A heat map is a tool for studying user behavior on a website. The heat map displays how website visitors interact with its elements. To achieve this, the service that creates the heat map shows user actions using gradients. For example, if the header is covered in a gradient from yellow to red, it means that users interact with it actively. In contrast, the footer is either not covered in a gradient or covered in dark blue, indicating that users do not reach it and hardly use it. There are different types of heat maps, including:
- click maps, which show which elements of the page users click on most frequently;
- movement maps, which show how users move the cursor and where they focus their attention on the page;
- scroll maps, which show how users read the page and where they stop.
Heat maps help website owners better understand their visitors and their difficulties. With their help, it is possible to see the website through the user's eyes and understand how to improve the user experience. This primarily concerns page design, UI/UX, and the functionality of individual buttons. For example, a heat map may show that users often have to click the same element repeatedly, indicating that it does not work correctly the first time.
To improve the website's usability and find the best solution, heat maps can be used in combination with A/B testing. The website owner can change the design of certain page elements or their placement and then see how users react to the changes. However, relying solely on heat maps is not recommended. In addition to them, statistical data on website performance should be collected. By combining this information with data from heat maps, the website owner can provide a better user experience for visitors.