A heatmap is a visual representation of user behaviour that utilizes colour-coding to represent the different intensity of actions. Heatmaps are frequently used to validate or make sense of conversion rate optimization efforts.
There are different types of heatmaps one can use:
1) Hover maps
Hover maps indicate where a user hovered over with their mouse or trackpad. The premise of hover maps is that a user hovering over a certain part of a website indicates interest. However, it should be noted that the fact that a user hovering over an area doesn't necessarily mean that they are paying to that area. They could be hovering over that area but reading somewhere else on the website. The results of hover map studies have cast doubts on whether heatmaps are estimators of user behaviour. A study by Dr. Anne Aula suggests that there is little correlation between mouse movement and eyetracking. Only 6% people showed vertical correlation between mouse movement and eyetracking, whereas the horizontal correlation between was observed in 19% of the participants.
2) Click maps
Click maps display a heat map consisting of aggregated click data. The warmer (red) the more clicks there are, the colder (blue) the less clicks. Click maps can be useful for tracking whether the user has familiarized themselves with your navigation, expected flow and so on.
3) Scroll maps
Scroll maps show where users tend to drop off on your pages. They can be especially useful when creating long-form content on blogs, documentation for developers and a FAQ for users in general. By examining a scroll map, a product marketer or designer can decide the most vital information before the user drops off.
4) Attention maps
An attention map is a heat map that shows you which areas of the page are viewed the most by the user’s browser, with full consideration of the horizontal and vertical scrolling activity.
They show which areas of the page have been viewed the most, taking into account how far users scroll and how long they spend on the page.
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