How to Conduct a First Click Test?

Why are users leaving your site so fast? Learn how First Click Testing can help. Discover quick fixes for frustration and boost engagement.

Godi Yeshaswi
May 9, 2024
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Click. Frustration. Gone: Is Your Website Losing Visitors in the First Few Seconds?

According to research by Bob Bailey and Cari Wolfson, participants who initially clicked in the wrong location completed tasks only 46% of the time. In contrast, those who made the correct initial click successfully completed tasks 87% of the time. This indicates an 89% enhancement in task completion rates when users start with the right click.

Think of it this way - a user lands on your website. They have a specific goal in mind, perhaps to buy a new pair of shoes or find information about your return policy.  But within seconds of arriving, they're confronted with a confusing layout, unclear navigation, and buttons that don't quite say what they do. 

This scenario plays out countless times every day on websites and apps that fail the "first click test." Users expect to find what they need quickly and intuitively. If that first click doesn't lead them in the right direction, they're gone –  often to a competitor's site.

Frustrated and unsure where to click first, users abandon your site altogether. Does this scenario sound familiar? Read the blog to understand the first click test, why it is important, and how to conduct it.

What is a Click Test?

Click testing is a UX research method that evaluates user interaction with interfaces. Participants are presented with static images or prototypes and asked to complete specific tasks. The test records where they click on the screen. This reveals how intuitive the interface is, particularly its navigation and information architecture. 

Researchers analyze click data, often visualized in click maps, to identify patterns and areas of confusion. First-click testing, a specific type of click test, focuses solely on the initial click users make. This helps gauge their understanding of the interface layout and how well it aligns with their expectations for completing tasks. Overall, click testing, including first-click testing, provides valuable insights into user behavior and helps identify areas for improvement in the user experience.

What is a First Click Test?

A first-click test is a UX research method that analyzes where users instinctively click first when presented with a digital interface to complete a specific task. By understanding users' initial click choices, you can gauge the effectiveness of your website's layout, navigation, and overall clarity.

Essentially, it helps you see your website through your users' eyes and identify areas that might be causing confusion or frustration.

This method is usually unmoderated and doesn't require someone to moderate participants, and it needs a good number of participants who fit the criteria to get helpful numbers. The scope of research can be anything from a simple website to super apps that serve the user in many ways and even complicated software.

Also Read - Everything You Need To Know About Click Tracking in UX Research 

First Click Test

An example of the first click test results on Qatalyst. The above image shows where participants clicked to purchase on Fauget’s landing page.  

How Does a First Click Test Work?

First-click testing tackles a crucial question: where do users instinctively go when they land on your website or app to complete a specific task?

To answer this, you define the desired user action (like finding contact info) and recruit target audience participants. They're shown a mockup of the interface and instructed on the task. The test tracks their first click and time, revealing if your design aligns with user expectations. After the test, optional explanations from participants can provide even richer insights.

This simple method helps assess initial usability by understanding users' natural click patterns, ultimately guiding you to optimize your design for a frustration-free user experience.

What is Measured in a First Click Test?

In a first-click study, we'll see how well the design, appearance, and instructions on the screen work. Besides that, we'll also learn about other things, like:

  • Where users click on the screen
  • How long it takes for users to choose something
  • How sure users are about where they click
  • How hard or easy it is for users to find what they need
  • What users think will happen after they click

Advantages of Conducting a First Click Test

First-click testing offers several advantages for improving your website or app's user experience (UX). Here are some key benefits to consider including in your article:

Unbiased User Insights 

Unlike surveys that rely on user recall, first-click testing directly observes user behavior, revealing their natural click patterns without being influenced by leading questions.

Focus on Initial Usability 

The test specifically targets the user's first impression and initial interaction with your interface. This helps identify early confusion points that might hinder further exploration.

Simple and Cost-Effective 

Compared to more elaborate usability testing methods, first-click tests are relatively easy to set up and conduct, making them a good option for limited budgets.

Quantitative and Qualitative Data 

The test provides both objective data (click location, time) and subjective insights (optional post-test explanations) for a well-rounded understanding of user behavior.

Early Design Iteration 

By identifying usability issues early in the UX design process, you can make targeted improvements before investing significant resources in development.

Improved Conversion Rates 

By ensuring users can find what they need quickly and easily, you can potentially increase conversion rates, whether it's making a purchase, signing up for a service, or completing a desired action.

Limitations of First Click Test

Limited contextual understanding 

First-click tests focus only on initial interactions, missing potential issues later in the user journey.

Not suitable for complex tasks 

They may not capture the entirety of a user's experience, particularly for tasks involving multiple steps.

Isolated tasks 

The tests often present tasks in isolation, which may not mirror real-world navigation patterns.

Influence of artificial environment 

Participants may behave differently due to awareness of being observed, potentially affecting results.

Mixed Research: Combining First Click Tests with Other Methods

To get an understanding of user behavior, it's advisable to combine first-click testing with other research methods in UX. These may include task analysis, card sorting, tree testing, and moderated research like live interviews. One effective approach is the Top Task Methodology, which involves five steps:

Listing tasks: Identify all possible tasks users can perform on your website, focusing on the most important ones.

Ranking tasks: Ask users to select and rank their top five tasks from the list.

Card sorting: Have users categorize tasks into groups based on their relevance.

First-click testing: Test users' initial clicks to validate your navigation structure and identify any issues.

Live app/website testing: Conduct a live test using a URL link/Play Store link of your homepage to assess usability and design effectiveness.

How to Conduct a First Click Test on Qatalyst

In Qatalyst, you can conduct first-click testing on images to determine where users click first. Additionally, we offer you the ability to integrate mouse-tracking technology to gather additional data and insights about user behavior and preferences.

How to do it on Qatalyst?

To create a first-click test, follow these simple steps: 

Step 1: Log in to your Qatalyst account, which will direct you to the dashboard. From the dashboard, click on the "Create Study" button to initiate the process of creating a new study.

Qatalyst Dashboard

Step 2: Once you're in the study creation interface, locate the "+" button and click on it to add a new block. From the list of options that appear, select the "First click test."

Qatalyst Research Blocks

Step 3: Add an image of your website or app wireframe/prototype. You can even customize the number of clicks that you allow the respondent to click. Enable mouse tracking technology and publish the study.

First Click Test on Qatalyst


Required: Selecting one answer from the list is mandatory; the respondent will not be able to move to another question without answering the question.

Image fit: The images will appear based on the image fit that you select in properties.


Mouse Tracking: Mouse tracking is a technology that records the movement of the user's cursor on the screen as they interact with the design. This technology can provide insights into how users navigate through the design.

To select the technologies, click on the boxes.

No. of Clicks Allowed: Select the number of clicks that you want to allow the participant to click on the image

Result View

First Click Test Results

Once the respondents have taken the test, you will be able to see the analytics in the result section. 

In the summary section, you will find the following information:

Respondents: Number of people who initiated the test block.

Skip: The Number of people who choose to skip the block.

Drop-off: Number of people who have not moved on to the next block.

Bounce Rate: ((Dropoff + Skip)/ Number of Responses)*100 . (In Percentage)

Click Tester level metrics: On the right-hand side, you can filter the respondents based on browser, country, device type, language, and OS. You can even analyze your first-click tests based on each respondent, making the analysis detailed.

Filter Respodents

Interested to know more about how first-click tests can benefit your company? 


Best Practices to Conduct First Click Test

Here are some best practices for first-click testing:

Test with at least 20 participants: Make sure you have a good number of people who represent your target audience. More participants, like 50 to 100, can give you more reliable results.

Looking to recruit participants for your first click test? Qatalyst has panel integrations with - Cint + Lucid, Dynata, Purespectrum, Prolific, and Respondent, giving you access to 80 mil+ respondents across the globe. 

Keep UI variants limited: Don't test too many different interface options at once. Stick to around five options.

Randomize UI designs: If you're testing different UI designs, mix them up randomly to avoid bias.

Always include the original design: If you're making changes to an existing interface, make sure to test the original design alongside any new ideas. This helps you see how much the user experience improves.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many participants for a first click test?

It's best to have at least 20 quality participants for your first-click tests. This number will provide you with reliable data to make informed decisions. Typically, you'll start to notice patterns in participant responses after around 20 tests.

What is first click testing in UX?

First click testing checks how user-friendly a website, app, or design is by assessing how easy it is to accomplish a specific task. The goal is to ensure that the initial click a user makes to start a task on an interface is straightforward and simple.

How to do a first-click test?

  • Present a task
  • Display the interface in the form of an image
  • Record the behavior of the users
  • Ask for feedback using surveys
  • Analyze your results
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Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
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Author Bio

Godi Yeshaswi
Yeshaswi is a dedicated and enthusiastic individual with a strong affinity for tech and all things content. When he's not at work, he channels his passion into his love for football, especially for F.C. Barcelona and the GOAT, Lionel Messi. Instead of hitting the town for parties, he prefers to spend quality time cuddling with his Golden Retriever, Oreo.

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