Top UX trends in data: part two

This post is part 2 of 3, based on a talk I gave at UX New Zealand.

Part one and part three of the UX trends in data series are live as well.

These are recurring UX trends that will help you to question assumptions about the websites that you’re working on. Use the insights to serve your users better, and show your organisation what good UX looks like.

5. Marketing can result in pointless UX.

If you choose to use a marketing agency for your digital campaigns, they’re likely to provide you with performance reports showing impressive numbers . But they can neglect to measure real engagement such as purchases, bookings, or contacts. 

One marker of pointless marketing is home page bounces. If someone visits your site and just looks at the home page it’s like they’re walking past your shop front without setting foot in the door – there’s no real engagement. 

If you want to outsource your digital marketing activities, make sure you work closely with your agency and define the goals that will show you’ve had meaningful success. You might need to integrate your data tools to measure the results, but it will be worth it.

This dashboard shows traffic trends, conversions and top pages from each main traffic channel, helping Ko Tātou see the success of each channel:

6. Bounces aren’t always bad.

Senior Leadership teams often want single metrics that will encompass the success of your website. Bounces often come up as clear indicators of bad UX – where people visit one page on your site and leave. 

As explained above, home page bounces aren’t ideal, and bounces on commerce sites show that people haven’t embarked on a purchase journey. However in some cases people can get everything they need from one page of content.

For example, had a page on school holiday dates which received hundreds of thousands of visits a year. This dominated their popular pages report, and despite being a simple user journey was a successful one, judging by the absence of negative on-page feedback. page on school holidays:

Always provide context for your performance measures to tell the full story. Real life is messy and neat little numbers will rarely show the full picture. 

7. Most on-site search functions are rubbish.

We all know that most on-site search functions are rubbish. Many of us just go back to Google to search – this is reflected in Google search data. It’s usually no-one’s fault, it’s just really hard to get search algorithms working well. I wouldn’t advise you muck around with algorithms unless you are a data wizard, as one tweak tends to have a huge and unintended knock-on effect. 

Instead of trying to fix the algorithm, turn your attention to your top searches. Put yourself in the shoes of the user and search for them yourself. Use boosters to get the right result at the top, or alter your content. If you cover the top 50 search terms you’ll cover a lot of searches. 

For example The University of Wellington knows that lots of students search for ‘timetable’. there are two main timetable pages, but instead of presenting two similar and confusing results in search they have one page with the student timetable right at the top:

The ‘timetable’ search has a 2% search exit rate, which means that only 2% of people exit search results without finding a result to click on.

See part one of this series for more UX data trends.

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Part one and part three of the UX trends in data series are live as well.

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