Three Ways That Big Data Can Impact Your Web Design Decisions

Big data has recently taken the marketing world by storm; however, the term is still trying to prove itself as more than a buzzword in the eyes of skeptics.

In short, big data represents the ability for businesses to uncover trends and better understand user behavior by looking at massive amounts of information (think: trillions upon trillions of gigabytes of data). The future of marketing may very well be in the hands of such data, especially when we consider the facts surrounding big data:

  • Visual data is growing at an exponential rate, with 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and billions of photos shared annually
  • The exploding Hadoop market is expected to grow beyond $1 billion with the next few years
  • 73% of businesses have invested or plan on investing in big data by the end of this year

It’s no surprise that many businesses are already using big data to influence their product launches and marketing decisions. However, perhaps the untapped potential of big data and Hadoop comes in the form of web design and user experience.

The question remains: what impact does big data have on site design and what can we do to ensure that we’re making smarter decisions when it comes to UI?

Whether you’re knee deep in big data or are considering hadoop training as a means of making sense of modern data analysis, consider the following three ways that big data can impact your site design and decision-making.

Understanding User Behavior

The most straightforward aspect of big data for designers is understanding how users behave on your site.

Consider, for example, heatmapping software that determines where visitors click and ultimately drop off on your pages. What if that information was available at your fingertips on a massive scale, examining user behavior of billons of visitors across multiple sites? Big data represents a potential dream come true when it comes to split-testing and zeroing in on what doesn’t work on your site, such as..

  • Figuring out what marketing messages or calls-to-action users are avoiding
  • Determining whether or not users respond better to buttons versus text, different color schemes, etc.
  • Honing in on different sects of users to figure out if they behave differently (for example, are visitors from the United States making the same on-site decisions as visitors abroad)?

Transform Your Site Accordingly

With such information at one’s disposal, designers can create a user experience that’s driven by data rather than intuition. Considering that approximately 63% of marketers rely on instinct versus data, an investment in big data could be exactly what designers need to transform their sites for the future. In other words, big data helps give visitors what they want and allows designers build sites that meet the needs of its audience without having to explicitly ask questions.

Provide Data Visualization

Designers can also use big data as a means of creating content for their visitors. By taking information gleaned from data, whether it be buyer behavior or marketing decisions, such data can be repurposed into graphs, infographics and easy-to-digest reports to help educate your users. As visual content and data visualization grows, consider how your investment in big data could set your site apart from competitors who haven’t hopped on the information bandwagon.

Big data as a marketing concept is still relatively young, so don’t be afraid to get in on the ground floor. By taking advantage of big data sooner rather than later, you can build a better site that ultimately meets the needs of your visitors.