Google Analytics and UI/UX Design; a match made in user behaviour heaven
We recently had the pleasure of hosting our first Breakfast with Orange event since February this year! Even though we were spaced out and socially distant like we were sitting our Year 12 exams, it was incredible to be able to physically reconnect with our peers and share knowledge.
This event was presented by the fabulous duo — Jamie (SEO Specialist and PPC Marketer) and Sebastian (Lead UI/UX Designer). While both presenters are from different backgrounds, they used their specialist knowledge to articulate the importance of understanding your audience and user behaviour for decision making.
Digging into the depths of Google Analytics
When you’re making decisions about improving your website, product or service — start from the beginning. Who are you talking to? Who is your end-user? Sounds obvious, but finding and extracting this information can often feel overwhelming.
This is where our good friend Google Analytics comes in. GA data tells us a lot more than just the number of users navigating your site, or which web page is the most popular. It provides a much deeper understanding of who your existing users are, their interests, and the journey they took through your site. Having the ability to access and analyse this data allows you to start forming a picture of who your audience is.
If you’re still getting familiar with Google Analytics, we recommend starting with the Audience tab and checking out Demographics, Location, Interests and Age data.
So, who is your user?
Let’s be honest we have all heard this question before, and perhaps some of you already have a pretty good idea of who your user is. However, Seb raised a really interesting point:
“We will often create a message or a website based on your agenda, wants or needs. Rather, we need to be thinking in the shoes of our customer — How did they get here? What do they want to see? What are they really looking for?”
So, perhaps I should ask you that question again; who is your user? While you may still believe you have a pretty accurate idea, I encourage you to validate your assumptions with the data in analytics.
How do data and UX design work together?
Google Analytics is your ‘What’ and User Experience is your ‘Why’
The first step to this beautiful partnership is seen in creating user Personas. User Personas are fictional characters that are carefully crafted through analysing data and making calculated assumptions. The data you might choose to collect from Google Analytics may include age, interests, country, and device usage — not creepy at all, right…?
“The good thing about personas is you’re not designing for yourself. You’re designing for your audience, informed by data.” — Seb
Seb and Jamie both suggested that throughout the entire design, production, search and marketing projects, you should always circle back to the user and their Persona. You might not get the Persona right the first time — and that’s okay! The good news is that you can evolve your Personas as you gather more data and insight about your users or customers.
Fast forward and you’ve now created a User Persona (Seb and Jamie suggest creating three or four variations), that’s great! But you’re not finished yet. We now move into learning how your users are interacting with your product or site. This is where User Journey Mapping comes into play.
User Journey Mapping can provide you with some interesting information points, such as:
- Understanding your customers’ feelings and emotions
- Pin-pointing exactly when/where customers interact with your business
- Identifying opportunities to engage with your user and solve pain points
User Journey Mapping boils down to understanding your business through a user’s perspective. A user’s journey doesn’t just start when they first visit your site — although it certainly would have made this process so much easier. It goes deeper than that — it’s about the key events and emotions that lead up to that first interaction, how they got there and then moved through your website or buyer journey.
Hot tip: Break down your User Journey Map into 2 parts — ‘lead’ and ‘user’ stages
Behaviour Flow feature in Google Analytics can be a very handy place to start. It allows you to identify high areas of traffic acquisition and common user paths from these sources.
Summary: understanding data is your secret weapon
The breakfast concluded with our agreement on needing to understand your actual user. Ultimately post-click analysis and UX design provide you with opportunities to improve your website, marketing strategy and messaging.
However, the key takeaway (in my opinion) was the need to continually reevaluate your user and their behaviour. Just when you think you have your customers all figured out, with a little data research and a chat with your UX designer, you will see just how much your user may change and develop over time.
“When you’re looking at the date range in Google Analytics, make sure you’re looking at a minimum of 3 months data. If you’ve done big changes to the website or your products it’s a good idea to review the audience info.” — Jamie
I hope this has inspired you to dive head-first into Google Analytics and check out your website’s user behaviour.
Our team is also always keen for a coffee and a chat if you’d like more information on how we can help you and your business.
Originally published at https://www.orangedigital.com.au on September 16, 2020.