The one piece of information about your website that matters most is: how do your users interact with it?
It’s easy to find out what they think about it: you can just ask them. But it’s very hard to find out how real users go about navigating your website.
The thing is, that piece of knowledge is absolutely crucial. It’s the acid test for every design decision, because it’s what determines whether a visitor converts or bounces.
So, we made Crazy Egg Recordings.
Soon, Recordings will let you see multiple sessions of different visitors clicking, scrolling, and navigating throughout your website. It’s as if you’re right by their side while they use your site.
Sign up below to get an email when we launch:
The Power of Viewing Real Usage
Recordings gives an unprecedented level of detailed insight into real customer behavior.
Traditional ways of learning about visitor behavior can be misleading. Take the people who came into the office for user testing. They were on their best behavior because they know they are being observed. They are also more motivated to complete an action. For example, knowing that you’re looking for problems on a site, they may be more inclined to find issues whether or not they’re actually important. This the known as the Hawthorne effect.
But also, think about this…
“Business purchasers, by contrast [with consumers], do a lot of research, look carefully at specifications… and usually worry most about functionality,” says McKinsey’s Oskar Lingqvist. They’re motivated to try harder, but they’re also under more time pressure than consumers. In both cases, if users can’t find what they’re looking for intuitively, they often bounce – and you lose a potential customer.
As psychologist and UX designer Nadine Kintscher says, “even the most usable interface is sometimes not enough to engage users.” To improve user engagement and conversions, you’ll need to move beyond best practices and find out how users really interact with your site.
For ecommerce, says the International Journal of Design, “a critical element in the success of online retailing is the way the site’s interface is designed… a consumer’s evaluation of interface designs is affected by his/her affective reactions… generated before or during the cognitive evaluation process.”
The bottom line is: real users will use your site in ways that you wouldn’t have thought of, and can’t learn about through traditional user testing.
UX designer David Perel agrees, pointing to “the natural tendency of people to interact with your work in ways you could never predict.”
In the process, they’ll reveal sticking points that prevent conversions.
Heatmapping tools give you some of that data. You can use Crazy Egg’s existing toolset to see where people clicked, where they scrolled and even which clicks made you money. But even then, you don’t get the full picture.
Recordings shows you exactly what visitors do, second by second. You can see people zig-zag across the page with the mouse as they figure out what they’re supposed to do, or watch the cursor sit over your CTA for an agonizing second before that user takes the plunge and clicks through.
It also makes it easier to sell bosses or clients on money for redesigns, A/B testing, or hiring an expert to sort out a troublesome element of your on-site funnel. You can show your boss visitor after visitor, bouncing in the same place.
Anyone who doubts the value of optimizing checkout flows or CTA placement will be instantly convinced after watching a few videos of real users getting lost and frustrated, and bailing on your site.
Real user behavior like that demonstrates problems you wouldn’t have even thought existed. Awkward workflows, impossible-to-find buttons, and even bugs that no-one reported all come to light. With Recordings, you can watch users who are trying to convert but keep getting lost.
Recordings takes work off your plate. When you spend time dredging through reports to identify patterns of behavior, you do a lot of legwork that can lead a team to paralysis by analysis. Recordings can deliver that insight with immediacy and accuracy.
You don’t need to look for user behavior between the lines of a spreadsheet: you can just see it.
If you’re ready to stop second-guessing and doing detective work, and just know what your visitors are doing, we hear you. Recordings launches soon: sign up and we’ll email you when we launch.