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Heatmaps 101 - Movement Heatmaps


Movement heatmaps focus on where users navigate their mouse on your site – it’s a great measure of attention and engagement.

This is insightful because you can gauge whether the key areas of a page receive adequate attention.

Below, you can see that most of the user attention on our site is focused on the video and top links (white areas). This is optimal, but there is also significant activity over the text above the video (red areas). We do not want this to be a distraction from our main call to action on the page, so balancing this movement activity is critical. This is where effective design, layout, typography, and color choice come into play.

Movement Heatmap

In practice, the optimal page layout is dependent on visitors and how they behave. We tell clients to focus on one main goal for each page. Then, in each movement heatmap, make sure that content which supports that goal is located in the “hot” areas. This will improve usability and boost conversions.

We recommend you look at your movement heatmaps and see if they make sense. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Are there “hot” areas over content (buttons, links, text, etc.) that supports the overall page goal?
  • Are there “hot” areas over content (buttons, links, text, etc.) that detracts from the overall page goal?
  • Are there “hot” areas of equivalent size over each form field? If not, does having less activity make sense for some fields (optional comments, etc.)?
  • Are there “hot” areas over content that isn’t well explained/elaborated upon in the content? If so, visitors might be interested in learning more. Next week, we’ll walk through scroll heatmaps. Stay tuned...

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