RedAnt on how Clicktale doesn't quite tell the whole tale.

This Clicktale review is completely independent – we’ve used it on several projects where we wanted to better understand user interactions. We’ve had a chance to look at both the way it collects data and how it reports this information. We’ve also had the opportunity to compare the results against other other software tracking tools, as well as other approaches to the same task such as physical eye tracking. We started using Clicktale based on many of the positive reviews we’d read, but on further investigation many of these were paid reviews (via affiliate commission).

Clicktale is a software tool which allows you to track what users are doing on your website. It is used to analyse how people behave and what they do on particular pages. We’ve used it on several projects to try to gain a better understanding of how users were travelling through the site. More specifically, we were trying to get a better understanding of how they were using particular pages & forms, and what steps we could take to improve our conversion rate.

To summarise our experience, we were quite disappointed with the results. The Clicktale reports seem to illustrate certain behaviours and user problems, but after some investigation we realised these weren’t problems.

Users were in fact behaving differently to what this tool was describing.

We wasted a lot of time investigating issues that we couldn’t reproduce, and worrying about defects which weren’t there.

Our problem was that we realised that some of the Clicktale data was wrong… but the trouble was we didn’t know which bit.

Using Clicktale is not like looking over their shoulder. Clicktale records mouse position every second or so and keyboard strokes. Then, in a separate process, a Clicktale bot visits your site and takes a screenshot of that page. The actual playback is an animation of this screenshot and an image of a mouse cursor moving over the top of it. Similarly the heatmap uses this screenshot.

There are a few problems with this approach, but the primary one is that the screen that you’re seeing in the playback can be quite different to the one that your user just saw.

We've been using Clicktale too... This kinda explains some of our results. ._.