The analysis pinpoints website areas for improvements and successful tactics to scale. It helps UX designers develop the most efficient user path and user-friendly design.
Want to get started with heatmap analysis? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can monitor in-app user performance with feature tagging and heatmaps.