The term can include a number of things including analytics, session replay, feedback solutions, and more. The goal of real user monitoring is to get insight into what actual users are doing on your website, web app, or app. The opposite would be automated QA solutions, which are not “real users” but attempt to mimic user behavior and traffic load with software.
Depending on what kind of solution is implemented, the performance impact of real user monitoring can vary quite widely. Analytics tools which capture data points about real users typically have no impact whatsoever. Feedback solutions like survey tools can have much greater impact, because modules are loaded in the DOM, usually from a 3rd-party. They can also negatively affect UX. Session replay tools like LogRocket normally have minimal to no performance impact. LogRocket, for instance, only sends a few KB of information per session.
Depending on your needs, in our opinion, the best is to implement all three: a dynamic analytics tool, a feedback solution, and a session replay tool. These combined give you a full picture of how users are interacting with your web property and achieving what they set out to.
LogRocket provides pixel-perfect session replay which includes technical information. In addition, LogRocket has robust reporting to see how issues affected users over time. If you’re evaluating real user monitoring tools, get a free trial of LogRocket today.