Heat map analysis is not rocket science, and it’s very easy to pick up insights just by looking through a few heat map examples. But the best way to analyze any heat map (click map, scroll map, move map) is to go through the specific UX questions listed in this chapter about how people are interacting with your
There are at least 5 questions you can answer through heat map analysis, and we grouped them into this handy checklist:
To understand if people are actually seeing important content elements or sections on your page, take a look at a scroll map—i.e., the heat map that shows you how far down the page people scroll.
Start by reviewing the position of the average fold, which is the portion of the page people see on their screen without scrolling as soon as they land on your site:
Knowing where the average fold lies helps you confirm whether people are accessing all the most important information on landing (note: the fold line is automatically calculated and displayed for desktop and mobile devices when you use a Hotjar scroll map). For example, you might have very persuasive content that sits a little below the fold, which means people will only see it if you’ve managed to capture their attention enough that they are willing to scroll down.
Continue the analysis by reviewing the entire scroll map and looking at the percentage of visitors who make it (or don’t) to specific page points; this data can be particularly useful on longer pages, such as a landing page, with a lot of information you want people to see.
Also, look out for sharp changes in color: they indicate that a significant percentage of people stopped scrolling—they might be thinking they have reached the end of the page and can’t figure out, from context, that there is more content below.
Using scroll map information, you will have enough data to determine whether key information is getting ignored by the majority of your users and needs moving to a more visible place.
Your website exists so people can fulfill goals such as find information, sign up for a service, or buy a product. When reviewing a click map, look out for the main calls-to-action (CTAs), buttons, and links that allow users to take those actions: are these elements being clicked—or, in the case of a mobile heat map, tapped? How much interaction are they receiving? Are people ignoring something you’d rather they focused on?
Use this insight to either make quick-win design changes or justify the need for more in-depth user research. If and when you end up changing the page, referring back to the click map will help you compare behaviors and understand if your new design is successful.
In the example above, it seems like somebody tapped on one of the testimonial logos, probably expecting some interaction to take place. Keep this scenario in mind as you review your click maps and look for non-clickable elements like images, titles, or graphical shapes that show evidence of click and tap activity.
If you see this behavior, you might need to make a few visual changes to differentiate your clickable and non-clickable elements, or add links where previously there were none.
In the process of analyzing heatmaps, you might find that they raise additional questions—for example, if you discover that people move their mouse around the page a lot but don’t click on anything, you will naturally want to find out why.
We got you: learn to super-charge your heat map insights by combining them with behavior and feedback tools that help you get one step closer to the ‘why’ behind your users’ actions.