Qualitative And Quantitative Data And User Experience – By Marco Ponce

by Sara Szado on August 14, 2019

User experience optimization is something every website and business model should take in consideration at any level. With digital media, like a website, you have only two types of data you can collect to help you make informed decisions on improving the user experience: quantitative and qualitative.

The quantitative data type is concerned with discovering facts via numbers and analyzed through numerical comparison. This will give you the who, what, and where for your users. The top sources for this are tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Yandex. Things to consider for this data type are behavior, like time on page, pages visited, bounce rate, and behavior flow. This will give you a good starting point as to what user device, browser and landing page to target for your optimization efforts.

The second type of data is qualitative. This data type is concerned with understanding user behavior and collected through observation. For this, you have sources that record user sessions for playback, or capture heatmaps on clicks and scroll length like Fullstory, a relatively new player on the scene.

The qualitative data shows you why people are doing something you intend or might not intend. For example, you may see through a recorded session via a video of that user interacting with your site that they are clicking on something that they think is a button but is not. As mentioned, the new vendor on the block, Fullstory can also go above and beyond to let you see what clicks receive errors in the user’s console to even detect things like bugs, which you can then annotate and send over to your IT department for fixing.

Long gone are the days you have to explain and try to recreate the issue using the same technology as the user reporting it. You can now just send them a short link with the record of that very bug.

Qualitative data can also involve you polling your users or getting them to fill out a survey to get your questions answered more directly. Vendors like Hotjar will allow you to place polling widgets on your website to ask questions to prospects or post- purchase users while actively on the website, to see why they came to your website in the first place.

Tools like Hotjar and SurveyMonkey can then allow you to follow-up with customers or leads with longer form surveys
to get insight as to what they thought of your funnel and see if they would recommend you to friends or family (NPS score), a measurement many ecommerce companies use to get a quick continual pulse of the customer’s user experience.

Ultimately, these are the only two data types that can help you optimize your website’s user experience, and just some
of the vendors that can help you source those data types. User experience optimization is a marketing discipline that
is on the rise and will help make any business excel against their competitors that do not monitor and optimize their user experience.

Marco Ponce is the Head of Optimization at LeadsMarket.com & B2B Marketing Manager. This article appeared in issue 47 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in July 2019. Visit here for the full edition.

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