Now, most of us know that many web analytics pages come with a ‘overlay’ functionality with which you can quickly get a glimpse at where visitors click. I would quickly like to point out a better way to measure and analyze interaction.
In a previous article, I conducted a interview with Neil Patel, founder of KISSmetrics and CrazyEgg. CrazyEgg is a tool that I have been using for some time to measure and analyze interaction on a page, interaction in this case being ‘clicks’. Measuring ‘clicks’, according to CrazyEgg, should be just that, measuring clicks.
Unfortunately, there are two fundamental problems with these functionalities in many of the web analytics packages today. Let me point them out to you:
Armed with CrazyEgg I tried to tackle some insight issues at Thomas Cook Netherlands.
Faceted search is always a tough nut to crack. When you are in a position to define which faceted search items can be included on a specific page, you want to be sure that the options you are offering are relevant to the visitors encountering them.
In the travel industry, where I currently work, there is a huge distinction between visitors who want to book for a holiday in the near future and those who want to book in the VERY near future… the latter is known as ‘Last Mintues’. Thomas Cook offers a wide variety of holidays, the four main being:
The fifth pseudo type of holiday is ‘Last Mintues’ which bascially encompasses all four major holiday types with the differentiator being the fact that the actual holiday will start anywhere within the next 30 days*.* My opinion is that 30 days is not really Last Minute. Personally I adhere a maximum departure date within of 14 days or less
Each of these type of holidays has its own page containing its own version of our faceted search application. Each faceted search application can be adjusted to best fit the type of holiday being offered. My question… are we offering the right options on the right page?
The faceted search is split up into different categories:
In this short example I will only go into the comparison between the Homepage and the Last Minute page. Here were some of my findings based on a CrazyEgg heatmap (and actual click location) report:
Now what can we do with this data? Well, in short, we just found out that for our Last Minute travelers, we are simply offering too many options in the faceted search application. By using the interaction analysis outcome we can find out ways to streamline what we show to a specific type of visitor, in this case, the type that is uninspired and is just looking for the right offer as long as they can leave soon and depart from Amsterdam.
Below is an example of how we could refine* (as Louis Rosenfeld so nicely put it in his Redesign to Refine presentation at UX London, see slide 150) the options in the faceted search. In theory, we could save around 54% in prime Real Estate on the Last Minute page and offer visitors a quicker method to finding the right holiday deal without making enemies within the organization who see any form as change as an attack.* By no means is this an end product, this is just an example for this blog post.
Not convinced yet? Below is a short example based on content on how, by properly designing and placing your content, you can steer your visitors’ attention.
On the homepage of one of the Thomas Cook websites we were display small block internal ads. In the example below, on the left, you can see that the ‘inspirational’ ads were place above the ‘offer’ ads. The difference between the two being that ‘offers’ focused on hard discounts and good deals, while the other focused more on inspiring the visitor with fancy destination information.
It is blatantly clear that visitors want deals, offers, discounts… anything that saves them money. To prove this, we switched around the ad blocks and noticed the clicks moving too. This confirmed for us what the user really wanted… savings!
Still in doubt? Well, then go test CrazyEgg yourself!