6 Strategies to Utilize Session Replays to the Fullest

6 Strategies to Utilize Session Replays to the Fullest

Session replay enables you to watch accurate recordings of real, anonymized users interacting with your mobile app. At best, it provides detailed insights into mobile app performance and customer experience that no other tool in the industry can. How can you go about intelligently systemizing the sessions you replay to gain useful, practical, actionable insights, instead of wasting time watching numerous random sessions? That’s the question this blog, brought to you by our digital experience analytics platform UserExperior, aims to answer.

So, without further ado, here’s the six steps you should follow to squeeze the most out of your session replay tools.

How to get the most out of the session replay feature?

Ask the right questions before watching replays of random user sessions

Session Replay

Trying to find actionable insights by watching sessions at random is like looking for a needle in a haystack and this could take a very long time to produce results. In order to locate the needle, you need to ask the right questions.

  • Who is visiting area x of the mobile app?
  • What are they trying to achieve?
  • At which points do they abandon the process and more importantly, why ?

The first step for getting the most out of session replays is to stop randomly watching session replays! 

Determine an objective before analyzing selected session replays

Session replays should not be treated as a way to identify new issues. Rather, they should be utilized as a way of scrutinizing known problem areas. 

  • What’s the project that you’re currently working on? 
  • Have you been tasked with investigating why mobile app sign-ups have fallen year-on-year? 
  • Why is the revenue down for a certain demographic? 
  • If not working on any project, then initiate a new one. 
  • What area of your mobile app do you want to focus on? The checkout flow? The sign-up process? Content engagement?

Decide on an overarching goal for your analysis. Once you contextualize your investigation, everything you do becomes more purposeful.

Agree on a unified system to document your findings from the session

Organizing your observations from session recordings is essential. Watching multiple user sessions without any way of documenting what you found will make you numb to visitor behavior, and be a waste of time. If your session replay tool offers filtering, commenting and tagging – like UserExperior’s does – then organizing sessions can all be done in-app, minimizing the management issue. If, however, your tool does not offer this, or you simply want to have an external record, then an old-school spreadsheet is a good way to go. 

Either way, you’ll want to organize sessions in logical ways that everybody using the tool will be instantly familiar with. It might be a good idea to sit down as a team to decide on naming conventions that work for everyone. 

How will you label problems? As well as their severity? One system that can work is ‘raw’ to ‘logical’. When you are watching a batch of sessions, make initial notes of any raw observations and insights that you see and then quantify them into the agreed system.

Start off your analysis with funnels

Begin your analysis with Funnels

Now that you’ve set your objective, and you and your team have your note-taking and tagging systems in place, it’s time to begin your investigation. A logical place to start your mobile app analysis is with funnels. Say you’re investigating why users abandon the checkout process. Set up a funnel that outlines each stage of that flow, like the one below. This gives you immediate visuals into where the leaks in the process are occurring. 

Using the funnels within UserExperior, it’s possible to click through to watch sessions that drop off or pass through particular stages of the funnel straight away. This will often still leave too many sessions to watch. There remains a multitude of ways you can be smarter about the sessions you watch back. To really illuminate an issue, you want to look at it from as many angles as possible.

Use behavioral analytics to identify rage taps

Identify rage taps
Behavioral analysis surfacing a frustrated user

You’ve identified where the most drop off in the checkout flow is occurring, but there’s still too many session replays to watch back to gain any real practical insight. Surfacing behaviors is an automated machine-learning feature that UserExperior offers. 

Our algorithms instantly zero in on where users demonstrate frustration, for example by multi-tapping. In the example above, behavioral analysis is honed in on a user furiously multi-tapping and getting no response. The user taps repeatedly on the unresponsive button demonstrating their frustration. You can segment sessions by users who dropped off at a certain stage, and then let the behavioral analytics locate the key areas that frustrate users, leaving a list of highly informative sessions to watch back.

Utilize heatmaps

Touch heatmaps
Touch Heatmaps show the aggregate view of how users tap on the screen.

While behavioral analytics can immediately locate explicit sources of frustration that are killing the flow of your checkout, fixes aren’t always so obvious. Sometimes there’s a more conceptual issue than, say, a broken or slow loading mobile app screen. 

In cases like this, it can be useful to take a step back to regain the aggregated view of customer behavior. Touch heatmaps reveal how far users are scrolling down the page. You can instantly locate areas on the app where users focus the most and the least. To further hone in on useful sessions, utilize hover and touch heatmaps to see which elements users are intrigued by but don’t interact with. 

Diving straight in to view sessions of users who correspond to a certain part of a heatmap.
Diving straight into view sessions of users who correspond to a certain part of a heatmap.

Seen something interesting? If your tool allows you to dive straight in to corresponding session replays from any point of a heatmap, as does UserExperior, then you can instantly investigate any issues with a hyper-relevant batch of session replays to go through.

Spend less time finding issues, and focus more on fixing them. Reach out to us today to find out more about session replays.