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Using Immersion to Optimize UX

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Retailers are battling each other to capture sales online. Prices matter, but so do services such as rapid shipping and free returns. Companies spend considerable amounts to make user experiences (UX) during shopping exciting and easy. Market researchers typically do this by following clicks: track where to people go, how much time they spend there, and how much they buy.   Nearly every serious online retailer is constantly A/B testing colors, font size, typefaces and anything else that can promote purchases.

More sophisticated researchers augment counting clicks by adding eye-tracking. This technology measures what people are looking at and for how long, operating on the assumption that capturing visual attention is a win.

Maybe not.

People might stay on a page because they are searching for information they cannot find. Or, because they cannot read the orange font on the white background. These visual fixations are not "good" attention, but frustration. Eye tracking cannot tell UX staff if visual attention is good or bad.

A major market research company recently used the Immersion platform to isolate good visual attention from bad by comparing shoppers using two of the largest online retailers' sites. The client used the Immersion platform to overlay second-by-second immersion on visual attention to discover what people loved when shopping online and what frustrated them.

The data showed that immersion peaked when searching for a product, when reading the description of a product they were considering purchasing, and when selecting which item to buy. Reading manufacturer's information was frustrating but consumer reviews produced moderate immersion peaks. Having too many choices was frustrating as was having to remove items from one's shopping cart. Interestingly, reviewing prices was neither frustrating or immersive, while being shown items on sale and "new and interesting finds" were both highly immersive. Consistent with the stereotype, men spent more time frustrated while shopping then did women while the latter enjoyed more peak immersion experiences.

Which of these retail giants has a better online experience? Only the client knows. What you should know is counting clicks is good, capturing visual attention is better, and combining these with Immersion is the best way to ensure customers have an amazing online experience. Optimizing UX is easy with immersion. It is just another way Immersion helps you create raving fans.

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