How Heat Maps Improve Website Design and UX

Published on March 23rd, 2021

Harsh Vijay
Co-founder, ruttl

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Have you ever found yourself on a website that’s super annoying and clunky to you? No matter how much you tap or click, you’re not able to find what you really want.

It’s not enjoyable, it’s not smooth, it’s not good design. The UI and UX designers have failed to build the website in a way that’s inviting and exciting for users. But there’s a way to fix such websites: heat maps.

What are heat maps?

A heat map is a data visualization of user behaviour on your website. Simply put, it helps you understand how visitors are using your website. Their scrolls, clicks, taps, and movements on your web page are coded by colour. A heat map’s colour scale starts with red for the parts of the web page that receive the most movement and ends with blue for the cooler parts of the page, i.e. minimal activity.

Website mapping data can help you figure out the following:

  • Click maps: where your users are clicking the mouse/tapping on their mobile devices
  • Scroll maps: where your users scroll on a page
  • Move maps: where your users are moving their mouse on the page (different from clicks)

How you can use heatmaps to improve user experience

Heat maps can help you fix problems and optimize your website to succeed in a mobile-first world. When 94% of people say that their first impression of a business comes from their website, it makes sense to ensure you have the best possible website. Your digital presence can increase customer conversion and bring in more leads. Here are some of the ways heat maps can improve your website’s UI and UX:

Build for responsive view

74% of visitors are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly website. Every single day, your visitors find your site across different devices — mobile phones, tablets, desktops, wearables, etc. Your website needs to be optimized for multiple screen sizes and resolutions.

Using a heat map to analyze your responsive website design can show you if users are scrolling past or missing critical CTAs. To help them engage better with your product on mobile devices, use heat maps to place important elements on higher movement sections.

Refine your CTAs

CTAs (Calls to action) are how a business can evaluate how many people are interested in what they’re offering. From sign ups to sales, CTAs encourage users to interact with the product. Well-placed CTAs increase conversion, boost customer retention and drive the business forward.

Heat maps can help you analyze if your CTAs are placed in the most optimal locations. You can also check how the elements around your CTAs complement them to increase clicks. With this visual analysis, you can also test new CTAs in areas with higher than average user engagement.

Check scroll distance

Most visitors will not scroll to the end of your website. So, if critical aspects of your website are below “the fold” — the part of the website that’s visible without scrolling — then users might miss out if they choose not to scroll.

Your website’s heat map will show you where the average user stops scrolling. Comparing your click maps and scroll maps will help you place the important information above the fold, ensuring it reaches more people.

Highlight issues

One of the most useful ways a heat map can help your website is by highlighting issues. If many users click on an image or element expecting it to take them somewhere, a heat map will share common click patterns. You can either add a CTA to that spot or clarify that the CTA is in a different section of the web page to avoid confusion.

Review your website & conduct heat map analysis

89% of consumers will shop with your competitor if your web design is flawed. This means that a poorly designed website not only decreases your sales but pushes customers into the waiting arms of your competitors. If you don’t review your website to ensure any small errors or issues are fixed before going live, then your users will find them for you.

Take the time to review your website and ensure that everything is optimized for your user. Visitors want to experience a beautifully laid-out, attractive website that answers their queries and will enable them to interact with the product. A well-designed website will help you gauge interest and increase sales over time.

At Brucira, our product design agency, we knew the importance of reviewing websites. That’s why we built ruttl to accompany our website heat map analysis. When it comes to fixing broken links or rearranging CTAs, it’s easy to edit live websites with ruttl. This means that designers can check how their website design looks without any coding knowledge.

We also wanted to allow users to add contextual comments while tagging their teammates. This allows them to improve the website design by working with data visualization from the heat map.

Check out ruttl here: https://ruttl.com/

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