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What website data can teach you about your users

Your website (app, etc.) doesn’t have a user experience, your users do.

That’s why you have to understand your user’s behavior and find out why they do what they do on your site.

There are 3 different ways to better understand your website users’ behavior:

  • Analytics
  • Customer support
  • Usability testing

Combine all 3 of them and you’ll find out how to improve the experiences your users have on your website.

The parts of every User Experience

  • User: a person using your website
  • Website: the navigation, design, technology and content that are your website
  • Goals: both yours and those of your users

Looks pretty simple, but there’s a downside to it.

No matter what kind of tool you use (analytics, customer support, or usability testing) you will never understand all 3 parts by using just one method alone.



Analytics teach you about your website and your users:

Analytics give you lots of information about how people are using your website. But since you don’t know your users’ goals, you don’t know what motivates their behavior. Some might just be browsing, some might research your product, some might be here to buy. You need to talk to your users to find out what their goals are and make sense of all your data.

Customer support teaches you about your users and their goals:

Customer support lets you understand your users’ goals. They will actually talk to you about their goals (problems, questions, etc.). However, you will not be able to see how these people are using your website. Maybe some share their screens, but this support situation doesn’t teach you much about their actual experience. To see more real user experiences you have to do usability tests.

Usability testing teaches you about the experience users have while they’re trying to achieve these goals on your website:

Usability testing bridges the gap between analytics and customer support by letting you control your users’ goals and telling them exactly what they should do on your website.

You can then watch them test the most important goals and hear them think out loud while they’re using your site (buying products, finding information, signing up to your website, etc.).

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