UX Designers Tool Kit: Crazy Egg

March 28, 2019 - Posted By: CreateApe

There are many tools in a UX designer’s tool kit, and Crazy Egg is one of our favorites. Crazy Egg is a website that allows designers to track various types of data on their designs. Two of their most prominent features are their heat mapping and A.B. testing tool. Today, we’re discussing why it’s important to use these critical insights in UX design. 

Mapping Designs is Essential

There are various types of maps that UX designers use to strengthen their designs. Scroll maps, for example, show where the user is scrolling and where they tend to stop. Confetti maps show which areas of the site are getting the most clicks and which are not. Heat mapping shows where users have clicked the most on a website, what pages they’re visiting, and what designs they’re responding to. This data is also broken down by where the traffic is coming from and browsers used. Whether we’re using heat mapping, confetti mapping, or scroll mapping, these insights help us interpret how users are behaving and allow us to design accordingly. 

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An example of heat mapping. Where the saturation increases, the level of user engagement is high.
Data Reveals Crucial Insights 

In a world that’s saturated with data, it’s important to understand the crucial insights and how to know which numbers to pay attention to. Understanding data from the mapping is one thing, it doesn’t take an analyst to understand that where the most saturation is on a heat map is where the user is visiting most frequently, but it does take technical and creative skills to implement data into a design that converts.

“Crazy egg provides additional levels of data for the savvy UX designer. Breaking down traffic through heat and confetti maps allow the designer to ascertain real data regarding user activity,” comments our CEO Alessandro Fard.

 

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Increased Certainty

The maps on Crazy Egg give us more certainty. Because we do projects from a variety of different verticals, there’s no certainty that one business user will respond like others. This gives the design a far stronger chance of survival. Think about it like genetics. If we keep tracking the things that are working and making improvements to the designs’ DNA, it’s survival of the fittest. This gives our designs a competitive edge and gains traction with customers. When you stumble upon insights that make a huge difference in how responsive your design is, we clutch them tight and never want to let them go.

The great thing about mapping is that it offers insights that allow designers to make changes that aren’t a shot in the dark. There are no longer ambiguous insights and it doesn’t feel like playing Russian Roulette with your designs.

Gone are the days of trial and error to see what actually works. We no longer need to conduct dozens of tests to see what’s working and what’s the most impactful. Don’t get us wrong, testing designs is essential and one of the most important aspects of UX, but it’s no longer just based on luck. We see this with A.B. testing.

A.B Testing

Crazy Egg is one of our go-to user research tools. We use it with most strategic redesigns and pivots. Not only does if offer heat mapping to see where we need to make changes as designers, but we get to test the capability and impact of our designs with A.B. testing.

A.B. testing is when you test designs to see which one the user responds to the most. This could be small changes like testing the responsiveness of the color of a button, or more complicated designs like an entirely different landing page.

We see this a lot with how personalized websites are becoming. There are now various landing pages that are designed to be used on different types of people or personas. A.B. testing allows the designer to see which landing pages are the most impactful for a certain demographic. 

Alessandro comments, “Using the crazy egg A.B. testing feature, you can observe the impacts of testing variations to a page such as button placement, color, wording, etc. The crazy egg tool is also fairly simple and powerful and has been built to not overwhelm users.”

A.B. testing can clue us into small changes that translate into bigger metrics. For example, one thing we constantly see are people clicking on the feature images when they aren’t clickable elements. People were clicking them anyway and it gave us a tip as to what users found valuable on the page. These small insights allow us to change things like copywriting and placement that ultimately results in boosting conversion rates.

The Tool Kit

After all, UX is a blend of art and science. It takes a skilled designer to know how to implement both aspects of UX in a way that is meaningful and responsive. Thanks to Crazy Egg, we can continue to deliver products to our clients that are supported by data and show clear results. The simplicity of their product combined with the immensely impactful insights Crazy Egg offers is essential for any UX designers tool kit. 

 

Are There Benefits of Being a Google Partner for a UX/UI Designer?

October 4, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

SEO. It’s another one of those acronyms and buzzwords people in the tech space love to throw out. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the reason why certain keywords show up first when using search engines.

SEO can be vital for organic growth

Studies will show if you’re not on the first page of a search engine, it doesn’t matter where you are. In fact, if you’re running a small business or an entrepreneur, you’ve probably received a phone call from companies claiming to be Google and promising your company top placement on the first page. Chances are, they’re probably not Google. As much as we’d love to believe those in charge of ranking and indexing at Google have our personal cell phones, that’s not the case.

The Google SEO Game

This is important because in my opinion, if you want to play the Google indexing and ranking game, you probably want to look in to PPC campaigns. PPC stands for pay per click and is usually the single specialty of an agency. If you’re going to pay Google, actually pay Google and pay for the clicks. That way you know every dollar you spend is going towards a click that could be a future client. Essentially, you’re paying for eyeballs on your content. The cost per click might be pretty high, but is probably a wiser choice than paying an arbitrary company who claims to have the “secret sauce” to changing the SEO game.

WTF Is A Google Partner?

I’ve also noticed the new “Google Partner” badge on some company websites. First off, if I’m a UX/UI designer what does being a Google Partner have to do with anything? Google partner has to do with search, PPC, and SEO. If you’re an agency and you’re a Google partner… good for you I guess. If all you focus on is SEO and PPC it makes some sense, but you’re essentially paying a ton of money to have a fancy badge on your website.

As a UX/UI vendor, putting that you’re a Google partner is nonsensical. It holds no bearing on your design chops, user testing procedures, or any other capabilities in your wheelhouse. Even if you’re doing development all the way to design, being a “Google Partner” still doesn’t have any benefit.

What to Actually Invest In:

When creating a website, there’s still basic semantic SEO, meta tags, and keywords. Then there’s actually implementing campaigns around high ranking metrics, organic SEO, or a PPC campaign. I would argue if you are looking to do a PPC campaign, you should go to an agency where PPC is all they do day in and day out. If they offer UX/UI, development, social media, branding, SEO, and PPC, they may be able to do it really well, but typically in my experience it’s better to go with people who specialize. Do you want somebody who does a little bit of everything kinda okay, or do you want somebody who does one thing extremely well?

If you’re looking for great UX/UI, go to a great UX/UI agency. If you’re looking for a PPC campaign, go to an agency where that’s all they’re known for. Although there are some benefits for being a Google Partner if you’re in the space of PPC or SEO, it really is a badge that validates how much money you put into Google. SEO results don’t happen overnight and neither does Google indexing.

And remember, no company has a magic bullet. They cannot guarantee specific metrics overnight. Do your research and let an expert team guide you towards achieving your goals.

Difference between UX/UI Designer & Developer

August 8, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

There are many things in the tech space that can get taken for granted. Like a general understanding of common terms. In the UX/UI design space, we throw around a lot of terms we expect people to know. Whether it be CTA, above the fold, or even UX design itself, we assume that people know what these terms we’ve been throwing around mean. But boy is the tech space a bubble!

 

 

While some of this may be hitting some of you over the head, some of you may be sitting there like…

 

 

So it’s time to get #learnt. You might be asking yourself “What is a UX Designer?” “What do they do?”  “What’s a Developer?” and to conclude, “WTF even is the difference?” Well pull up a chair.

 

 

The distinction between a UX/UI designer and a developer is huge.

To make it simple, a UX designer creates the layout and general aesthetic of an application, and a developer makes these things work.

UX design is the infrastructure, layout, and placement of content and copy for a specific composition.

A good example of that is wireframing. Wireframing, one of the most utilized tools in a UX designers toolbelt, is a rough sketch or layout of what the application will look like before adding the details.

Whether wire framing is done on a whiteboard or an application like Sketch, UX/UI designers work closely with stakeholders to translate their ideas into a visual with an intelligent layout and design. At this point in the process, a rough sketch of what the application will look like exists but it’s not fully flushed out, resembling a coloring book before a 12 pack of Crayola.

The UX/UI design process is similar to building a home.

To build a home you’re going to need an architect, someone who will plan the general layout and composition of your space. Somebody that hopefully creates an environment for maximum enjoyment of what you want out of your home. That’s the UX designers job.

The builder, the one who actually brings the home to life, putting in finishing details such as window finishes, painting, and the function of appliances would fall under the UI designers job.

A UI designer will take what a UX designer has produced, color it in, and implement the style guide and branding of the application. These are all things a developer who is coding the front end (what the site looks like) of the application will want to know so that they can do their part.

Find yourself a proper villain:

More often than not a UX designer will also specialize in UI and have a little bit of front end experience just from encounters with other developers. This way when the designer hands the project off to the developer it’s neatly packaged and the developer doesn’t have to dig around to understand the needs and wants. Which in the end, is better for someone who’s paying the developer because costs will be lower and everything will run smoothly.

 

So what does a web developer do?

Once the handoff happens from the designer to the developer, the developer makes the application come to life. Good development starts in the planning phases, even beginning when the designers wireframe. Doing this ensures an understanding of how the application should respond and look like. Now developer will know what the site is, what the flow will be and be prepared for any challenges that may arise.

When it comes to web development, you can have developers that specialize in certain aspects, or full stack developers.

Meaning, they do everything from front end development, what you actually see in your browser, to back-end development, what the application is built on like WordPress and Magento.

Once the UI elements are made from the design the developers should start thinking about the backend.

What database should they use?

What do they need to use?

All those different questions, and planning it out from the design phase helps in the long run. You’ll have less technical debt, code that’s maintainable, and getting to the finished product will be much easier.

The relationship between the UX/UI designer and developer is integral to the success of the project. Although very different roles, the two have to work closely together so small details aren’t over looked. If you give a developer instructions to create a website without a design, you’ll most likely end up with a website that looks like it was made in the early 90s and vice versa. Like most specialities, it’s safe to say the job of a developer and a UX/UI designer adheres to the age old motto: #stayinyolane.

Are you a business owner or entrepreneur that needs help deciding on which application is  best for your business? Let us help get you #JungleReady. Let our CreateApe expert team be your jungle guide. We will help you traverse the wilds as we take your project to new heights.