Turning Analytics Findings Into Usability Studies

Analytics data is a great way to identify possible issues occurring on your website, but once you’ve discovered a possible usability issue, it’s important to then validate that finding by conducting a usability test before jumping to design a solution, rather than making an assumption about the root cause of the issue.

From the analytics data alone, usability, testing and analytics together tell a much more accurate story and will enable you to fully understand the issue so you can ensure you would solve the right problem. Remember, analytics data only tells you what behaviors are occurring on your site or app. So in order to find out why users are confused or not taking the actions, you want them to take a qualitative form of user research like a usability study is necessary. So how do we translate an issue found in our analytics data into an activity for a feasibility study?

The key is to tailor your task, to replicate as closely as possible the patterns you’re seeing in your analytics data. For example, if you’re seeing that people are starting a certain interaction flow but fail to finish your usability test, instructions can direct participants to attempt to complete the end goal of that task. So you can observe participants interact with that specific part of the flow.

On the other hand, if the analytics data show that people aren’t even starting that workflow, you should then conduct an open ended study so you can gather a richer set of information around why people are choosing to take or not take certain actions. Leaving our instructions, Open-Ended, and asking people to.

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