The definitive guide to creating effective First Click Test


No matter if you’re designing a webpage,a mobile application or another kind of user interface, you’re always hoping that your visitors and customers will be able to navigate through your product smoothly and find whatever they’re looking for (and what you want to present to them). To increase the chances of meeting this goal, you need to create an intuitive and intelligible design for your product. In fact, websites that provide the best user experience anticipate the users’ goals and problems and consider them in the design process.

The Chinese proverb “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is as truthful here as in many other areas of life. Research shows that the first click that users make has a tremendous impact on whether they’ll be successful in the task at hand. In fact, the success rate is about 87% when the first click is correct as opposed to only about 46% success rate when the first click is incorrect. This knowledge is the basis of a very effective usability technique called the first click test. In a first click test, we show participants a picture of an interface - it can be a screenshot or a mock-up, it doesn't matter. We also give them a task to complete by using this interface. Based on where they indicate that they’d click first in order to complete the task, we can assume whether our interface is well constructed and whether users in real life will in fact be able to successfully complete the task.

UXtweak offers a tool called First Click Test that you can use to easily conduct remote first click studies. In this guide we’ll talk more about First Click Test, how and when to use it, how to make sense of the results and how to take the most advantage of the UXtweak tool.

Advantages of the first click test 

When conducting a first click test, you show your respondents the design of an interface and give them a task - a goal that they should intend to complete. You also ask them to indicate where they’d click first to achieve that goal.

Why does the task end after the participant shows us the first click?? Because that’s sufficient. We know that the success or a failure of the first click is tightly connected to the overall success or failure of the entire task. This knowledge makes the first click test a very powerful and effective tool. By only recording the first click, we save a lot of time and that enables us to test several tasks, pages, interfaces within one study without overwhelming participants, because each one only spans a few seconds.

Another advantage is that the first click test can be used throughout the design process to quickly get feedback on your designs and their usability. You can test simple low fidelity wireframes, mockups, screenshots from prototypes or finished products all the same and get quick information that’ll guide you in the next stages of the design process. Additionally, you can test basically any product that has a user interface, from e-commerce websites and various applications to your company’s internal HR or payroll system.

Define your goals 

So how do you go about creating a first click study? Firstly you need to identify what you want to test and why. As already mentioned, because the first click test is very time-efficient, you can include several tasks in one study. To get as much information as possible without overwhelming your respondents, it’s good to include between five and ten tasks in one study. You can test ten tasks scenarios on one page, or you can test one task on each of ten different pages.

To pick the pages for testing, you may use any data you have about user behaviors on your website/interface, such as Google analytics or data from customer service. Or you can reflect on the following questions yourself:

  • What are the most important tasks I want my users to be able to perform here?
  • With what needs will the users come to my interface?
  • What information do I want users to find easily?
  • What content do I want to prioritize?
  • Are my labels comprehensible?

If you’re redesigning an existing interface, it’s best to test both versions - the original one and the new one as well. Optimally by showing half of the participants the old interface and the other half the new interface to test. This will give you a nice context for your results. In what ways was the old one better? Where has the new one improved?

Once you know what to test and why, the next step is to create the task scenarios.

Create the task scenarios 

Task scenarios provide your respondents with context. What’s the goal they want to achieve, information that they want to find? It’s quite important to think your scenarios through, as the input that you give to the respondents will influence the usefulness of the results that they give you. You need to present the participants with a problem to solve. It doesn’t have to be too detailed, but it should be clear and intelligible. You should avoid using technical language and giving clues in the task’s wording. Your respondent will know that they’re performing some kind of test, naturally they will want to do well on it (that’s why it’s good to always stress that you’re not testing the person but rather the interface). Matching words from the task with words from the interface works as a mental shortcut. If you give respondents any hints, they’ll just go for the right answer instead of behaving the way they otherwise would. A good tip for creating tasks without giving clues is to write them without looking at the tested interface.

Define the correct answers 

Once you have your pages and your tasks, you need to define what the correct answers are for every task. Identify all the possibilities that let your users successfully achieve the goal. In UXtweak First Click Test setup, you will mark the correct answers using the Hotspot editor. Here, you can select multiple areas of different shapes for each task and name them, so that you get comprehensible results from your data.

Gather participants and collect data 

Usually in usability or user experience testing, you want your respondents to be reflecting the future users of the product or service. The same is true with a five second test - you can create a persona or personas (basically a description of your target user) and recruit participants based on those. You can recruit from your existing customers - but bear in mind that they may already have enough information about your company and product to skew the results. It may be more useful to recruit respondents from outside of your customers pool - and UXtweak can help with that. In our User Panel tool, you can specify what the characteristics of your desired participants are and we will recruit the right audience for you.

However, it is good to not get too restrictive about your respondents - anyone who lands on your page should be able to quickly and clearly get the messages that you’re trying to communicate, not just your target audience. So you don’t need to get too focused on the personas. You can include a wider range of participants.

Gather participants and collect data 

The general recommendation in usability testing is that the respondents should be a reflection of the future users of your product. The same applies in the first click test. If you want to recruit from your existing users, with UXtweak you can either simply share the link to the study in your newsletter or social media, or you can use our convenient customisable Recruiting Widget - a small widget that will appear on your website and inform users about the study, giving them the opportunity to participate with just one click. If you’re creating a completely new product, or want to get participants from outside of your current user pool, you can utilize UXtweak’s User Panel, where you can specify the characteristics of your desired participants and we will recruit them for you.

When it comes to the number of participants, to get robust results, it’s good to recruit at least 20, better yet 50-100. This may seem like a lot, but remember, first click is a very time-efficient test. In just 10-15 minutes you can test quite a few designs. If you don’t have the time or resources to test with as many as 50 or even 20 participants, don’t be discouraged. Sometimes, you can get valuable insights from even fewer people. Bear in mind, five participants is always better than no participants.

As for what types of data to collect, our First Click Test records the “clicks” for each task and participant, as well as the time it took them to make this click. However, you shouldn’t stop there. You can ask participants a series of questions after each task. It can be very insightful to know how confident the participants were about their choice and how difficult they found the task to be. You can ask these questions using a five or seven point Likert scale format (i.e. participants indicate the answer on a seven point scale with 1 = not confident at all and 7 = very confident). It may be also useful to include some free text questions and give your participants the opportunity to comment on the tasks. Was there something that they found confusing? Something that they didn’t like?

With UXtweak you can also take advantage of the screening question, to exclude participants before they even start the study based on your criteria. In the pre-study questionnaire,you can collect information such as demographics of your respondents. You can also utilise the post-study questionnaire for other purposes, such as getting feedback on your study setup.

Interpret the results 

You’ll get several outputs from the first click test. First and most important, the number of people who clicked on any chosen hotspot - or in other words - who and how many people answered correctly.

Second, you’ll see the layout of the incorrect answers. Are they grouped together? If so, why did participants consistently choose one or several incorrect answers? What lies in those areas? Is there something misleading about them? If, on the other hand, the clicks are scattered all over the place, it may mean that participants were too puzzled and just guessed randomly.

Next, you will get the timing of the responses. If you get a lot of correct answers, but the average time to respond is too long, it can still mean that your interface is confusing. In real life, people may not take that time to look for the answer and may just leave instead.

Last but not least, you will get the answers to your follow-up questions. Again, even if you get a lot of correct answers, but the answers indicate that participants weren’t very confident about their choices or that they found the tasks difficult, you should reconsider your design. Free text questions may also provide useful information about respondents’ attitudes toward your product.

To summarize, First Click Test is an effective and powerful tool for uncovering usability issues and figuring out the expectations of your users about how to solve tasks by using designs of user interfaces, and components such as forms or menus. It provides an opportunity to look at different behaviors specific to particular task scenarios and observe them independently from each other.. This technique can be used through any stage of design, from early sketches, to screenshots of an existing website or app. With UXtweak, you can easily set up a remote first click study, recruit participants and get the results in a handy shareable format.