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Uncover User Experience Problems with Session Replay

Using Session Replay to watch your visitors explore your website can be fascinating but what real-world problems does it help solve?

Whether you're using your website to build a relationship with your visitors, grow your email marketing list, generate sales leads or sell products or services online, a positive user experience is essential for helping your visitors reach their goals, and in turn for helping your website reach its goal.

Website visitors come in all shapes and sizes, with an ever expanding range of devices and technology, varying levels of internet connectivity and a wide spectrum of technical abilities, cognitive biases, expectations and motivations.

As a website owner, you would never set out to create a bad user experience. However, the way you experience your own website is not necessarily representative of the experience of your visitors. And as you may have noticed, nothing demonstrates this more than watching your visitors navigate their way through your website in Session Replay.

Here we'll outline some of the user experience issues that Session Replay can reveal and how to spot them while watching a session.

Website Performance Issues

Needless to say, before your visitors can start navigating your website, it has to load on their device. Research from Google shows that 53% of mobile visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.

Session Replay can reveal slow loading pages, performance issues navigating between pages and broken links. If you have mobile visitors on slow network connections, Session Replay will reproduce their experience in real time, helping you see where you need to make performance improvements.

Responsive Design Issues

Session Replay mimics the dimensions and orientation of the device your visitor is using to explore your website. How your website looks and performs on smartphones, tablets, desktops and everything in between will be revealed.

Visitor Frustration & Points of Friction

Despite our best intentions while designing or choosing a template / theme for our website, we all have blind spots that result in certain use cases being overlooked. Session Replay lets you see your website through the eyes of your visitors and reveals friction points that lead to frustration and ultimately abandonment

Rage Clicks / Taps

When a visitor clicks or taps repeatedly on a particular element or a non-clickable area on a page, it can be a signal that they are experiencing frustration.

Clicks and taps show up on your Session Replay timeline as small dots, making it easy to see at a glance where your visitor may be getting a little hot under the collar. Replaying the session can reveal the source of their frustration and give you the opportunity to make improvements to the page.

Form Abandonment

Successfully completing a form is often the primary conversion goal of a website, and form abandonment resulting from a poor user experience is a conversion killer.

Whether your visitors are subscribing to your newsletter, creating an account, completing the checkout process or simply getting in touch on your contact page, forms can introduce unnecessary friction.

Using Session replay to watch how your visitors interact with your forms gives you the opportunity to make improvements such as making labels and hints clearer, removing unnecessary fields and improving form layout.

When a visitor is typing into an input field or interacting with a select dropdown menu, a zigzag line appears on the timeline

Clicks / Taps on Non-Interactive Elements

Watching Session Replay reveals when a visitor clicks or taps on a non-interactive element on your website, expecting something to happen. This could be an image, a heading or some underlined text that isn’t a link. Obvious always wins in web design so the remedy in most cases is to adhere to conventional design patterns such as using underline for links only, making buttons look like buttons with a clear call to action and if you see visitors repeatedly clicking on an image, see if there’s a logical page you can link the image to that helps them with their journey through your website.

Navigation Issues

Visitor Paths is a popular report in Statcounter that shows you the navigation path each of your visitors took through your website.

Session Replay goes one step further and reveals your visitor’s experience in between page views, uncovering any problems they encounter navigating from page to page. Problems such as unintuitive or inconsistent navigation, ambiguous navigation icons, broken dropdown menus or links, pagination and breadcrumb issues are highlighted while watching your visitors navigate your website.

Legacy Design & Content Issues

If your website is on its second or third version, there may be pages or content you missed while updating to a new design. Or your design changes may have adversely affected some of the less visible pages without your knowledge. Some of your visitors will find these pages eventually and when they do, Session Replay will surface them, giving you the opportunity to update them or remove them.

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