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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Like Heat. I Hate Maps...Did you say HeatMaps?

I like hot coffee, spicy foods, and warm weather. I hate maps and I'm convinced that GPS devices were invented for people like me. I cannot even fold a map back up right much less read one.

When today's instructor started talking about HeatMaps I was thinking it would be a great time to re-apply my lip gloss and then he grabbed my attention when he explained that a heat map isn't really a map at all (at least not by my definition). Bare with me while I digress a bit. In my professional life I write fiction, but also write policies, procedures, compliance and security reports, business plans, requests for proposals, grant requests, etc...and you put hours and hours of work into some of these complex documents. You turn them in, and you hope for the best. In the case of grant writing, you can consider yourself successful if you receive one out of every ten grants you go for. That leaves you constantly asking yourself:

**Does anyone actually read the entire thing?

**What is important to the reader?

**Is this worth my time?

**What did I do right? What did I do wrong?

You don't generally receive any feedback and you wish you knew what competitors documents look like,'s not like putting on a nice outfit and getting that immediate gratification when someone says you look nice or that color looks good on you. Whether the desired end result is achieved or not, you never really know what caught someone's attention or what didn't.

That being said - you'll have a better idea of why HeatMapping appeals to me as I explain to you what it is. HeatMapping is a way of measuring value with a colorful graph. There are applications of heat mapping that can give you feedback about your website based on what viewers spend the most time looking at, and the instructor today was telling us about glasses that a reader can wear that sense what the reader is drawn to and that data is turned into a chart/graph that can give the author feedback about what works and what doesn't. The example given today was in reference to resume's and the gist of it was that a resume with bolding, clean crisp lines, and a neat format gets more attention that one that utilizes too much underlining and an undetermined format.

This intrigued me and I did some research when I got home - if this is something that interests you or your organization, you may want to find out more about some heat mapping providers such as Crazy Egg Analytics:

This is nothing new - here's a helpful article:

Let me know your thoughts - is this something that could help your business, or is it just interesting?


1 comment:

  1. Heatmap is a graphical tool that is used to display the visitor's movement on a website. I am not having much idea about this tool but know about the purpose that it solves.
    heat map