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The Interaction Matrix is a powerful and intuitive tool for understanding the actions on a screen.

Setting Up the Interaction Matrix

Here is a checklist of items you’ll need when creating your own Interaction Matrix:

  1. Have your audience identified and ready to go
  2. Choose screens that need improvement
  3. Define directives that gauge the success of your design
  4. Use testing software to review the success of each directive

You can test the reaction to your designs and whether your target audience comprehends them in a variety of ways. We recommend getting a high volume of participants for each round through our software Helio.  For the sake of keeping the concepts concrete, we’ll use Helio to set up a test.

Setting up an Audience

Helio makes it incredibly easy to test with an audience. Test with a group of your own participants, or use our community of over 500,000 participants. If you need a specific group targeted by behaviors or responsibilities, reach out to our team to learn about Advanced Audiences!

Design Areas

What should you test? Test areas where users need to accomplish tasks. Things like searching, finding products, browsing items, or making a purchase. You can test a currently live page that isn’t producing the engagement you want. Or test a new iteration that needs a usability check.

Once you have your screens decided on, outline the primary, secondary, and tertiary actions on each screen. A primary CTA represents your top priority action on the page, while secondary CTAs are slightly less integral, and tertiary actions are extra options that may not drive the business. The priority of a CTA is often (but not always!) defined by its size on the page.

Define Directives

With this type of test, you’ll frame your questions as directives. Instead of thinking about user needs in a generative way, we’re evaluating their actions to determine if they can complete tasks. Make sure there is a clear directive for each primary, secondary and tertiary action, so you’ll know if it’s successful or not.

Poor Example: “Click on an interesting part of the screen.” This directive does not have a clear way to determine success. It does not provide a reference.

Better Example: “Click where you would start a search to find a new restaurant.” The success of this directive can be quantified by calculating the total number of participants that clicked in a defined area.

Use Testing Software

The questions you ask and the directives you formulate are key to each test. Helio provides a simple and effective way to set this up.

The Click Test is the primary question type used in the Interaction Matrix. When combined with a follow-up question, you’ll see where a user clicks on first exposure to a screen, their response time, and written explanations for their decisions.

The image below lays out how responses are visualized in Helio. You can see where users actions are clustered on a page. The best part: you can watch the responses in real-time.

Helio's click test splatter results.

Helio makes collecting click data extremely easy. After each test is completed, click areas are outlined on the screen. The data is then calculated instantly for any portion of the screen. If an action can be completed in different parts of the screen, you can select multiple areas.

There’s a Template For That!

We’ve created a plug-and-play test template to easily get you started on collecting data. With this template, you can test drive your website to understand how it performs with your target audience.

Website Design Test

Capture a quick yet precise evaluation of your website’s performance by considering usability, net promoter score, and visual appeal.

Use this template for:

  • Concept Testing
  • Understand where user click and validate your design choices
  • Establish metrics to allow for performance tracking overtime
Use Template