Data’s Not the Be-All-And-End-All

July 21, 2015

The world is generating and gathering data at an unfathomable pace – that’s something that can’t be denied. Companies now know exactly how users are engaging with their websites, thanks to various tools and techniques such as A/B testing. But are we focusing too much of our time and attention on data to create great user experiences (UX) rather than looking at (I hate to use this term) “the bigger picture”?

Of course, analytics data is invaluable, and companies shouldn’t stop looking at it to improve their UX. The figures don’t lie, and these insights can help produce higher conversions by reversing negative trends (cart abandonment, for example).

The problem is when we become so swamped in data that we forget to talk to the real people behind the numbers. It’s about finding out what they think – but also why they think it.

It’s hard to get the answer to the question of “Why?” when we’re just looking at figures and not talking to users. Many businesses underestimate the value of investing in real-life human experiences to gain valuable feedback and information, thinking of focus groups, for instance, as an expensive waste of time. Yes, they can be. But when carried out correctly they can be more than worthwhile. It can seem like an expensive investment, but it can really give a company the edge over their competitors.

Talking to real users and getting under their skin certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. As well as sophisticated analytical software, we need to strip it back and use real humans to get real human insight! Has anyone out there seen improved results from using human feedback, as opposed to solely relying on gathered data from analytics?

Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director