Interactive Path Flows

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At a Glance

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

 

Key Features

Participant Paths

Screen Steps and Click Maps

Success Screens

Path Tracing

Sentiment Path and Intent Path

Summary of Interactions - Mobile/Tablet Touchscreen

Summary of Interactions - Desktop

Summary

 

Key Features

IPFs offer several ways to explore participant behavior: 

  • The main diagram summarizes all the paths participants took.
  • Participant paths show all the interactions and corresponding clips of a single participant.
  • Screen steps and click maps display all participants’ 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 participants perform a task. For more about adding tasks to your test plan, see Tasks: An Overview.

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

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Note: IPFs are only generated if participants 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, etc.

Participant Paths

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

The width of the band is proportional to the number of participants 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: participants with the longest or shortest time, the most or least effort, and participants who took uncommon paths. 

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

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

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

  • To watch a clip of the participant 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 participant’s interaction, click a video screen.

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

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

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

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

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

Screen Steps and Click Maps 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5. Click the circle to see a table of participants’ interactions with the element. Click the play button in each row to watch a video of that participant’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.

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Success Screens

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

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

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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.

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4. To trace a single participant’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.

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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 up in instant insights.

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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 participant’s path. 

To trace paths, first turn on path tracing:

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

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

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💡 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 participant’s path, click a username.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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 participant. This includes prototypes that you point participants to via the URL Asset. 

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

Summary

  • Look at the main diagram for an overview of all participant paths.
  • Click usernames to explore the details of a single participant path.
  • Click screen steps to see how all participants 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.

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out our University courses.

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