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Complete Web Monitoring

Cover of Complete Web Monitoring by Alistair Croll... Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Issues and Concerns

WIA lets us peer deep within the pages of a visit to get a feel for how visitors interacted with components below the page level. It’s a technology that must be used judiciously and in the context of the rest of your web monitoring for its results to be meaningful. It also has some important limitations.

What if the Page Changes?

When analyzing visitor interactions, remember that measurements are only valid for a particular page design. You’re trying to test a particular page layout to evaluate scrolling, click locations, and form completion. If the page changes in the middle of that test, the results won’t make sense.

Some WIA monitoring tools capture the page when you first set up monitoring, and use this as the background when displaying their results. Other tools capture the page at the time the report is generated, and associate results (such as a count of clicks) with specific page elements, so if you delete a button on a page, the click count for that button won’t show up in reports.

To avoid this kind of confusion, don’t change a page while you’re testing it. Treat each WIA analysis as a test with a beginning and end, then make a change, run another analysis, and compare the results.

Visitor Actions WIA Can’t See

Client-side WIA captures what happens when a user interacts with the browser, recording such events as changes in dialog box focus, mouse clicks, and keystrokes. Users may do things that have little to do with your site, but that affect how they use ...

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