Usability Tools are Essential

Usability tools like Clixpy and Clicktale and Userfly allow you to peek over the shoulder of the people who come to your site.

By embedding a few lines of HTML code, you can playback a video ‘capture’ of a single site visit.

I got an odd voyeuristic feeling when I first reviewed the captures. Then you have this moment of zen when you realize ways you can leverage this information to (a) serve your customers better and (b) increase metrics like conversion rates, time on site, bounce rate, the layout of your site and of course the increased revenue from implementing changes.


The free trial captures alone should make you a believer.

Forms: learn how visitors complete your online forms. Where else can you actually see users complete your online form including backspaces and tabbing through the fields. Love this feature. Is there a form field that takes too long to complete? Now you’ll know. Does the user come to a question and abandon the page? Is a form field causing validation problems or makes them click ‘help’ or the back button on their browser? Do I need to tell you how important this information is?

Landing Pages: analyzing landing pages is a perfect fit for testing usability. Also a great way to minimize burning through captures.

Navigation: see the user going from your Home Page to your About to Articles You’ve Written to the Price Request Page.

Mouse Movements: see the users mouse trail. I found users clicking on things that weren’t links which got me thinking, maybe they should be links.

Above the Fold / Below The Fold: learn from the user scrolling up and down your page.


Some of the information you learn is available through site overlays and heat maps but seeing rather than reading a report provides a valuable new dimension.


Usability goes hand in hand with other online tools Google Analytics and CrazyEgg, not a replacement for.


Having one set of site metrics in Google Analytics and another set with Crazyegg and yet another with Userfly (or Clixpy or whomever) leaves you to make the connections between the various pools of data.  Which does happen but the true leverage will come from looking at 1 set of data.

If you can afford $290 a month then offers a comprehensive set of tools including heat maps, eye tracking, usability captures and analytics in 1 place.

Clixpy and Userfly are solely usability focused as of right now and require you to either purchase captures beforehand or allot a certain number of captures depending on what subscription plan you choose.


Filtering: more needs to be done to filter out visitors I don’t want to capture especially for companies on the pay per capture model.  On the positive, they do allow you to filter out your own IP address (shockingly you’re not interested in playing back the capture of the time you visited your own site)

Integration: I realize these companies compete with one another but I do hope they work on allowing the data they capture to integrate with other analytic tools. Can you imagine the power of clicking a completed goal in Google Analytics (somebody who buys your product) and bringing up their usability capture. Or the ability to click Site Overlay in Google Analytics and getting a CrazyEgg heat map and then drilling down to a Userfly usability capture?

Good times ahead. Nobody accused me of thinking small.

Or is a more likely scenario to happen where startups in the space will get bought out and integrated with the more established players?

0 second visits: I wish the usability companies on a pay per capture model didn’t charge me for captures that are 0 seconds in length. I have to say it irks me to pay for learning nothing from a visit.

I love that you can capture sessions across multiple domains.

I love how easy the setup is. How you can cut & paste a few lines of HTML code and get so much information is beyond me.

I do hope I’ve enticed you enough to try usability and apply what you learn to grow your travel company.