Your website or web app is often where you make your first impression. It’s your storefront, your marketing platform, and the most accessible channel of communication between you and your user base. And if your product is a web app, technical issues or poor UX can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
With session replay, you get an accurate picture of exactly what users experience when browsing your site or using your app. Is your app intuitive? What elements aren’t working? Which features are most popular? Which features cause confusion? And perhaps most importantly - where and why are users running into issues?
Session replay answers all of these questions in a visual, easily-digestible format that engineering, product, marketing, and sales teams can leverage for improvements. It’s the best way to truly see your product through your users’ eyes.
Here is a quick Q&A to cover the basics of session replay:
Session replay is a high-fidelity reproduction of all user actions and behaviors on a website or web application. Session replay tools and technologies show you exactly where users scrolled, hovered, or clicked on a page.
This data is presented in a video reproduction that displays user activity as if it’s happening in your own browser. Session replay videos can help you understand user experience, reproduce technical errors, optimize conversion rates, increase user retention, react to issues efficiently, and fine-tune your user interface to meet the observed needs of your consumers.
It’s important to note that session replay is not an actual video recording of user behavior — it just looks like one. Instead, it’s a reconstruction of user sessions.
LogRocket records DOM tree mutations that occur while a user interacts with a website to capture a broad range of data.The replay looks and feels like a video, but it’s really just HTML.
LogRocket users can easily search this data to find specific sessions, review aggregated data to identify patterns across sessions, and receive alerts when anomalies occur. To protect sensitive information, all data sources can be sanitized for user privacy.
Understandably, security and data privacy are big concerns for companies looking for a session replay solution. That’s why LogRocket gives you the ability to choose which fields or elements to obscure, so sensitive data won’t ever be recorded. LogRocket also automatically obscures private fields related to passwords and credit card information, among other particularly sensitive fields.
Additionally, companies in highly-regulated industries like healthcare or fintech can use LogRocket’s on-prem solution (or self-hosted solution) to ensure recorded data never lives outside the organization. With LogRocket, you can run the application and store all data within your own environment.
Storing all data on your own servers helps you avoid scrubbing user information from important data fields. In turn, you get a more complete picture of your application’s health and user behavior while maintaining security compliance.
LogRocket’s SaaS product stores your data in a secure, compliant environment that leverages security protocols such as 2FA, roles, and SSO, among others. Our session replay solution is built to keep your users’ information safe.
As with any software solution in the market, it’s important to vet out options that may cause more harm than good. A good session replay tool can improve UX and boost operational efficiency, but a bad one can leave you vulnerable to security risks or hinder app performance. It all depends on how the tool is built.
If you’re currently evaluating session replay solutions, here’s a few things to watch out for:
Low-quality session replay tools may not correctly render elements and mutations in the DOM tree. As a result, there may be a discrepancy between what you see in the replay and what a user actually did. Testing the quality of a replay solution by introducing complex elements like animation, z-index, state changes, and other unique elements of your website or app will help to determine whether a session replay solution is truly an accurate, high-quality rendering of user behavior.
Session replay tools capture a ton of data, and you need to make sure that data is secure. When choosing a session replay tool, make sure it includes powerful security features and follows all protocols mandated by your industry’s standards. A high-quality session replay tool gives you the ability to choose which fields or elements to obscure to prevent them from being recorded. Session replay solution providers should also give you the option to store data within your own environment. Any SaaS product should be secure and compliant according to best practices.
Session sampling can be good for those who only want a general idea of what users do on their site or app. However, it doesn’t give you the complete picture needed to efficiently identify and resolve bugs in your code. If you’re looking to use session replay as a performance monitoring solution and a debugging tool, session sampling won’t meet your needs. You need a session replay solution that captures all data on what users do on your site at any time.
Ensuring your session replay tool is lightweight is key to limiting impact on page performance. LogRocket’s session replay solution is just two lines of code designed to reconstruct sessions by sending a minimal amount of data asynchronously. As a result, your website or app will remain performant.
Session replay gives your team access to troves of user information.
There are several ways to leverage session replay to improve your website and your products.
Debugging can be a significant time investment for engineers. Customers reporting bugs sometimes struggle to explain errors they encounter in technical detail, and trying to diagnose and reproduce user-reported errors manually can take hours.
Engineers at foreUP, a software company specializing in management tools for the golf industry, had difficulty grappling with technical and non-technical issues on their site before finding a session replay solution.
With LogRocket, foreUP tech support can watch session replays alongside developer consoles to see exactly how issues occur. Tech support now resolves trouble tickets without involving the engineering team at all.
Expediting issue resolution removed the need to hire additional engineers to deal with the debugging process. Now, the team has more time to focus on fine-tuning and iterating on new features. foreUP uses session replay to take a proactive approach to issue resolution and troubleshoot errors quickly.
Customers prefer a smooth UX. But when it comes to dollars and cents, does UX really make that much of a difference?
For Wheelhouse, a SaaS pricing optimization platform, improving UX paid off.
The team at Wheelhouse used session replay to observe users’ experiences when navigating their new onboarding flow. The team wanted to know how and why users were falling out of the funnel. Session replay revealed where users were stalling and navigating away from the site due to confusion.
After changing their UI to be more clear and intuitive, Wheelhouse noticed a substantial uptick in conversion rates. Session replay provided advanced analytics that previous tools hadn’t offered.
Winning over new users is great. Ensuring users become longtime, loyal consumers is even better. Session replay can reveal areas in your app’s UI that may be frustrating for users, exposing opportunities to streamline your interface at its weakest or most confusing points.
Elevate, a non-prime credit lending solutions provider, used session replay to identify potentially confusing sections of its online credit applications. Elevate support noticed a percentage of customers were having trouble with certain pages or fields of its application, which deterred existing users from adopting new products.
The team built reports around insights they gained through session replay to inform product changes. These changes ultimately streamlined the application process for Elevate users, resulting in higher user retention rates.
LogRocket’s secure, lightweight session replay solution provides extensive analytics to help you create the best possible experience for your users.
To see how session replay can benefit your team, sign up for a free trial today.