How to Get the Big Picture of Your Site’s User Experience — A Three-Step Approach

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Imagine you’re playing a game of chess. You first need to evaluate the whole board before you can make your next move. The same goes for your website’s user experience. To change a page or launch a test, you need to first understand the ‘Big Picture’ of what’s happening when users interact with your site.

There are many tools that help us get part of the big picture. Unfortunately, most of them are disconnected, leaving a big piece of the puzzle unsolved. What’s missing is a way to bring together the three crucial parts of the user experience: Drivers, Barriers and Hooks. In this post, we’ll explain how to find the Drivers, Barriers and Hooks for your own site and how having this information will generate the biggest impact on your site’s performance. We will use Hotjar, an all-in-one analytics and feedback tool, as an example for acquiring this information.


Drivers tell you what is bringing visitors to your site. What are they looking for? Why do they want it? When you know the answers to these two questions, you’re loaded with some pretty powerful insights. Using Polls and Surveys, such as the ones within Hotjar, you can ask visitors to describe in their own words what they are looking for. You can then use these exact words on your site, allowing visitors to better connect with your content, interface, and experience.

Having this rich context, you can begin prioritizing the right selling points higher on your pages and you may even uncover new and unexpected channels for growth.

An example of a Driver in action:

  • Visitors on an e-commerce site selling headphones mentioned they read about the product on a music forum. This led to the discovery of very targeted advertising on music-related forums.


Barriers show you where and why visitors abandon your site. By identifying specific barriers, you can stop changing button colors and page layouts “just because” and start focusing on your real barriers.

An example of a Barrier in action:

  • A SaaS company discovered that they were losing the majority of their visitors on their checkout page due to lack of trust in the brand. They boosted trust by placing customer reviews and ‘featured in’ logos higher up on the page.

With Heatmaps, Visitor Playback and Funnel Analytics from an all-in-one tool like Hotjar, you can quickly see the most impactful barriers and begin taking action on them.


Hooks explain what persuaded users to act. Why are they buying from you? Are they just buying your product or service or are they actually buying into a new lifestyle? Knowing what motivates them is the fastest way to convert more visitors and can help you understand what will keep them coming back for more.

An example of a Hook in action:

  • Players on a gaming site were mainly interested in fun and social interaction – not just winning money. Adjusting site content to match this expectation had a huge impact on signup rates.

Designers can utilize Polls, Surveys and Real User Testing through Hotjar to ask these exact questions and reveal top opportunities for improvement and growth.

Piecing it All Together

Piecing it All Together

Knowing the three most important factors that boost website conversions and having the tools that give you this rich context will allow you to focus on the most pressing aspects of your site’s user experience. Even better — gathering all this information on one simple platform means less time making changes in the dark and more time adding real business value. What do you think your site’s biggest Drivers, Barriers and Hooks will be?

Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine