Are John Doe and John Smith the same person? No. They also see things differently.

Avoid holes in your analysis, use Clicktale!
Second article in Clicktale's “True to User Life Accuracy” Series.

In my previous blog post, I discussed Clicktale’s Page States, which provide valuable information to help you more accurately analyze how users interact with a given page, and help you make better business decisions based on this information. This time, I’d like to take it one step further.

The days when John Doe and John Smith had the same experience on your website are long gone. In fact, it’s likely they don’t even see the same content on the very same page. Why? Most websites today are not static. Sites have been based on dynamic content for years now, and static pages have almost completely vanished.

Why dynamic? Business results in the digital space are directly affected by the digital customer experience, and a dynamic website is essential for providing this experience. Whether you’re looking to display personalized content or just speed up page delivery to ensure fluid site browsing – a dynamic web site is the answer.

So what makes a web site dynamic? The most non-technical explanation would be as follows: on a dynamic site, visitors don’t see exactly the same stuff they see when they first enter the page. Contents change during their visit. Need examples? How about images/ads that rotate (possibly using a carousel, see below), form validation messages that appear, popup windows or messages that show up, sections (such as menus) that expand/collapse...and the list goes on.

A dynamic carousel. Users can click or hover to slide the pictures

A dynamic carousel. Users can click or hover to slide the pictures

Clicktale is your Private Eye

So, your website is dynamic, and things change on the page. This also means that things appear differently to different people. Two given visitors – we’ll call them John Doe and John Smith - do not share the same experience.

But if this is the case, how can you understand each user’s individual experience? For example, let’s say you know that John Doe purchased your product (also known as “converted”) but the other John dropped out during checkout and didn’t convert. When you’re trying to analyze this by watching their session replays, you want to understand two basic things:

  1. What was their behavior? Which actions did they take on the page (mouse moves, clicks, scroll etc.)?
  2. What did they really see on that page?

Here’s where Clicktale comes in. We’re your Private Eye! We make sure you get precisely this information as you watch session replays. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Our client side Clicktale Recorder makes sure that visitor interactions are carefully tracked and recorded so that nothing is missed. Moreover, it captures the exact point in time at which the actions took place.
  2. Our client side Change Monitor tracks and records the dynamic contents changes (in technical words: the browser DOM changes) - again, at the right timing.

Let’s see an example. I have attached two replays, the first without Clicktale Change Monitor, and the second with. In both cases, I recorded the same flow:

  1. Home page: clicking the carousel in the middle and then clicking the V icon, that navigates to the checkout page
  2. Checkout page: examining the options in a menu bar and selecting Apple under Phones
  3. Product page: scrolling to browse and then leaving the page.

A replay without Change Monitor

Note in the example above, you can see user interactions such as mouse moves, hovers and clicks. You can also see the user scrolls up and down. What you cannot see is the image rotation on the home page and the expansion of the menu items in the checkout page. You also cannot see the user’s selection of ‘Apple’ under ‘Phones’. In other words, you cannot see dynamic changes.

Now take the time to see the true to life customer experience, exactly as the visitor saw it. You’ll notice the difference right away:


A replay with Change Monitor

Did you see the first image rotate? Did you see the menu items and the selection of ‘Apple’ under ‘Phones’?

Cool, you got it!

Clicktale helps you understand what happened exactly without any holes. This is crucial when you’re trying to take your analysis to the next level, which involves understanding why users behave as they do.

The next step? Acting on the analysis and improving your web site. Coming back to the example above: you need to know why John Smith did not buy your product, and make sure that next time he does.

Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll talk about more Clicktale benefits that help you improve your business.


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