Revealing Digital Behaviors #1: Multiclick

Jack Maden
Written by Jack Maden
June 21, 2017

This is the first post in a series in which we introduce the digital behaviors picked out in our report, Revealing Digital Behavior: Applying Data Science to 2.2 Billion User Sessions. Just as someone shouting in a shop is evidence of a poor customer experience in-store – and someone smiling a good one – certain digital body language indicates the equivalent online.

This article looks at multiclick behavior and what it means in relation to customer experience.


What is multiclick behavior? Users rapidly click or tap on an on-page element

Which device? Desktop, Tablet, Mobile

What does it mean? Frustration

How do teams utilize it? To locate and fix frictions in the customer journey

Multiclick behavior refers to when a user rapidly clicks or taps on an on-page element. It can be further broken down to ‘unresponsive multiclick’, where the behavior falls on an unresponsive element, like a paragraph of text or an image, and ‘responsive multiclick’, where the behavior falls on a responsive element, like a link or a carousel.

To avid online shoppers, this might seem a familiar behavior. If a confirmation button is slow or unresponsive, for example, mashing on it until you’re red in the face can be a common reaction.

Digging into the data, our data scientists confirmed how widespread this multiclicking phenomenon really is – and how indicative it is of user frustration.

On a major financial services website, we analyzed 3 million user sessions that interacted with the site’s ‘Get a Quote’ form. We found that the average completion rate of the form was 77%. For sessions that contained a responsive multiclick behavior, however, the completion rate was just 17%. And for unresponsive multiclick behavior, the completion rate was even lower, at 14%.

Figure 1: the completion rate (%) of users interacting with the ‘Request a Quote’ form on a major financial services website.

User sessions containing multiclick behaviors have a significantly lower form completion rate than average

Figure 1 shows that sessions containing responsive multiclick behaviors have a 78% lower completion rate than the average user, while unresponsive multiclick behavior have an 82% lower completion rate.

How is multiclick used by digital teams?

In terms of multiclick’s utility in website optimization, being alerted to sessions that contain it is very useful for quickly finding frustrations in the user journey. These automated insights can lead to incredibly valuable fixes.

The digital team at British Airways, for instance, discovered a problem with their hotel photo slideshows after being alerted to a responsive multiclick behavior. The session replay showed that, whenever users clicked ‘Next’ on the first photo in a slideshow, a ‘Previous’ button appeared in its place, shifting the position of the ‘Next’ button along. This led to some users mistakenly clicking the ‘Previous’ button, which would disappear again once the user had unintentionally returned to the first photo in the slideshow.

The troublesome hotel photo slideshow on the British Airways website

Users thus navigated between the same two photos in a loop – their multiclicks becoming increasingly frantic as they attempted to skip the images, too rushed to appreciate or understand the quirks of the ‘Previous’ button. The result? A poor user experience.

Being alerted to and sending a sample of these session replays to the technical team led to a quick, straightforward fix for the British Airways digital team.

Moreover, an unresponsive multiclick alert led to a fix on Decibel Insight’s very own website. The alert surfaced a session replay of a user on one of our landing pages. The user attempts to download some content, but the form to download the content fails to load. The user, confused and frustrated, furiously clicks on an unresponsive text header, but to no avail.

The unresponsive text header of the non-loading form

Being alerted to and watching back this session led us to investigate further. It transpired that our website forms failed to load for users with a certain browser extension on Chrome. This led to an immediate fix, resulting in a dramatic uplift in form conversions.

Multiclick behavior is a telling insight into a customer’s frustrated emotional state. It’s a common behavior that digital teams should be aware of, measure, and ultimately aim to eradicate from their websites and apps.

Topics: Behavior, Customer Experience, User experience
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