Interactive Path Flows

 

At a Glance

Interactive Path Flows (IPFs) are visualizations that show how contributors navigate a website or prototype. They are generated by behavioral data as contributors do a task, an asset you add to the test plan.

 

Interactive Path Flows is available on the following subscriptions:

Flex plan Seat-based plan
Essentials Startup
Advanced Professional
Ultimate Premium

 

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Overview

Interactive Path Flows (IPFs) help you understand behavioral data of individuals who took your test. They illustrate the diverse paths users take to navigate a web-based experience you are testing. They are useful if you are testing website navigation, onboarding flows, content findability, account creation, or any multi-step experience. IPFs can also capture data about any site that a user traverses. For instance, you might ask users to use a Google search to access your site, or run a Balanced Comparison test to weigh the usability of your site against your competitor's. 

IPFs offer several ways to explore contributor behavior: 

  • The main diagram summarizes all the paths contributors took.
  • Contributor paths show all the interactions and corresponding clips of a single contributor.
  • Screen steps and click maps display all contributors’ interactions on a screen.
  • If available on your account, sentiment path and intent path overlaid on the IPF reveal key sentiments and behaviors of individuals' web experiences. 
  • IPFs are generated when contributors perform a task. For more about adding tasks to your test plan, see Setting Up Tasks.

To see the Interactive Path Flow , go to the Metrics tab on the test results page:

IPF_1.png

 

Notes:

  • IPFs are only generated if contributors encounter two or more screens during a task and are only available for regular "blank" tasks. They will not work for URL tasks, image tasks, metrics, verbal response, and so on.

Contributor Paths

1. To see a single contributor’s path, hover over a username.

The width of the band is proportional to the number of contributors who took that specific path and the curve of the band is stylized for visual presentation. There is no inherent underlying meaning.

Badges next to usernames indicate outliers: contributors with the longest or shortest time, the most or least effort, and contributors who took uncommon paths. 

IPF_2.png

2. To follow an individual path screen by screen, click a username.

The contributor’s session videos and metrics–-time, number of screens visited, and number of interactions–-display below the diagram. 

IPF_3.png

3. From here, you can take a closer look at the contributor’s interactions:

  • To watch a clip of the contributor doing the entire task, click the timer next to the username.
  • To see a list of interactions on each screen, click the expander below each video. Or hide and show all interactions at once by clicking Expand all or Collapse all.
  • To watch a clip of the contributor’s interaction, click a video screen.

IPF_4.png

4. Some accounts allow testing with a large number of contributors.

If more than 30 contributors' data is aggregated into an IPF, the contributors' usernames are collapsed. Hover over the lines to show usernames and badges, and to highlight the contributor’s path.

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5. For contributors who take unusual paths (i.e. paths that deviate from what most contributors took), curved lines will appear in the visualization.

Hover over the list of contributors on the left side to find the contributors those paths correspond to.

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If you want to test with larger groups of contributors and your account does not allow it, contact your Customer Success Manager.

Screen Steps and Click Maps 

1. To see which screens contributors visited at each step, hover over the screen steps.

Large screen steps indicate screens that many contributors visited and small screen steps indicate screens that few contributors visited. 

IPF_5.png

2. To see a click map and table showing all contributors’ interactions on an individual screen, click the screen step.

To see the very first thing contributors did–a first-click analysis for the task–click the first screen step.

IPF_6.png

3. The click map shows a picture of the screen contributors interacted with and an overlay with circles. The circles indicate where contributors interacted with the screen. Smaller circles represent fewer interactions and larger circles represent more interactions. 

The table listing all contributors’ interactions with the screen displays next to the click map. 

IPF_7.png

4. When you hover over a circle, a popover appears showing the contributors’ interactions. The contributors’ usernames are highlighted in the table.

IPF_8.png

5. Click the circle to see a table of contributors’ interactions with the element. Click the play button in each row to watch a video of that contributor’s interaction. 

💡 Tip  When you watch the interaction video, you can add a note, make a clip, review the transcript, and see suggested tags, just like you can in the video player.

IPF_9.png

Success Screens

1. Mark success screens to highlight important screens that your contributors visited. 

IPF_10.png

2. To identify all the users who visited a screen, click the screen step.

IPF_11.png

3. To trace paths that intersect a series of screens, hover over each screen step and click Mark success screen in the popover.

Note: When you mark success screens, other users in your workspace can see them.

IPF_12.png

4. To trace a single contributor’s path, click a username.

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5. You can also mark success screens in the click map table that appears below the IPF.

IPF_14.png

6. To turn off the success screen, click Unmark success screen either in the popover or the click map table.

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7. If you are on the Ultimate subscription plan, success screens you define also appear in instant insights.

IPF_16.png

To export and share your Interactive Path Flows results, read our article on exporting your results to Excel. Like other task results, Interactive Path Flows results in Excel will show session details, metrics, notes, and clips from your selected studies.

Path Tracing

Turn on path tracing to highlight paths that go through particular screen steps. You can also highlight a single contributor’s path. 

To trace paths, first turn on path tracing:

IPF_17.png

To trace all the paths that intersect a single screen, click the screen step.

IPF_18.png

To trace paths that intersect a series of screens, click each screen step.

IPF_19.png

💡 Tip: Path tracing highlights paths that intersect every one of the screens you choose. You can use it to mark a success path and show where other paths branch away.

To trace a single contributor’s path, click a username.

IPF_20.png

When you turn off path tracing, paths stay highlighted. To remove highlighting, turn on path tracing and click the screen steps or username again. 

Note: If you navigate away from the page, your highlights are removed automatically. 

To export and share your Interactive Path Flows results, read our article on exporting your results to Excel. Like other task results, Interactive Path Flows results in Excel will show session details, metrics, notes, and clips from your selected studies. 

Sentiment Path and Intent Path

If available on your account, sentiment path and intent path can be turned on to display visual patterns of sentiment and behavior, respectively, for individuals who completed the task overlaid on the IPF. 

Select the Sentiment tab to see positive (green) and negative (red) sentiments for each individual to understand their reactions as they navigated the web experience. 

IPF_21.png

Select the Intent tab to see common behaviors for individuals on the customer journey, like browsing and adding to cart, to understand what people clicked on or engaged with to advance to a new screen.

IPF_22.png

Summary of Interactions - Mobile/Tablet Touchscreen

Interactive Path Flows are available on both iOS and Android and are generated for mobile tests of websites. However, tests of mobile apps will not generate Interactive Path Flows. Prototypes of mobile experiences will generate Interactive Path Flows if those prototypes are web-based.

Note: Interactive Path Flows are not captured if you use a native browser option for a mobile web test. Additionally, tests using the seamless recorder (i.e. Invite Network) do not support Interactive Path Flows yet.

Which specific Interactive Path Flow mobile interactions are included and not included?

  • The following mobile interactions are included in Interactive Path Flows
    • Tap
    • Scroll and pan
    • Text input
  • The following mobile interactions are NOT included in Interactive Path Flows:
    • Pinch
    • Rotate
    • Long press
    • Drag
    • Android's back button
    • Swipe
    • iOS flick-close

Summary of Interactions - Desktop

Interactive Path Flows are supported by Windows and Apple OS desktop, but only when a Chrome browser is used by the contributor. This includes prototypes that you point contributors to via the URL task found under Assets in the Test plan area. 

Note: Tests using the seamless recorder (i.e. Invite Network) do not support Interactive Path Flows yet.

Which specific Interactive Path Flow desktop interactions are included and not included?

  • The following desktop interactions are included in Interactive Path Flows:
    • Left or main click
    • Right or secondary click
    • Third button click
    • Text input
    • Scroll and pan
  • The following desktop interactions are NOT included in Interactive Path Flows:
    • Other Apple gestures

Sharing Insights

There are a few ways in which you can share insights from an Interactive Path Flow. 

Select Share from the results page of your test to generate a test link to share with anyone (if available on your account), or email the test to logged-in team members directly from the UserTesting platform. Read more about how to share test results.

Note: This method will share the entire test, not just the IPF. 

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You can also export your test results to an Excel file you share with your team by selecting Export to Excel under Options. However, note that the IPF visualization will not show up in your export. Instead, the export will show IPF data for specific contributors, like time on task, clicks, pages, and unique pages. Read more about how to export test results.

Note: This method will export all of the test results details, including Session details, Metrics, and Notes and Clips marked as "Important" and tagged with sentiment.

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Another option is to take a screenshot of the IPF visualization and share it with your team as an image file.

Summary

  • Look at the main diagram for an overview of all contributor paths.
  • Click usernames to explore the details of a single contributor path.
  • Click screen steps to see how all contributors interacted with a single screen.
  • Use path tracing to highlight only paths that encounter the screens you choose.

 

Learn More

Need more information? Read these related articles.

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