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Heatmap in UX Design: 7 Best Tools To Improve Your Websites

How to meet the needs of your users with a heatmap in UX design? Learn about the best tools in the market to strengthen your online presence.

13 min read

Have you ever wondered why information is presented in a particular way on websites and mobile applications? Why is it that certain call to action (CTA) buttons are designed in an attractive way, making you want to click? Why do some websites use popups to increase engagement? There are a lot of ways in which UI/UX designers make websites and mobile applications more interactive. There has to be some system behind this apparently overwhelming information design. This is where heatmaps come into play.

UX heatmaps are a way to understand how users interact with a webpage. The heatmaps not only tell where visitors click on a specific page but also how far down they scroll and how much time they spend on the website. It is an excellent method to assess the performance of a website and to see whether the content is meeting its goals.

What is a heatmap (heatmap.js)

The heatmap for a website gives valuable information about the elements that are working and the ones that need to be improved. If, for example, you want the users to click on the “Subscribe to Newsletter” button, but you’re getting any engagement, then you may want to rethink the way you’re presenting this button. This can be done by making the text stand out or using attractive colors and designs. Any UX web design agency creating a new website or improving an existing one makes sure to take the findings of UX heatmaps into consideration.

The process may seem confusing and overwhelming but, thankfully, there are excellent resources available for UI/UX designers. Good UX heatmap tools can help design professionals analyze the interactions of visitors, extract valuable insights, and devise effective strategies for the future.

In this article, you’ll find seven of the best heatmap tools that can be of great help in your future projects. Read along to find what heat map design tools can do for you, your websites, and your business.

Heatmap in UX design

A heatmap serves as an excellent resource for UI/UX professionals. The data gathered from heatmaps gives a clear idea of the content and its presentation in the online environment. The success of any digital design is dependent on the feedback you receive from users. Heatmaps are one the most helpful tools in getting quality feedback. The insights gathered, as a result, can help in improving the overall user experience of websites – both for the desktop and mobile versions.

One of the best aspects of using heatmap for UX design is that it provides natural insights. The users interacting with your website are doing so in a real-world scenario without being part of a controlled or moderated experiment. This adds credibility to the data and is extremely helpful in devising effective strategies.

Keeping an Eye on the Hotspots (Slickplan)

Significance of a heatmap in UI/UX design

The significance of heatmap in UX can never be overstated. Organizations use heatmaps to improve their marketing campaigns and advertising strategies, thus resulting in increased conversion rates. Additionally, heatmaps also make the users a part of the design process, aligning with the principles of design thinking. This then helps the designers in understanding the pain points of users and meeting their needs effectively. Some of the areas where the significance of heatmap in UI design is most prominent are as follows.

CTA buttons

One of the best ways to assess the conversion rate and the efficacy of your online content is to see the number of clicks your CTA buttons are getting. This is something that a heatmap can tell you with ease. Just by looking at an online product heatmap, you can see which CTAs are getting the highest engagement and which ones are not working well.

Navigation

The main navigation and footer are some of the most important features of a webpage. The way you organize your content in the menu can have a big impact on the user experience. The navigation is also impacted by choice of words in the menu, making sure that you’re using the language users are familiar with and it is something that they expect to see on the website. A heatmap in UX can tell you whether your menu is working or not. It can also tell you which items in the navigation are working well and can, therefore, be highlighted in a better way.

Length of the page

The length of a webpage leaves a strong impression on the user experience. The users can get tired and overwhelmed if the page is too long and thus jump off the website in no time. A heatmap can tell you how far down the page the visitors scroll and where do you actually start losing your audience. You can use this knowledge to improve the quality of your website by presenting the information in a concise and attractive way.

Unexpected clicks

Sometimes it happens that the visitors of a website expect a particular element to be clickable. For example, if the color of a certain phrase is different, it can be interpreted as a hyperlink, thus inviting visitors to click on it. If these clicks do not give any result, the users can get frustrated. Heatmaps can identify such spots on a webpage and help you rectify the issues.

Use with other UX tools

Heatmaps alone give you a lot of valuable information. This information, when used with other UX tools, can be of immense help to the overall user experience. When used with Google Analytics, for example, you can get a clear idea about your advertising campaigns and the overall performance of the webpages. Similarly, when used with SEMrush, you can improve the SEO of your content and also give a better experience to the visitors.

Best Heatmap Tools

There are a number of good tools and heatmap apps that designers can benefit from. The question, however, as in the case of any technical service is which tool or software is the best. The answer to this question is not as simple as it may appear. All the tools available in the market have different unique features. The choice of a website heatmap software depends on the nature of the project you’re working on, the purpose of your website, and your target audience.

Some of these tools are free to use with limited functionality, while some others can cost you a lot of money. The resources and budget you have for heatmaps are also important to consider before picking a particular tool or software. Read on to find out the important features of the 7 best heatmap tools.

1. Mouseflow

Cost: Free with limited features with paid plans starting at USD 24 per month

Mouseflow is one of the best heatmap tools available. It is not only easy to use but also gives quality information of user behavior and interaction. One of the best things about Mouseflow is that it is a combination of six different heatmap tools. These include click, scroll, attention, movement, geo, and live. Therefore, with Mouseflow, you can not only see where the users click and how far down they scroll but also get demographic information and a live view of the way users interact with your web content.

Heatmap with Mouseflow (Mouseflow)

Mouseflow also allows you to track user journeys. This means that, with the help of Mouseflow, you can see where the users come from to a specific webpage and where do they go from that webpage. This is, in other words, an extension of a simple heatmap and can be beneficial for UI/UX professionals.

Another useful aspect of Mouseflow is that it can be used for free for a limited number of recording sessions. You can also book a demo to see how the tool actually works. If you’re looking for an advanced heatmap tool, one that can also help you with the analysis, Mouseflow is worth checking out.

2. Crazy Egg

Cost: Plans starting at USD 24 per month

If you want to take your heatmap game a step further by actually devising solutions and implementing them, Crazy Egg is the perfect solution. This UX heatmap tool has all the basic features a designer would need, such as the ability to record clicks and identify which areas on the webpage are getting the best engagement rate.

One of the best features that Crazy Egg offers is that of A/B testing. UI/UX designers conduct A/B tests day in and day out, especially for online content. With Crazy Egg, your work as a designer is reduced, as the tool itself provides you with quality analysis between two different versions of a particular webpage. This can help you identify which alternative is working well and how you can get better engagement and an increased conversion rate.

Crazy Egg for UX Heatmap (Crazy Egg)

There is, however, no free version of the tool except for a 30-day trial period. This means that you can enjoy all the benefits for 30 days but cannot keep using the heatmap tool, even with limited features, for a longer period of time unless you buy the premium version.

3. Contentsquare

Cost: Pricing based on the monthly number of pageviews

Contentsquare is another excellent resource for website heatmaps. The exact name of the service provided by Contentsquare is “Zone-based Heatmaps” and it is true to its name. These heatmaps give you specific analyses about an element – or zone – on the webpage. Contentsquare also gives you the estimated revenue you are generating from certain elements or CTA buttons on a webpage. This information is of great value to the marketing teams as the number provided here can give a good indication of what is working well for business and what needs improvement.

Contentsquare Zone-Based Heatmap Tool (Contentsquare)

Similar to Crazy Egg, Contentsquare also allows you to conduct A/B testing by comparing two versions of the same webpage. Being a UI/UX designer, you can use this information to create the best version of a webpage.

One of the confusing things about Contentsquare is that its pricing varies on the number of page views you get each month. If your website is performing well, you’ll end up paying more. There is, thus, no way to factor this cost into your budget beforehand. This can be a downside for some businesses, especially small organizations, as budgeting is an important part of the strategies adopted for the future.

4. Hotjar

Cost: Free with limited features with paid plans starting at USD 39 per month

Hotjar is one of the most popular heatmap tools in the market. One of the reasons for the success and popularity of this heatmap software is its ease of use. Hotjar is not at all complicated to use. It gives you all the features you want from a heatmap tool. Hotjar enables you to watch recorded sessions of visitors’ interaction with a website. These recordings can be watched at a fast pace and, thus, do not consume a lot of time.

Hotjar Demo Heatmap (Hotjar)

One of the distinguishing features of Hotjar is that it enables live feedback. You can use a widget provided by Hotjar on your website and invite feedback from users. The visitors can simply click on the widget, record their feedback, and let you know what specific feature on the website is causing issues. This is an informal type of UX research where you do not go into in-depth analysis but get quality feedback with minimum effort.

The cost of Hotjar is a little higher than other heatmap tools such as Crazy Egg or Mouseflow. Using Hotjar, however, is a delightful experience in itself. If you’re looking for quality analysis and are not facing serious budget constraints, investing in Hotjar is definitely a smart idea.

5. Lucky Orange

Cost: Free with limited features with paid plans starting at USD 10 per month

Lucky Orange is also an alternative to use for the creation and analysis of heatmaps. The basic features of heatmaps, such as recording sessions, number of clicks, and hotspots on the webpages, are all present in this tool. Additionally, Lucky Orange provides an aesthetically pleasing and comprehensive dashboard that you can use to get an overall picture of your website. This dashboard can help you answer some of the questions such as what is working on the website, where do the users come from, what is the demographic distribution of the visitors, and other essential information.

Lucky Orange Heatmap Tool (Lucky Orange)

If you’re running a website that focuses more on conversions and generating new leads, then Lucky Orange will be of special interest to you and your business. This heatmap tool provides you with a conversion funnel that can delineate user journeys, helping you identify the leads that you can work on. Conversion funnels can be extremely useful in creating new customers and also enable you to retain the existing ones.

If you look at the cost of Lucky Orange, it is also quite low compared to other competitors. It is, therefore, worth mentioning that this tool has the promise of not being a burden on you financially.

6. Zoho PageSense

Cost: Plans starting at USD 16 per month

Zoho PageSense is another low-cost solution for creating website heatmaps. The heatmaps created with Zoho PageSense can give you a good idea of the time users spend on a specific section of the website. This is similar to the Zone-based Heatmaps of Contentsquare, where specific segments of webpages get attention. UI/UX professionals can use these insights to focus on small elements and thus narrow down their approach while proposing changes to the website.

Zoho PageSense Reports (Zoho)

Along with the low monthly cost of Zoho PageSense, one of the most attractive features is the presentation of analytical information. Zoho itself is a combination of numerous solutions and services. The diverse solutions of Zoho can help you even when you’re using a single product offered by the organization. The reports formulated and presented by Zoho PageSense are quite easy to navigate and understand. You can use multiple filters to focus on different segments of the report and even customize the report based on your preferences.

Additionally, like other heatmap tools, this solution also enables you to view the behavior of users using different devices. Using a single tool, therefore, you can see how your website is performing on desktop and mobile devices.

9. Smartlook

Cost: Free with limited features with paid plans starting at USD 39 per month

Heatmaps are also offered by Smartlook – a website behavior and analytics tool. This feature, however, allows only basic functionalities of a heatmap. If you’re already using Smartlook for your website analytics, then exploring their heatmap is an excellent idea.

Smartlook Heatmap (Smatlook)

Smartlook offers three basic types of heatmap: click, move, and scroll. These heatmaps can give you a lot of information about the way users perceive and interact with your web content.

Similar to other heatmap tools, such as Zoho PageSense, this tool also enables you to view activities from different devices. You can see how your website is performing on the desktop version and the mobile version separately. This information can then be used to improve the organization and presentation of the content.

Conclusion

Heatmaps are an excellent tool to improve the online presence of your organization. Whether you’re working on a single-page website, a professional portfolio, or a complicated ecommerce website, heatmaps can always come in handy. There is little effort, and often little money, involved in the creation and analysis of a heatmap. The benefits, however, are immense.

The tools listed in this article can bring great value to your experiences as a UI/UX designer. Irrespective of the level you’re at in your journey as a designer, learning the importance of heatmaps will go a long way. Professional UI/UX designers, particularly individuals working on online information design, are well aware of the value of heatmaps and always take into account the way users interact with webpages.

Make your projects valuable and your websites useful by utilizing the power of heatmaps.