The Four Main Approaches To End User Experience Monitoring
Posted by Walid Abou-Halloun Date: Dec 29, 2017 11:32:00 AM
Is your business’s website failing to get the amount of traffic it deserves? Do you find that you’re spending more time of your workday on the phone with IT than actually making sales calls and responding to customers?
Do your clients and employees constantly complain about the usability of certain software, hardware, applications, and company websites?
If so, then it’s time you made end user experience monitoring a part of your business practice.
After all, when one of your programs or websites is down, you’ll lose both productivity and profits.
Case in point?
When Amazon’s site went down in 2013, they lost over $66,000 every minute.
The cost of downtime isn’t only financial. You’ll also lose consumer trust, employee morale, and a wash of all your marketing strategies. You may even face lawsuits if your site is down for an extended period of time — especially if customer data is put at risk.
Read on to learn how end user experience monitoring can help you to keep your customers happy and your business running smoothly.
What Is End User Experience Monitoring?
Before we get into the different approaches and methods of end user experience monitoring, (EUEM) let’s first make sure you understand what it is and why it’s such a crucial part of your digital strategy.
The “end user” is the individual who will actually end up using the software, application, website, or hardware. It is not the developer of the programs themselves, nor is the end user the program administrator or any kind of program.
The end user is exclusively the person that will make use of the software/hardware/site once it’s been developed and installed on a computer. The easiest way to understand what an end user is? The person who picks up the phone and calls the IT team when there’s an issue is the end user.
So, end user experience monitoring evaluates the experience that this end user actually has while using the software, hardware, or application itself. It ensures the software is performing well, monitors how effective the IT services surrounding it are, and makes sure it’s easy to use.
Why Does It Matter?
Now that you’re clear on the definition of end user experience monitoring, let’s move on to discussing why it’s so important for your business.
Think about it: whenever there’s an issue with your software or a business application, the operations in your office will either significantly slow down or even halt altogether.
You’ll lose productivity and sales, and your customers may even walk away if the issue isn’t resolved quickly enough.
EUEM helps you to get the most uptime possible out of your application, software, or even your website. You’ll be able to evaluate your site lookup times, access your files from anywhere, monitor response time, and evaluate the overall usability of the site for your visitors, clients, and employees.
The Four Main Approaches To End User Experience Monitoring
Now, it’s time to dive into four of the several different ways in which your company can approach end user experience monitoring. Read on to learn which method is the best fit for you.
1. Real User Monitoring
The first method of end user experience monitoring we’ll cover here is real user monitoring, or RUM.
RUM monitors your website or web-based application based on massive amounts of data collected from real users (AKA, your site visitors.) It examines how long it takes the network to respond, identifies common errors, measures how often these errors occur, and more.
In order to get the most out of RUM, it’s important to ensure that your marketing department works with your IT department to help them understand the most important parts of the customer journey on your website or app. It will then aggregate your website’s traffic, to ensure you get a more complete analysis.
It’s an especially helpful type of monitoring if you’re concerned with network security.
Keep in mind, however, that RUM monitoring really only works with web-based tools and interactions. So, if you’re looking to monitor offline software, you’ll likely need to take another approach to end user experience monitoring.
Additionally, be aware that, for the most part, RUM will not be able to look for problems in the device a user is trying to access your website with. So, if someone’s smartphone is the problem, you may not be able to help.
2. Device-Based Monitoring
To that last point regarding the functionality of the end user’s smartphone, Internet, or desktop computer: enter device-based monitoring.
In general, device-based end user experience monitoring is an excellent supplement to other monitoring approaches — but not necessarily enough on its own.
The goal here is for your IT services and monitoring systems to be able to diagnose any issues that the end user is having with the devices they’re using to access your website.
In some cases, you may even be able to use applications to monitor crash rates and other functionality issues with the end user’s devices.
It’s important to be aware, however, that while the data gathered by device-based monitoring devices is valuable, it’s not measuring the actual experience of the end users. Instead, it’s giving you a more generalized idea of the health of their devices.
Third up on our list of possible end user experience monitoring approaches?
This method will help you to better understand the complete user experience of your web-based application or website. This means that, while it gives you more insight into what the end user is actually going through when they’re online, it can only do that for web-based applications and, in some cases, mobile applications that need the Internet to function.
However, as with everything, there is a compromise.
Though you’ll certainly get a better understanding of the overall user experience, you’ll get little (if any) data on the functionality of the user’s device. So, once again, if the problem is with a user’s tablet or smartphone, you won’t be of much help to them.
This is why so many companies choose to combine several methods of end user experience monitoring, to ensure they get a more complete picture of their end users.
4. Synthetic Monitoring
Synthetic monitoring, also known as “robotic testing,” creates special scripts that help to imitate the average user experience or follow a desired customer path on your site or application.
These scripts are followed from lots of different places several times at different times.
Especially if you’re interested in finding larger bugs and issues with your site or device, synthetic monitoring is a great solution. It also assists with finding problems in applications that work with third parties.
Keep in mind that synthetic user end experience monitoring doesn’t actually measure anything when it comes to experience. Instead, it actually imitates how users interact with software, applications, and websites.
This means that, while it does take time to draw up the “user scripts” you want these robots to follow, it is a wonderfully effective way to see your site or application from the “big picture” point of view.
However, if you’re looking to monitor or help to solve a detailed singular problem on your site or application, synthetic monitoring may not be the best solution for you.
In a nutshell: if you’re looking for more generalized, overall monitoring, synthetic monitoring is a great option. If you need more specific details about a particular problem a user is experiencing while accessing your website or using your software, then you may need to use another method.
Where Can You Find The Best In IT Services?
We hope this post has made it clear just how important end user experience monitoring is for the success of your company, especially in the digital age.
Now, you’ll be able to better determine which of these approaches will work best for your business and the additional internal resources, if any, that you require.
Keep in mind that the quality of these approaches — and the overall uptime of your site or application — depends on the specific internal skilled Big Data Resources that you have on hand.
Don’t compromise when it comes to your IT expertise. we can help to connect your business to the best minds in the IT industry that possess the essential skills and expertise to help you do more with your data and be more responsive to the needs of the business.