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UX & analytics: the methodology that puts the user at the heart of your approach

It can't be said often enough: at the heart of any digital device is the user. For brands, knowing their users is crucial in order to best meet their needs, understand their behavior and adapt their sites to remain competitive and successful. To get as close as possible to user knowledge, there's a methodology that brings together the two figureheads of the field:UX and data via analytics.

UX and Analytics: two essential facets of a digital project

UX and web analytics are two essential elements of any digital project. The UX approach enables us to get as close as possible to users' expectations to facilitate adoption and usage. It is based on theoretical knowledge, a set of best practices and interviews with a panel of users. UX is not just a matter of how users feel. Empirical data can be collected, notably through UX Research, which is based on observed behaviors (heat maps, eye tracking, etc.).

Web analytics are pure data. These are all the metrics resulting from visits and user paths.Analysis of this data reveals valuable information about the actual use of a site, the effectiveness of a media campaign or a visitor's conversion rate. It can also highlight inappropriate behaviors such as page flipping and frenetic scrolling, which can be remedied by improving the user experience. UX and analytics are, each in their own field, strategic pillars of a site's effectiveness, relevance and performance.

The power of an alliance: in-depth user knowledge

Thanks to synergies between expertise, we're moving further away from a "magic formula" for solving behavioral problems. From now on, it's all about pragmatism. UX hypotheses are based on a myriad of inputs whose cognitive biases are well known. They represent one side of reality. UX Research, for example, is based on interviewing users. The data collected is inevitably biased: even the best-targeted population is always fragmented, and will only concern those users who are willing to give their time.

This is where analytics come into play, with raw data on actual usage. They bring additional insight to UX through formal evidence. While analytics is responsible for data retrieval and analysis, behavioral solutions come from UX. That's why communication between UX and Web Analysts is essential, to put things into perspective, nuance or confirm biases.

Let's take a concrete example. The Web Analysts' analysis concludes that traffic on the site's pages is very satisfactory, but conversion rates are very low. And conversion is, of course, the key. The analytics findings highlight a problem that is not necessarily a data issue, but could very well be a UX result. Let's go back to our example: the first hypothesis relates to the quality of visitor acquisition, the second to the efficiency of the visitor journey.

This comprehensive thought process provides brands with all the information they need to make the right decision. It demonstrates what previously might have been based on assumptions, convictions or "magical thinking". Because, even if we know our target user, it's much more complex to know our real users. And quantifying their precise journeys and the breaks at each stage makes it possible to prioritize projects with a high impact on conversion. Thanks to this approach, sites and applications are part of a continuous improvement process.

Continuous improvement, the spearhead of an active business pro approach

Statistical analyses are therefore seen as an intermediate deliverable. They provide data on a situation at a given moment in time, and feed into UX reflections to provide the most relevant solutions. It is essential to consider this approach over time, and not as a stopgap measure for a given moment. In today's all-digital age, devices and uses are evolving very rapidly (growing share of mobile browsing, screen size, access to 5G, etc.).

Websites and applications must adhere to the same philosophy: to keep pace with the constant changes in technology, usage and the market, in order to remain competitive and have a long-term vision. This is also why, in terms of analytics, it's wise to rely on a tool from the market, as it enables brands to rely on trusted third parties when it comes to monitoring and enforcing legislation (e.g. RGPD).

So, are you ready to boost your UX analyses with data?

 

Samantha BILODEAU, Director of Customer Knowledge, Wide
Robin THOMAS, Head of Design, Wide

 
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