Interpreting website heat maps


Good morning,

I’ve been using heat mapping software Hotjar for a while now and think it’s absolutely great and insightful! The problem I have is interpreting the data - most notably the scrolling function. I don’t know what’s good or bad in terms of % of users that scroll beyond a certain point. Having spent a lot of time searching online, I haven’t found a single piece of useful information on this topic. Any assistance or thoughts appreciated!




I imagine that it depends on the purpose of your page. If you are looking at an article then you would hope that lots of people make it to the bottom but if it is a home page then a low percentage of users scrolling down might show that you have already captured their interest with a link to another page. Seeing a quick drop off on a scroll map isn’t necessarily a bad thing

I tend to think that scroll maps are available as they are an easy tool to add to the tool box. Ever noticed how IKEA furniture always comes with an alan key but not a screw driver?

I would look at the results of the scroll map alongside click through rates to get more in depth data.


Thanks Rachel! I guess context is key here. When you consider bounce rates, a user could leave a page because they have found what they were looking for (or directed there), or out of frustration.

What I’m trying to determine here is the relevance of content on a page. As you point out, if you’ve loaded an article and users aren’t getting past the first paragraph, you might assume that the content isn’t relevant or interesting enough. When it comes to a page that has information on a university degree or diploma (sector I’m currently working on), it becomes more difficult to work out why a user is overlooking this content.


That’s when you need to turn to other tools. Heatmaps give you high level visibility of behaviour, but they don’t give you the ‘why’. We have a massive list of tools here, including plenty for user testing.