In the simplest terms a “user journey” is the path that a visitor takes through your site.
How Is A Website User Journey Different From A “Visit”?
In analytics, usability and monitoring terms a “user journey” generally refers to the path taken to achieve a specific goal (e.g. making a purchase) or complete a specific purpose (e.g. searching for film showing times), as opposed to random browsing. User journeys are often broken down into steps for more detailed analysis.
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What Is A User Journey Step?
A step is defined differently depending on what is being measured, monitored or analysed, but will typically be either a single page or a process that the user visits or interacts with in the course of the journey.
How Long Does A Journey Last?
Typically a “user journey” is considered to take place within one visit. This can be anything from a matter of seconds upwards depending on what the user comes to your site to do.
How Many Steps Can One User Journey Be?
User journeys can be anything from a simple visit to one page where no direct interaction takes place, to complex multipage visits that include interaction with features provided by many different systems in the backend such as making a purchase, applying for an insurance quote, posting and commenting on user generated content, for example.
Why Do Organisations Monitor User Journeys?
The first stage of monitoring is to better understand how the technical performance of online, web, mobile and app affect user experience and perception, and the impact of technical performance on the bottom line.
Organisations that are ahead of the eCommerce maturity curve use the results of monitoring data as a common language, a single point of truth, that ensures all departments involved in online activity in any way can work closely and effectively together. It informs everything from top level strategic decision making about budgeting, capacity planning and prioritization, through eCommerce and online marketing campaigns, into the hands on day to day IT operations and service delivery aspects of pre-empting, discovering and diagnosing problems.
How Are User Journeys Used In Monitoring?
Monitoring the performance of an end-to-end user journey instead of whether stand alone pages are simply visible, or certain components and features working in isolation, provides the necessary realism you need to understand the experience your users are having on your site. It could be that each page is working fine, but the process for moving between them is not, for example.
Why Is Website User Journey Monitoring Different From Web Analytics?
User Journey Monitoring bridges the gap between web analytics and usability testing, showing the real-time impact of errors and slowdowns on user behaviour and on the bottom line.
The Dynamic user Journey monitor approach gives users necessary context to the results from analytics and user testing. Where web analytics can tell you “what happened” and user testing can show you “how users react”, Dynamic user journey monitoring can provide insight into “why this is happening”, “where this is happening” and “how often it happens”.
You may know from web analytics that you are getting a higher percentage of users than expected leaving partway through the checkout process. You may then go on to try and discover the reasons with usability testing and discover that your customers expect the form pages of the eCommerce checkout process to appear within 2 seconds of clicking submit.
Both of these methods may reveal that users are content for certain areas of the site to perform more slowly than others. For example, they may not mind waiting for a demo video to take longer to download and play, but they get very nervous if their credit card verification is not returned immediately, or make negative assumptions about customer service if the product search is slow.
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