Data-driven design offers insight into consumer behavior
Design is more than just aesthetics and creativity. It’s also about creating a solution that addresses a specific need through a deliberate and intentional process. This is where data-driven design comes into play.
Data-driven design involves using data and analytics to guide the design process – instead of intuition or personal preferences.
This approach provides designers with insights into user behavior, engagement, and conversion rates – visualizing what the customer likes and dislikes – giving them the ability to optimize the design for better outcomes.
By incorporating data into the design process, designers can make informed decisions that result in a more effective and user-friendly design. This can help to improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and drive that all-important business growth.
In this article, we’re diving into using data and analytics to improve design outcomes, alongside best practices to keep in mind to do so effectively.
The key metrics to consider when designing with data
Using data can be a powerful tool for real-time feedback from the desired audience. But what metrics do you look at?
Here are some of the most informative and crucial pieces to observe and how best to use them:
On a website, app, or platform.
This data shows how the customer interacts with ‘the thing’ and can often show surprising results. For example, you may notice that customers are clicking on a rectangular box on your website that leads them nowhere.
This data can be found using heat mapping software and gives you a clue into why that bounce rate might be higher than you’d like. Frustration zones, like buttons that aren’t buttons, can lead to people leaving your website before they’ve completed a desired outcome – like purchasing – which is not good for your bottom line.
Designers can resolve this pain point by redesigning the faux button so that it no longer looks clickable, removing the temptation and subsequent annoyance.
Such as click-through rates and bounce rates.
Bounce rates (the percentage of visitors that leave after viewing just one page) and click-through rates (the percentage of visitors that ‘click through’ to another page) offer considerable insight into whether or not the design of a website, app, or platform is doing its job.
They show you how engaging the page is, which can directly inform design decisions.
Ultimately, these figures come down to the UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) of a site – both areas that can be drastically improved with design.
Design Force tip:
To decrease your bounce rate, design interactive elements that encourage the visitor to spend more time on the page, like video or animation. At the very least, produce a user flow and copy that’s cohesive, clear, and intuitive so that visitors know which page to go to next and why.
Such as the percentage of users who complete a desired action.
Whether it be sales, sign-ups, or form entries, conversion rates have a direct impact on your bottom line. If a web page isn’t designed with conversion in mind, figures – and revenue – can drop.
Best practices here include:
- Putting the call to action (CTA) inside a frame, making it as clear as possible that whatever conversion you’re after is the next step to take
- Design everything else on the page to draw the eye to the CTA using visual hierarchy and cues
- Use color theory to make the CTA button enticing to click
Great data-driven design in practice
One of the most known examples of using data to inform public-facing design is the annual Spotify Wrapped campaign. By gathering data and insights from its user’s listening habits, Spotify generates on-brand, beautiful data visualizations using a mobile UX design that captivates consumers. Not only does it look so good that music fans can’t help but share their Wrapped to their social media, but it encourages them to continue using the service so they can do the same year after year.
Gaming giant Nintendo use data analytics to improve their game designs, too. By installing a new graphics chip that uses “deep learning super sampling (DLSS)” and AI technology to dramatically improve render graphics and animation on hand-held devices, they’ve been able to level up their visuals to the delight of gamers worldwide.
In the coffee world, Starbucks uses data to directly improve its in-store customer experience via its app, which has more than 17 million active users. They gather an enormous amount of customer data, which gives them insight into what menu items to add/remove in various locations and what personalized email campaigns to send customers — like enticing ‘come back to us’ messages using their purchase history.
Tools and platforms for implementing data-driven design
If you’re interested in experimenting with data-led design, these data analysis tools and platforms can give you the insight you need:
Google Analytics is a widely used analytics platform that offers valuable insights into user behavior on websites and mobile apps. Use it to understand user flows or identify bottlenecks to optimize the UX.
Hotjar is a powerful tool that offers heatmaps, session recordings, and user feedback features. Use it to visualize user interactions, identify usability issues, and gather qualitative insights.
Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform. Use it to track user actions, conduct A/B testing, and analyze user engagement. It offers detailed event-tracking capabilities to help you understand user behavior.
Google Optimize, a free A/B testing platform, gives you the capability to test variants of web pages against each other. Use it to see how they perform against specific objectives, and see which page design hits the brief best before launching.
Best practices for integrating data into the design
When it comes to integrating data into the design process, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Know what you’re trying to achieve
What are you aiming to optimize? This will help you read the right data and make the right decisions.
- Gather enough data
A day’s worth is not enough to get a true representation of user behavior. The more data you can gather, the better – continue to build upon it.
- Continue to analyze and refine
The data (especially on user behavior) will change over time. In order to stay up-to-date and as optimized as possible, re-analyze and redesign at regular intervals.
Data is here to stay, designers
Data is a hugely beneficial tool for designers, and we don’t see it disappearing anytime soon. It can provide valuable insights into user behavior, which can then be used to design a product or service that’s optimized for their tastes.
If you need some help, we’ve got you. Our data-loving design team here at Design Force can whip up stunning UI and UX designs to earn your customers’ trust and keep them coming back for more.