How Do Heatmaps Work to Improve an App? What You Need to Know

How Do Heatmaps Work to Improve an App? What You Need to Know

03 Sep 2019


Joseph Bridge

Did you know that 90% of app users have admitted that they have stopped using an app due to poor performance?

That makes it crucial to optimise the user experience for your app.

One way to improve the experience based on real analytics is by incorporating heatmaps into your process. 

User heatmaps have the possibility to vastly improve your engagement, so we’re going to get straight to it and explain why you need to start using heatmap tools now.

What Are Heatmaps?

Heatmaps are a visual representation of colours to display the movement of users. They represent the average activity of users on your app so you can see where the main focus points are and what is attracting their attention.

How Do Heatmaps Work?

Our eyes are actually much quicker to comprehend information than our brains, so heatmaps are an effective way of displaying a complex amount of data.

We can’t possibly analyze numbers as quickly as an image so heatmaps do it for us. They aggregate all of the data from our app users and compile it into a colourful image. We then draw conclusions from this image to make decisions on user experience.

Heatmaps need a large amount of data if possible as they showcase data in extremes. We see where the most and least activity is happening on a page.

So heatmaps are simply a shortcut to valuable data insights for our brains.

How Can They Help You?

Considering we spend up to 66% of our time on our phones in apps, it’s worth optimising the experience for users. Let’s leave them feeling good about your brand by using heatmaps to do the following:

Organise & Optimise Your App

Heatmaps can help you to organise design elements to encourage user behaviour. For example, imagine you look at a heatmap of your signup page that shows that people are using facebook log in the most. You could use that information to move the facebook signup to the top centre of the page.

Voila – an optimised experience for users. 

Think about the applications for doing this throughout your app. You users would have a seamless experience that feels natural, all because you’ve taken real users and applied their behaviour patterns to your app design. 

Maximise the Impact of Your CTA

Are your CTAs attracting the right attention? If your heatmaps are showing a lack of clicks, perhaps there are too many CTAs? Maybe a lack of direction for the user? Try making subtle changes to see what could be stopping your user from clicking.

Or maybe you see users trying to click an image that doesn’t have a link. Maybe you could insert a link there to improve the user experience and flow of your app.

Remove Features That Don’t Work

If you have features, links or text that just isn’t resonating with your audience you might want to think about removing it.

How do you know if it should be optimised or removed? Is it vital to the core function of the app or the behaviour you’re trying to drive? is it useful to the customer?

If the customer isn’t interacting with it then that is a huge indication that it isn’t adding value to your app.

Identify Conversion Driving Text

Touch heatmaps can help you figure out the language that drives most action from your users. You could try the same action on different pages using different CTA language and see which one gets the best response.

Increase Overall Engagement

Once you start using heatmaps to improve the CTA, design and usability of your app, engagement will follow. Apps that are easy to use are more likely to be popular with users. Sounds obvious, right?

These are a few of the ways in which heatmaps can improve the experience for your users, but how can you start using heatmaps today?

Let’s take a quick look at the heatmap tools that are out there.

The 5 Heatmap Tools You Need to Know About:

There are various heatmap tools out there to help you incorporate heatmaps into your UX strategy. It’s a matter of deciding which additional features will be most helpful to your brand.

  1. UXCam: This is a great tool for a deeper understanding of your iOS or Android app because it combines heatmap with screen recordings and real-time analytics. This allows you to take a multi-level approach to any user behaviour and is the industry leader for app analytics.
  2. HeatData: What’s really cool about HeatData is that you can filter your heatmap screenshots to drill down into your results. You can filter by device, by mobile action and also by date. The date filter allows you to compare behaviour from before and after an update which is invaluable. 
  3. Flight Recorder: The feature that sets Flight Recorder apart from other heatmap software for apps is the warning log. With warnings logged and detailed device characteristics tracked, Flight Recorder is great for crash analysis and problem-solving. 
  4. HeatMaps: HeatMaps is a tool that allows you to get insights into each user touch and track their gestures. An interesting differentiator is that you also get to see the iPhone orientation during use. This is a great option if you are interested in tracking daily engagement rates and interactive navigation flows for users.
  5. Inapptics: Last but not least on our list of app heat mapping is Inapptics. This tool allows you to see screen flows, heatmaps, crash replays and watch sessions by user. An exciting feature they are currently working on is the AI-powered notification of exciting events in your app.

Time to Heatmap Your App…

Not that you’ve learned about heatmaps and the best heatmap tools for app developers, it’s time to put your knowledge to good use.

Analytics is certainly not a one-size-fits-all field and you’ll need to discover what works best for your app. Decide which metrics are vital to your business and play around with the tools to find one that has the most impact on your ability to improve the UX.

Interested in improving other aspects of your app’s performance? Read all about how you can improve your SEO.

Or, contact us to find out how we can help optimise your app.


Joseph Bridge is a seasoned professional in the field of business development, currently serving as the Business Development Manager at EB Pearls, a dynamic and innovative company in the technology sector. With a strong track record of driving growth and forging strategic partnerships, Joseph brings a wealth of expertise to his role.

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“We’re very happy with the results of EB Pearls’ work. Since its launch, the app has had over 7,000 downloads, with around 6,000 users completing the signup process in the first 6 weeks. ”

Giuseppe Saffioti
Giuseppe Saffioti

— Founder at Intro Dating