Making Science
Guillermo Alcocer
Guillermo Alcocer
User Experience Designer

How to do UX design driven by DATA

Monday July 9th, 2018

Today the consumption of digital products is growing exponentially, requiring companies to meet user demands is a priority task. This is one of the big reasons why design processes are changing; Design is no longer understood as a discipline subject to mere aesthetic criteria, since the functional and experience principles prevail over it.

The first steps when designing a digital product begin with deepening the knowledge and understanding of our users, to finally empathize with the user and anticipate their needs and motivations.

How do we measure the behavior of users?

There are two kinds of data that we can use:

  • The quantitative data, which are obtained by a deductive method and are characterized by being objective and numerical in nature. In practice, it is based on quantifying attitudes, opinions and behaviors.
  • On the other hand, the qualitative data come from inductive techniques, and their nature is subjective and descriptive. It consists of understanding the reasons and motivations of the users from their particular interactions with the website.

Almost all the analysis tools (Google Analytics, Webtrends, Clicktale, etc.) provide quantitative data: where does your traffic come from? What did they visit? What information is relevant? In what process did they fall? ? Are they new or repeat users? What is the conversion rate?

Much more complicated is obtaining information from the qualitative data that will give us information on how and why something happens.

To obtain a qualified analysis, we will have to study both types of data and relate them in order to interpret them and thus obtain the broadest possible perspective.

A very specific example, for a specific need, is the use of Card sorting, which will help us to validate the understanding of the terminology used in the navigation of a product; these data are usually represented in “similarity matrices” or in “dendrograms” they show how the users tested relate content.

Regarding the quantitative data part, we can look at the traffic of a page, the bounce rate, the route that a user follows to find the information or what type of information a user or another seeks to detect content problems of the page.

When structuring the content of a page, it is necessary to analyze which is the most relevant information for the users and which are the interaction data of the users with the elements. This interaction data provides  help to understand the movement of these users by a page (scroll maps, hover maps and click maps)

Another of the most used methods for analyzing the structure of a web are the so-called “eye-tracking” though this technique is currently being replaced by AI tools; these tools generate hypotheses of vision patterns that users follow when entering a web. Observing this data we can decide where and how to place each element according to the desired objective.

Designing from data strengthens innovative thinking, allows us to take the leap to the next level from solid pillars that backup our design decision making.

There is no single model or methodology since each starting point is different and that leads us to use different techniques and resources depending on the particular nature of the website.All this is a small part of the ways in which we use the data when designing to achieve an increase in empathy with the user.

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