Using Jaco for user insights

Ever wonder what your users are really doing on your website? Or how they use it? Worried that people are having a hard time using your site? There are several tools out available now that record user behaviour and produce visual reports and statistics, but one that I found super painless to setup, easy to understand and use was Jaco.

Just sign up, add the code snippet to your site and watch the sessions as they come in.

Finding painpoints, improving UX

Just watching people using your or your client’s site is truly fascinating. With Jaco you can see the mouse movements, clicks/taps, scrolling and text input. It helps you find certain habits and painpoints in your UI.

Looks like that menu is disappearing too fast for categories near the bottom…need to add a delay!

I also found some people read with their mouse, or they click on text possibly to copy the text. You can see where their focus is at and what content they are interested in.

You can also see the the browser size the user is using, as well as window size changes. If you have a responsive site design you might notice that depending on their browser size a certain media-query breakpoint is used more often than others within desktop environments.

Some sessions can be extremely long (can be over an hour) but thankfully they cut out the idle time with a short animation. They also have faster playback speeds to skim through the session until you see something more interesting.

Some issues…

With text input the content is converted to Xs, likely for privacy reasons (like passwords) but those values can be shown if the site is designed (intended or unintended) to do so, like a confirmation page, or edit page that displays it, which may be a problem and something you should be aware of and address if needed.

I signed up during the beta phase so few things were buggy but now fixed. One thing that still bothers me is that sometimes when you’re watching one of the newer videos the CSS styles aren’t loaded. You can see the person using the site normally pressing where links would normally be but you the site in a format without all or some CSS. Maybe it’s something to do your site speed and/or with their rendering logic process but after a while it loads fine.

Also most smartphone and tablet sessions doesn’t seem to be recording at the moment...

Managing sessions

Depending on how much your tracking, the sessions can pile up very fast. There are many filters you can choose to focus on certain sessions, but they only have a favourite function to mark certain recordings. I think it would be great to be able to add labels to manage recordings. Trying to find a past recording can be very challenging and adding them all to favourites might not be sufficient when you have tons of favourites. You can get the share link and manage them yourself in something like a spreadsheet I guess.

In addition to filters, a ‘relevance score’ is added to each session based on the types and length of activity. So for long, highly engaged sessions seem to have a higher scores, and sessions that are just bounces (just load the site and then exit) would have a zero.

Should you use it?

They have a free tier which records 2000 sessions a month to paid tiers for 500k sessions at $749/month. They also have a 14 day free trial now when you sign up so it’s definitely worth a try. The knowledge you gain might be the insights you need to understand your users, and improve your products and services.