Though the very name defines clearly its methodology, it is still worth delving into the topic to find out when and how to prepare for First Click testing. Today in our article we’ll show you that and at the end we’ll also recommend some interesting tools to help you conduct First Click testing!

First Click Testing – table of contents:

  1. What is First Click testing?
  2. When to use First Click testing in UX research?
  3. How to conduct First Click testing?
  4. Tools to help with First Click test
  5. Summary

What is First Click testing?

First click tests are a quick research method you can apply to any product with an interface – including a website, app or mobile site. Its function is to assess whether the planned navigation and link structure is effective in helping users navigate the site and find the information and elements they need.

The whole idea is quite simple: during the test, you show participants a model or design of the site and ask them which place they would click to perform a certain task. By analyzing the places clicked first, we can get answers to relevant questions such as:

  • Which buttons, content and other navigation elements users find most intuitive?
  • Which navigational elements do surveyed users overlook, avoid or use incorrectly?
  • Where is the best place to put given buttons, icons, menus and other navigation elements?
  • What is the most optimal path to accomplishing a given task and how does your project support or interfere with that path?‍

The results of a first-click test often take the form of a heat map (called a “click map” or “dark map”), which illustrates the most common click locations. Subsequent analysis of where users clicked will help understand whether the tested design provides an optimal user experience.

You may wonder why a first click is so crucial that we devote an entire article to it. This is because it determines the overall success of the session. A properly executed first click is a key aspect of designing a user-friendly and functional site.‍ Conversely, when the first click fails, the rest of the session tends to follow. Users are about twice as likely to complete the entire process if they get that first click right!

When to use First Click testing in UX research?

Since first-click tests are relatively quick and inexpensive, they can feature in a wide variety of projects and situations. In addition, the information gathered in the tests does not require in-depth analysis and allows corrective action to be taken quickly. They will prove effective at almost any stage of product development, as well as after the launch – to improve the product and functionality. It is worth noting that first-click tests will work well not only for websites but also for any other product with a user interface.

How to conduct the First Click testing?

A first-click test is relatively simple to plan and design, and it only requires the preparation of two basic elements: the page under test, a screenshot or blueprint, and the content of the tasks you want to test on that page.

Start by creating and writing down the tasks (research scenario). Determine which element of the site you want to study and analyze, and then determine the best path to perform this task (for example, you want to study where users look for information about the hours of operation of the bank’s hotline, in which case the best path to perform the task is, for example, to click on the “contact” tab on the home page).

During the study, observe where users click and record how long it took them to click. If it takes the user several seconds to find such basic information as the hours of operation of the hotline – it will mean that the information is hidden, too little highlighted on the page or the designed information architecture is not fully intuitive.

Also, pay attention to the user during the test – more specifically, their level of confidence and the level of difficulty they experienced with the task. Unfortunately, you won’t always have the opportunity to observe first-click tests in real-time, and thus gain insight into participants’ thoughts and behavior. If, on the other hand, you do have the opportunity to observe them during the tests, pay attention to several elements:

  • Observe the facial expressions and body language of the test subjects during the test,
  • Ask participants additional questions (e.g., why did they click at that particular place, why did they hesitate before clicking, why did they change their minds about clicking),
  • Once clicked, don’t say if it was the right place, because participants must feel unhindered and must believe that there are no right or wrong answers – this will make them behave as naturally as possible

The answers you get to these additional, follow-up questions can be just as valuable as the quantitative data collected during the test (regarding when and where that first click occurred). However, if you are testing remotely, you can apply an automation tool or surveys during the test – to get additional information from testers.

first click testing

Tools to help with First-Click testing

If you can observe first-click tests in person, it is possible to track clicks manually, but the most efficient (and also the most accurate) option is to employ one of the many tools available to record them:

UsabilityHub is a remote platform for user research that offers first-click testing functions, as well as, for example, preference testing, which we wrote about in the article “When and how to run a preference testing?”

Optimal Workshop offers tools for conducting various UX research methods, including card sorting, tree testing or online quantitative surveys. Their first-click testing tool is called Chalkmark.

UserZoom’s click testing feature allows you to conduct remote click tests on a wide variety of project variants, ask follow-up questions, and visualize the results on heat maps.

Useberry offers remote UX testing tools for various user testing methods – including just first-click testing.

Proven by Users is a user research platform that allows you to test many aspects of your project. It offers tools for first-click testing, but also includes card sorting, tree testing, surveys and many other methods.

UXTweak offers a variety of UX testing tools, including first-click testing tools.

HotJar lets you track and analyze user behavior on a live website – with heat maps for visualization and remote recordings of user behavior.


In conclusion, first-click testing is a quick, simple and relatively inexpensive method for understanding and improving a product’s interface. You can apply it at many stages of a project and quickly get questions answered. Remember, the first correct click doubles the likelihood of overall completion! Therefore, by testing and optimizing the first click, you double the success of your user interface – and thus the entire end product.

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First click testing | UX research #29 klaudia brozyna avatar 1background

Author: Klaudia Kowalczyk

A graphic & UX Designer which conveys into design what cannot be conveyed in words. For him, every used color, line or font has a meaning. Passionate in graphic and web design.

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