Mystery User Behaviour Issue



Hi All, I’m new to this community, nice to meet you all!
I have a question:
I have a contact us page on my site, and recently our analytics team has reported that a good percentage of users are clicking on the “contact us” link in the top navigation even though they are on the contact us page.

We had this issue before, but thought that maybe this was due to the fact that the page was titled "Customer Service"
So we updated the title, but the issue didn’t go away. In fact, the first thing you see on the page is “contact us” nice and prominent, and yet, 18% of visitors click on the Contact Us link up on top.

Additionally, after they come back to the page they immediately choose their method of communication (we have 3 available: call, email and FAQ) - the all choose Call option.

In your experience: what would be the best method to find out WHY they are clicking on this link? We are thinking a survey, but my gut is that it’s not going to give us much, as the audience who wants to call is not going to take its time to fill out a survey at the bottom of the page…

Looking for recommendations, and suggestions.


Have you thought about making the navigation contextual so that the About Us link doesn’t show when they’re on that page?


I would say no to a survey and suggest you test it face to face with users. There’s a lot of different ways you could do that and it will give you the chance to ask questions and really understand what’s going on here.


This would be the only place where the navigation is changing, and I’m afraid that’s going to throw the users off. But you are making a good point. Perhaps they are not seeing the change in style of the navigation as the “Up” state, and that makes them believe that they are still not on the actual contact us page…


I feel like people would react differently if they were in the room vs in a context where they actually are trying to contact us. I don’t know if they would click that button at all. Perhaps trying to identify specifically people who show this behavior, and target them directly with a survey?


I have a couple of thoughts about your question:

  1. UX and accessibility wise, I expect to click only on objects (links, buttons etc) that are actually bringing me in a page/view different from the one where I’m. To make it simple the link of the current page should be not active
  2. Usability wise, CONTACT US (do u have a good title attribute for it?) is a good title for a link because IMO is self-explanatory since we are talking about a page. An idea could be to optimize the tone of communication providing an extent page title such “Contact Us, how to address your request”

If is possible I would try an A/B test with two versions of the page title and check if the phenomenon changes


Thanks, @dopamino ! We are actually working on a solution to try AB Testing. :
I think making the link unavailable (not-clickable) would help. Or making it more obvious that you are on this page within the navigation would help too.

Here’s the link to the page, in case you have some other thoughts:


hey @kushakova
you’re welcome.

First of all congrats for the website, I really like it!
I appreciate a lot how you managed the content, for instance here: "Contact Us
We’re here for any of your customer service needs"
Regarding the navigation pattern, I noticed that you have (sorry for my naming convention):

  1. A main menu related to the user types (Individual, Financial etc)
  2. A secondary menu, related to the user-cases (product services etc)
  3. A sub-secondary menu triggered by hovering the secondary menu

I was a bit lost by clicking on “Contact Us” because the page “” has 3 main CTAs that are not the same of the sub-menu (FAQs, Benefits and Forms)
Basically, if I click on “Talk to us” I land on a page “” that is a dead spot because I can’t go to the upper level “Contact Us” and I can’t reach the sub-menu. The breadcrumb too is not providing the correct navigation path, the correct one should be home>contact us>talk to us.

As a quick win I would display for each contact page also the other two options, to allow users to quickly browse the options in case they change their mind.
Afterwards, I would work on finding a way to make the menu #3 easy to discover. I quickly checked the site on an iPhone 5 and I prefer the approach you applied for this break point.

I hope I made myself clear :slight_smile:


Looking at your color scheme in your navigation, you have some accessibility issues that could possibly be causing some of the double-clickage. There’s not enough of a contrast difference between your up state gray and active blue. To certain varieties of colorblindness and those with limited vision, it is difficult to spot that “Contact Us” is actually selected.

This is highly unlikely to account for the entirety of your your issues, but very possibly accounts for a small percentage.


That depends entirely upon how you design your user research approach and which method you choose. Someone mentioned A/B testing- you could do that face to face.

The problem with a survey in this case (and the reason why I said no in the first place) is you don’t have any control over the context in which it is completed. You also don’t know if people are actually going to complete it and you will potentially end up with a collection of opinions that may or may not be useful. Surveys (when done right) do have a place in very specific situations but it’s not here.


Makes sense, thanks @AshleaMcKay I don’t have too much experience with live user research sessions, but I’m super excited to try it, so if you have any recommendations on how you would structure this session to avoid pitfalls, please share!


It is very exciting! And so much fun too!

That is quite a broad question and I would recommend you do some reading, formulate an approach and then come back this community with more specific questions and seek feedback on your approach. See this as a great practical learning experience- a chance to learn something new, have a go at planning one yourself and then gain some useful feedback from a safe environment :grinning:

Here are a couple of articles to get you started:


What I am about to say is not as a UX Designer, yet as a User of your linked website;
“Why the heck are these items under ‘Contact Me’? What is that menu? What are these options? Are they different ways to contact the John Hancock group? No. Um, why are they here?”

Then, as a UX Designer - “Oh, what would I find in these links then?” And I find a bunch of stuff not about contacting the group.

In case I’m a strange case, you may want to test if people are just checking that they have the actual ‘Contact Us’ screen (and didn’t think that they accidentally clicked one of those menu items.)

P.S. Again, I may just be the crazy outlier, maybe try a Card Sort Activity to ensure those ‘Contact Us’ submenus are in an understandable spot.

P.P.S Edit: It should be noted that when I clicked on your link, I followed this process:

  1. Evaluate the page that I’m on (Contact Us)
  2. Locate the problem ‘Contact Us’ Button
  3. Decide to try out the situation from the Home Page
  4. Click Home Page
  5. Ensure ‘Contact Us’ is in the same spot (it was)
  6. Click Contact Us
  7. Mused and Confused as to how people would be inclined to click ‘Contact Us’ again.
  8. Decide to try click ‘Contact Us’ anyway.
  9. Drag mouse over ‘Contact Us’
  10. Notice sub-menu for the first time.
  11. Above confusion listed in the main message of my reply ensued.