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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?
by

Miriam Verburg

on 10 October 2013

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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 did users click on 'first' when they got to our site?
How long did it take them to complete a key task, how many clicks did they use
What caused them to abandon a transaction
Where did they get lost and double back
Where don't they understand the website
What are looking for when we do path exploration?
Find competitors for your web project

For each website:

Record every screen that you land on in your attempt to achieve that goal
Record your experience
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 clicks deep you were into the site 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 clicks with purpose & intention.
The difference between the user experience on different sites, even when it's the same product or transaction
How to break the experience into it's component parts
I want to buy a nice mug for my brother because he just got a new job and I want him to have it for his office

Find a site that sells funny mugs
Pick the mug
Buy the mug
Get it shipped to his house
Let's look at one together:
Your next assignment
Not surprisingly
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.
Why?
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:
Full transcript