The UX Toolbox - True Intent

30 June 2020 - Chris Rourke

At the heart of a good user experience is letting users perform their tasks when they visit your site. Enabling this requires a clear understanding of which tasks visitors want to perform so that you can design the best experience for those. However, many organisations have a limited or skewed view of what participants really want to do.

True intent research provides the clarity you need based on evidence so you know what tasks your users want to perform, how well they can perform these, and much more, so that you can continuously improve your site.

Bridging the insight gap

True intent provides unique insights into the needs and behaviour of real visitors by bridging the gap between analytics and usability testing. From True intent studies you will learn:

  • which customers are visiting your site or app
  • what specific tasks users are coming to your site to perform
  • what journeys they follow when performing their tasks
  • how successfully can they perform their tasks
  • what they will do if they can’t complete these tasks
  • how the tasks and success rates vary across different platforms, regions and time periods

Unlike usability testing, true intent gathers quantitative evidence from actual website visitors performing their chosen tasks, not a small number of representative users in a test environment. We discover each user’s actual task goal, rather than speculating on this based on web analytics or search query logs. Although web analytics shows you what visitors did when interact with your site, it does not help answer some of the most important questions such as why they came, whether they succeeded, and what they thought of the experience.

The process is simple. Site visitors take part via an initial question about why they are visiting. After performing their task they answer a few follow up questions about their success, task difficulty, and the type of user they are.

A clear overview of tasks, success and much more

True Intent research provides both quantitative and qualitative data, giving us a deep understanding of the users’ goals and behaviour which we review to determine the best ways to improve the user experience. We investigate the specific tasks to discover what is preventing successful completion, what they will do instead and more about the users.

Our analysis of the data highlights the most important areas that are impacting the online user experience and we review these journeys on the site to determine the causes and recommend changes needed.

Benchmarking over time

By regularly applying true intent research we spot trends and changes in your customers’ top tasks over time. That helps you to better respond to current events or upcoming customer demands based on real-time data or historical data.

This also helps you direct your UX resources and budget where they are needed most. By knowing which tasks customers find most difficult, you can focus on those areas and proactively improve the user experience. We also apply filters to compare between different devices, time periods or regions.

Integrations for further insight

Integrations with Google Analytics and Hotjar allow us to compare and analyse the paths followed by visitors to understand the reasons why some were unsuccessful. Or we can look closely into user behaviour by reviewing selected screen recordings based on the user type, their task selection, task success or other factors. This, together with qualitative comments, helps us to create solid recommendations, focus on the most important parts of the journey and decide how to investigate further.

If you want to get empirical evidence about why people actually visit your site and to truly understand their experience, a true intent study provides insights that no other method can provide. The direct feedback from your customers helps make the user experience a measurable metric for management so that you can continuously improve the user experience.

To find out more about how true intent research can help you to understand and improve your users’ experience, send us an email- we'd love to help!

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