Last updated Jul 29 2020

⚡ Improving UX talks

3 ways we used website recordings to find user issues - Pedro Bjorn

In this talk, Pedro Björn from Sportamore explains using session recordings to find user issues.
What Pedro covers:

  • How to use recordings to find irrelevant functionality and content
  • What 'unusual' behavior looks like
  • Why recordings help understand what people do or don't do on a site
  • Finding bugs that slip through the cracks of usability testing

Click below to read the transcript.


Hi, Pedro Björn here, Product Designer at Sportamore, a sports online retailer. And I'm gonna cover three cases in which we used Hotjar recordings to help our site.

And the first case was finding irrelevant functionality and content.

Although we have other data that shows us what users do and do not engage with, recording have helped us identify these smaller interactions that we missed. One example is rubber band scrolling, which is when a user skips over certain content to get to the content below it, and then scrolls back up. And to us, this was super valuable in identifying and kind of solidifying the idea that we did have some structural issues on our pages and that there was some content that needed to be brought up and some content that needed to be brought down.

This can also be used to identify your user scroll rhythm, where you, on a product list page, you see users slow down and speed up depending on what they're looking at. And this can really help identify which kind of display patterns you should use for your product cards, should be at lists or grids or big grids or small grids. And it's super valuable.

Second way, which recording has helped us was in displaying unexpected user behavior.

So another valuable use of recordings is just to aid you when you're explaining certain phenomenon by showing examples. And in our case, we had this case where users were not necessarily buying certain products based on the fact that certain stock sizes were out of stock. And we felt that it was the lack of filtering availability or discoverability.

However, watching recordings, we noticed that users consistently scroll, hovered over and even opened the filters and they knew they were there, but they simply did not use them.

Further research by talking to users, show that users just didn't want to miss out on certain products. So they didn't think about it. And also they often expected their sizes to be in stock, which helped us understand that it wasn't about the filters being discoverable or not. All of that scenario, we can definitely improve, but it was about making sure that the right sizes were in stock at the right times for the right users. And so they was super valuable in that case.

The third case which helped us a lot was just by seeing what users do, don't do and finding other issues.

There's always gonna be the smaller use cases. And the reason I'm kind of being so vague is because that's what recordings are best for, to complement other data and to show examples.

In one particular case, was that we had users interacting with non-interactable elements. These didn't appear in the first click heatmaps or in events. Obviously they didn't have events, they weren't interactable, but in recordings, we saw that they consistently were tapping non-interactive elements.

Another way that it helps us a lot is finding bugs that slip through the cracks. User testing and QA is essential, but you're always gonna miss out these small bugs that appear in certain device types or certain browser combinations, and due to the vastness of recordings, you're gonna cover so much ground that you're always gonna find these smaller things that you would have missed otherwise. And it's super useful in that case.

So, to cover, why should you use recordings or what is their use?

Well, they're fast. I mean, you can get a couple of thousand recordings within minutes. And so once you've released something after testing and iterating, you can just record people using it and get very quick feedback based on their interactions, based on, you know, frustration taps or them using it in ways you didn't expect them to or bugs you didn't anticipate. And that's super valuable.

You're also watching people use your product. These are real people in the field, they are in their context and they're using the product uninterfered. And this means you're gonna see real interactions. You're gonna see interesting behaviors you couldn't have expected.

And of course, it complements data. It's fantastic to use as an example, to display what you're talking about and to get buy-in because of course, people like to see the problem live. However, do take these considerations. The recordings do not replace talking to your users and talking to people. Interview people, interview your users, text with your users, contextual increase. You have to do user research.

Recordings are just an extra tool to complement other data. Also take into account ethics, your principles and your privacy inform users and obfuscates texts, and ensure that you are transparent about this.

Thank you very much and have a good one.

What your dog can teach you about UX - Roger Dooley

In this talk, Roger Dooley talks about UX and customer experience... using his dog as an example.
What Roger covers:

  • How friction changes consumer behavior
  • Why we need to take laziness into account when designing experiences
  • If your customers have an easier choice, they will take the easy path

Click below to read the transcript.


Hi, I'm Roger Dooley, and first I wanna thank the folks at Hotjar, for making this possible. I really enjoy connecting with folks. I wish we could do it in person, but we'll try and simulate the in person environment as well as we can here today.

I wanna tell you about my dog. We've had him for about 10 years. He was a rescue. These days, he's getting kind of older. He doesn't seem very motivated most of the time and his favorite hobby is taking naps, but there is one thing that really gets his attention. And that is food. When there's food involved, he is right there.

So I decided to conduct a little experiment. This is a regular dog food bowl. This is a slow feeder bowl. It's designed to slow down dogs who eat their food too quickly. And this is a treat ball. It makes dogs work for their food because they have to roll it around and shake it and squeeze it to get the food out.

So, I decided to see, how long it would take him to consume a meal in each of these. It took only 29 seconds, about half a minute in the regular bowl. Five times as long, two and a half minutes in the slow feeder bowl. And in the treat ball, it took about 20 times more effort, almost 10 minutes to get all the food out of it.

Now you might think he'd be aggravated by this, but he doesn't really seem to be bothered. In fact, the key takeaway from this is that in every single case, he ate 100% of the food. It didn't matter how hard he had to work for it. He was so motivated by this food that he ate it all every time.

Now, the problem is your customers are not dogs. Friction changes behavior. That's a underlying principle in my recent "FRICTION" book and it changes the behavior of your customers. And it's based on something called the law of least effort. Our Nobel Prize winner in behavioral economics, Daniel Kahneman said that there is a law of least effort that applies to both cognitive and physical effort. And that basically people are pretty lazy. And something in the same vein or we put even more simply, our other Nobel winner, Richard Taylor said, if you want people to do more of something, make it easier.

It seems like very simple thing, but a lot of us don't get that. One group of companies that does not get that, at least some of them are traditional banks. I've got some brand new data from a study just conducted a week or two ago that shows there's different effort involved with different institutions with the FinTech firms, the newer digital firms, typically being way lower in effort than the traditional banks.

Peter Ramsey, a user experience expert from the UK, found that the number of clicks required to set up an account, he actually set up accounts at about a dozen different banks, vary by as much as five times. The one with most clicks was 120 clicks just to set up an account. And similarly, that waiting time to use the account varied tremendously. The fastest institutions only took two or three days before he was able to use the accounts that he set up. The longest one HSBC, a typical old line bank, took 36 working days.

Imagine, spending a month and a half waiting to use a bank account that perhaps you opened because you had a cheque to deposit. That's crazy.

Now, I contrast this with Amazon. Back in 1998, Amazon patented 1-Click ordering. A lot of people didn't think that, that was even possible. Barnes & Noble, their main competitor at the time because Amazon was selling books, implemented a similar process on their website. Amazon sued them. They got locked in a big court battle. Amazon spent millions of dollars to defend their patent and they won and what did they force Barnes & Noble to do? They had to add an extra click.

Now, Amazon was not the only company to see the value of saving even one single click. At the time Steve Jobs, was launching Apple's new music store, iTunes. They didn't try and fight the patent. They didn't try and work and get around it technically, instead, they paid Amazon a million dollars so they could use it too.

I decided to see what would happen if my pup was presented with all three choices at once. In other words, he could decide which one to do first. So I divided the food up and I bet you know, what's gonna happen. Sure enough, he goes for the easiest one first. And after that, he goes over to the next easiest one, checks for any more easy stuff and then finally, carries the most difficult one off to work on in the other room. Even dogs prefer easy. We know how high his motivation was, but even he chose the easiest path first.

So remember, friction changes behavior. If your customers have an easier choice, that is the path they will take.

Thanks, I hope you enjoyed this.