First impressions can shape entire relationships. Just think of meeting your best friend or significant other. That moment is often tattooed on your mind. 

And it’s no different online: a user’s first impression of a website or app is critical in shaping how they feel towards a company, with 76% of customers willing to quit brands forever after a single bad interaction. 

What’s the first impression your users get when they load your website or app? Is their experience as optimised as it could be? 

If not, you’re sabotaging user engagement and revenue. According to Forbes, a fully optimised user experience (UX) could lead to 400% higher conversion rates. 

As a case in point, marketing automation leader HubSpot rebuilt its UX based on insights into user behaviour and feedback. The result? Conversion rates doubled and tripled, turning HubSpot’s 10 million monthly visitors into a revenue-generating machine.  

When it comes to replicating this kind of success, two major questions arise:  

  1. What insights about the user experience should you be gathering?  
  2. How can you use these insights to move the needle on conversion? 

Understanding digital body language is essential for evaluating UX

Imagine going on a first date. Some of the biggest signals of how your date is going come from body language. 

Body language cues from your date, such as consistent eye-contact, smiling, and an enthusiastic tone of voice, are all signs of a successful night out. A distracted date that seems bored or uninterested, on the other hand, is cause for concern.  

Just like your date, web and app users also signal their feelings through body language. It just so happens that this body language takes place on a device, rather than right in front of you. 

Sowhat does this kind of ‘digital body language’ look like, and how can you use it to optimise the UX of your app or website and nail that all-important first impression? 

The specific user behaviours you need to know about

Decibel’s data scientists collected and analysed 2.2 billion user sessions, and their findings revealed just how indicative digital body language can be when it comes to user experience and conversion potential. 

For instance, ‘reading behaviour’ refers to when a user follows lines of text with their mouse. Even just one line of reading is enough to signify real user engagement – our data scientists found that sessions containing reading behaviour completed three times more conversions than those that didn’t.  

Contrarily, ‘multi-click’ behaviour indicates high levels of user frustration. It refers to the rapid succession of clicks over a page element, like an unresponsive button or a pop up that won’t go away. Our data scientists found that sessions containing multi-click behaviours have 82% lower conversion rates than average.

Multi-click behaviour on an unresponsive button, indicating user frustration


These two examples are just the tip of the ‘digital body language’ iceberg – the deeper you look below the surface, the more there is to analyse. Additional behavioural cues like ‘bird’s nests’, which refers to a rapid shaking of the mouse, ‘scroll engagement’ or ‘copy’ behaviour further demonstrate instances of high frustration or interest.  

Without insight into the particular on-page and in-app elements causing these user behaviours, digital teams are left guessing why certain pages bottleneck, and why others don’t. It’s only by understanding digital body language you’ll know why you lose a user forever, versus convert a first-time user into a brand evangelist. 

It’s the difference between getting the kiss goodnight after your first date, versus a cold-hearted goodbye. 

Creating a repeatable framework for UX improvement

How exactly can digital teams incorporate these UX and behavioural insights into their optimisation process? Our new e-guide outlines seven simple steps for teams to follow – from initial data collection through to action – for significantly improved user experiences on apps and websites.

With this data-driven approach, your digital team can fully address and optimise elements within digital interfaces – just as HubSpot was able to achieve within its own conversion-driven UX transformation. 

Get the e-guide now to share with your team, and begin your journey to creating premium digital experiences for your users.