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User Paths: Analysis and Production

How do you: Find out what your competitors are doing?Decide if it is right or wrong? Apply it to your project?

Miriam Verburg

on 1 February 2017

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Transcript of User Paths: Analysis and Production

What is it how to do it?
Path Analysis
By creating a user path analysis
How do we learn about how we surf the web?
Behind the scenes using an analytics tool like Google Analytics
Using screen capture software & click tracking
Using screenshots and notes to create a user flow document
There are a few ways to do this
Screengrab + notes = subjective
Video capture + clicks = objective & distributed
Analytics + visits & bounce rates = data driven
Each method results in a different interpretation of the data
Understanding how to interpret user experience using all three methods helps your and your team explore the many realities of your website.

It can be tempting to get really good at one thing and use that for all your discovery, but then you will get a limited picture of what users are gaining from your website.
There is no 'best' way
What you click on 'first' when you got to the site?
How long did it take you to complete a key task, how many steps it take?
What caused you to abandon a transaction?
Where did you get lost and double back?
Where don't you understand the website?
What are looking for when we do path exploration?
Select a website where the potential transaction is of interest to you.
Choose a transaction:
Record every screen that you land on in your attempt to complete your transaction.
Record your experience with screenshots and notes
Today we're going to look at the most subjective method.
How many info items per page
What information you had to give on each page
Security checkpoints (catchpa, passwords etc..)
If you had to go check your email
If you got lost or confused or needed to click help
How many steps you had to take by the time you had finished your transaction
Where you were when you had achieved your goal,
What the site encouraged you to do after you had achieved your goal
Things to note:
How to understand a users 'interaction' as a series of steps with purpose & intention.
The difference between the user experience on different sites, even when it's the same product or transaction
How to break one experience into it's component parts
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Let's look at one together:
Today's exercise
is to do a path analysis.
To understand what our website is doing right or wrong
To take apart how a competitors website is doing so well
To learn new methods for creating optimum conversion paths.
You can do this to anyone's website. It's great for reverse engineering a competitors design without having access to the code or tracking data

It's a non-techy experiential way of taking apart a transaction path. If you are a person who doesn't 'think geek', it's a great translation. Each screen becomes a page in your document and turns programming into a narrative with pages.
Reasons to love path analysis the old school way:
What you are learning:
Pick a partner
Pick a task
One person drives
Second person takes notes
Discuss each step
Give each step a score between 1 =terrible and 10 = excellent in terms of how likely people are to make it to the next step. (e.g; try to guess how highly that step converts.)

When you have finished your analysis please open the website:


And create an account for yourself.
Both people on the team should make their own account on their own device. Create a project called "user flow" and figure out how to share the project between the two of you.
Full transcript