Question #5: Which Parts of My Website are Frustrating My Users?

Jack Maden  |  June 1, 2017

Jack Maden  |  June 1, 2017


This is the fifth and final post in a series that aims to put your website on trial. In order to truly understand customer behavior, you have to ask questions that acknowledge your users as peoplerather than as mere numbers in a report. This series asks five such questions, and shows you how to answer them by being clever with website heatmaps.

The first article in the series focused on revealing which content is most valuable to your users, while the second looked at how to measure if personalized content actually drives on-page engagement. The third, meanwhile, discussed how to measure if the template for all your product and landing pages is working as best as it could, and the fourth looked at how different devices lead to different scrolling behavior.

This post asks the following of your website: "which parts of my website are frustrating my users?"


If you've been keeping up with this series so far, you'll know how marvelous heatmaps are at visualizing on-page user engagement across a whole range of parameters. (And, if you haven't been keeping up with this series so far -  where on earth have you been? - you can use the links above to catch up now. No excuses). 

However, it’s not just engagement that heatmaps aggregate. Decibel Insight makes it possible to segment by different behavioral patterns – including behaviors that exhibit frustration.

For example, when a user rapidly multiclicks on an element, this is often a sign of frustration, as in the clip below.

A session replay showing a multiclick user behavior 

In the case above, the user is attempting to download some content, but the form has failed to load. This leads to the user furiously multiclicking on the unresponsive form header, venting frustration at being unable to proceed.

In other instances of multiclick, maybe the element looks clickable when it’s not, or it’s a poor-performing product carousel, or users are simply venting some rage on an innocent ‘back’ button.

Whatever it is, create a segment of users who have multiclicked and apply it to, say, a click or hover heatmap on a landing page.


p12 multiclick heatmap boundary.jpg

‘Multiclick’ segment applied to a click heatmap on a landing page, with Boundary Mode

This will give you an instant visual breakdown of the elements that lead to user frustration.

Investigate any quirks further with Boundary Mode, which allows you to dive straight into corresponding session replays directly from heatmaps.

But why stop at multiclicks? Decibel Insight detects a whole host of user behaviors, from ‘bird’s nest’ mouse movements and device rotations to reading and scroll engagement: see which on-page content lead to or influence particular user behaviors by combining this insight with heatmaps.

Understanding how on-page content leads to certain user behaviors informs your ability to create experiences that your users will love – and improve any that they don’t. Spotting general patterns in user behavior usually takes weeks of diligent analysis. By segmenting heatmaps with algorithmically-detected user behaviors, you get that insight instantly.


And so our series on putting your website on trial comes to an end! 'What now?' you wonder.

Well, asking tough, user-centric questions of your website is the first step in garnering a deeper appreciation of customer behavior. It shifts the focus of your website analysis from optimizing reports to actually setting out to understand and improve customer experiences.

In order to really have a go at answering the kinds of questions covered in this series, however, you need modern analytics solutions – solutions that are designed specifically for quantifying real-time customer experience, rather than those that simply report on historical website usage.

Decibel Insight’s Advanced Heatmaps lead the charge when it comes to getting the aggregated view of on-page user behavior – the questions and answers highlighted in this series merely skim the surface of what can be investigated.

And remember: always challenge your website to be the best it can be for your users – even if that means asking uncomfortable questions.

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Jack Maden

Written on June 1, 2017 by:

Jack Maden

Jack is Digital Manager at Decibel, the best digital experience intelligence platform around! He also runs philosophy break.


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