I feel like this is a chicken or the egg scenario. Are users who are looking for pricing drawn to the price on heatmap testing because that is the information they are seeking, or are there areas on a product page that users look to more often (for whatever reason) and the pricing is placed there?

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  • 3
    That's the trouble with quantitive research / statistics - they only tell you what has happened. They don't give you any reasoning as to why. – JonW Mar 12 '18 at 17:23
  • To get to why, carry out at least one usability test with a real user. It doesn't need to be sophisticated. See this video example: youtube.com/watch?v=thNZIZmMDQo – Michael Heraghty Mar 13 '18 at 9:55
  • @JonW that's not "trouble" at all. It tells you that users are finding the price -- that's exactly what heat-maps are intended to tell you. If you want to know why users care about the price ... well, you shouldn't wonder 😄 – plainclothes Mar 13 '18 at 14:34
  • @plainclothes Well, it tells you that those users discovered the price. It doesn't show the things other users didn't find. But yes, I don't mean to sound like it's not a useful tool. It's just that each tool / process has it's drawbacks and things that it doesn't offer. There's no single research method that answers all the questions. Sadly. – JonW Mar 13 '18 at 14:45

Heatmapping doesn't “affect” anything

Pricing is not affected by heatmapping in any way. The user doesn't see it 😉

Heatmapping is affected by the presence of pricing. On most product / ecomm sites, the price is a primary concern for the users and they'll focus on it when they find it.

Remove the prices

To see how users naturally scan, remove the price while keeping the products and other graphics and controls where they are. You'll end up with a cluster of activity where users want the price to be.

If I were running the test, I'd bet beers that users expect the price to be below the product image, after the name and description 🍻

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I would say that it doesn't matter actually.

If you want to determine the best position for your product pricing using heatmapping testing then you can run multiple tests on different screen variations. You'll get a result for which variation works best so that's what you wanted, right?

But the larger question is one of ethnography. You should ask yourself, when running these user tests, how does the format of my task/question influence how the subject will carry out the task? Furthermore, does this corrupt my data?

If you start a test and tell the users they have to go and find the price of product A, they will go and do it. But this doesn't account for the kind of users that will land naturally into the page, the people that are just "browsing".

If you wanted to find out how this natural 'browser' type behaves on your site then run a test with minimal information and don't even give them a task. Just tell them to explore the site. I think that way you'll get the most unexpected and valuable findings.

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