Understanding where you users struggle with your app / service

Posted on November 9, 2012

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[Disclosure – This tool has been bought by IBM, my employer, indeed these are notes from an internal briefing]

Tealeaf provides the tools that look at the issues that app/site owners might have with an app or web site and then try to look at these problems collectively and so help the owner to fix these overall problems as well as the individual issues.

This is a key way of ensuring that your site is not leaking revenue as a result of customers who fall out of a process.
The presenter gave an  example of an airline,  where buyers were struggling to enter the CVC from their credit cards.
So you might want to capture these users with a strong buy intent and then go out of band with the client to recover their intention to purchase.
The tealeaf tools are able to do this in real time, as well as via a reporting interface.  This reporting has the usual abilities that you would expect so that you can go into the user’s sessions and to slice and dice them as you would need. You can then dig into the actual sesh the user had to see the exact details including the requests and responses, so you can see what the application is sending to the user.  You can also replay the session so that the investigator (technical or business) can see what happened from the customer’s point of view.
To collect the data from a smartphone App they have a library that will collect the data,  and will then send the data back when it can (taking care not to intrude on the user’s experience or their data plan).  This app library is small and light, so it has a very little impact on the actual app’s performance.
For web sites they packet sniff at the server end to capture the data so there is no impact on the web server or client.
This type of solution is a key service because, as I have mentioned before, it is one thing to look at individual problems, but it is more important to view them as a group to see the trends etc,  which then lets you focus technical effort on fixing the most serious issues, or better yet the underlying causes of the issue (which may also be app design/UI or UX based, not just bugs/issues)
For a mobile app they are able to understand the mobile elements of the solution,  so for example they know about the handsets, the app’s details, the OS etc and from can add a greater level of understanding to the collection of the issues.
You can also integrate tealeaf into some of the decision engines for CRM systems,  which allows for remedial actions or similar messaging channels.
So if you’re serious about doing your app/web site right and serious about learning how your site works and where it fails (either because of the system or because the user),  then this is a brilliant tool, in particular the ability to extract details of what the user is doing within the app is a key advantage.
There you have it: a tool that provides hard data back into the design/improve loop.
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Posted in: mobile