At EPA, we’ve started using regular heat maps to experiment and assess success on our home page. These visual presentations show where people are clicking – hotter colors mean more clicks.
Every month, we update our popular topics list based on what people are searching for. We also often try out new features. So we also do a heat map run every month. For example, over the past few months we’ve moved around the popular topics and we’ve added a map with links to regional content.
I just compared the heat map from November 2009 to the one just completed, and I’m pretty pleased. The stuff at the top hasn’t changed, and it’s still clicked a lot. But many other areas are being clicked a lot more (more intense colors in more places). I interpret that as meaning that more people are finding what they want on our home page.
Neither the tool nor the page are perfect, of course. And there’s plenty of other stuff we look at and consider. And not everyone will agree with our overall design (I know some folks think our banners are too big). But it’s nice, now and then, to get a sense you’re moving in the right direction.
November 2009 (Download 7MB PDF)
January 2011 (Download 7MB PDF)