End-User Monitoring: How it Can Impact Your Business
After the global pandemic and lockdowns, most businesses look onward to online solutions for their applications. They want to take their business online by creating mobile or web applications. Companies are looking to monitor every aspect of the application, including deployment, bugs, API failures, etc.
But the most important thing is how the application behaves when it goes into the hands of the end-users. No matter how many automated tests you run on your application or the size of your testing team, the true application test happens when actual customers use it.
Any business must reach users in a proper state to prosper. Almost every business today is online, and as a result, users are reached through apps. If your business is an online one, it's critical to understand your application’s impact on its users. One of the best ways to monitor the behavior of your end users is end-user monitoring. In this article, we will be discussing how perfect end-user monitoring can help your business in many ways and how you can implement end-user monitoring in your application.
- What is End-User Monitoring?
- Types of End-User Monitoring
- Synthetic Monitoring vs. Real User Monitoring
- The Business Impact of Real End-User Monitoring
- Use End-User Monitoring To Your Advantage
What is End-User Monitoring?
Application development involves many processes for making it robust; the complete process is called ALM. After the product development and building phase, we finally deploy the app for our end users. After that deployment, we want to see how the user behaves towards the application, including tracking the features they are using most, the amount of time they spend on the application, and the errors they face while using the application. Knowing and analyzing all these things for a wide variety of end-users is end-user monitoring. It also tells what impact your application is creating on users.
End-user monitoring, also known as end-user experience monitoring, is the technique of keeping track of a user's actions or behavior while using an application. After you've seen the user's activity, you'll analyze the data and start working on the application to improve the user experience. It covers tracking what a user performs with your app, and its distribution affects the user experience. It also lets us know the actual pain points of user-related to the app.
Why End-User Monitoring is Increasingly Important
You are probably aware that end-user monitoring aids in gaining a better understanding of a user's experience with your application. Any company’s final target is to make a profit. Tracking user behavior in the application provides key insights for monetary optimization. That is why end-user monitoring is a necessity for every business.
Know Which Features Are Useful And Which Are Not
When developing an application, it is normal to have multiple sections based on their uses. For example, if you create a social media application, there must be a section for image posts, video posts, user profiles, etc. Here, you must know which parts attract the users and which parts are boring. In this way, you can identify where you should put more effort.
Another example would be if your application had different designs (colors, templates, widget shapes, and so on). End-user monitoring can help you determine which strategy provides the best user experience.
Understand the Performance of A New Feature
If your application has been up for a while and you've recently added a new feature, knowing how well it is working is critical. End-user monitoring is essential for checking how users interact with new features. Collecting metrics is the second important thing.
Identify Page Load Problems And Script Issues
When you get information on user experience, you will also know how long it takes for each page to load. This can assist you in identifying and resolving page load and other network problems. This metric is vital because no user wants to see a loading bar for a long time unless or until it is highly interactive or a game. With unnecessary long loading times, you risk losing your customers to your competitors.
Decide Where to Invest More
Knowing the user's experience will provide you with insight into what the user likes and dislikes. This will assist you in prioritizing your strategy and determining which aspects of the application to concentrate on.
These are some of the ways how end-user monitoring might benefit your business. Let's have a look at some of the numerous methods for monitoring the end-user.
Types of End-User Monitoring
There are mainly three methods of doing end-user monitoring. These are:
- Synthetic monitoring
- Real User monitoring
- Device-based monitoring
Usage of these types depends on what kind of data you focus on. If you want to know the real-time status of customers, you can use real user monitoring. If you want to know about the devices on which your app is being used, you can go for device-based tracking, and so on.
Synthetic monitoring, as the name suggests, involves utilizing a bot to keep track of the user's experience, sometimes referred to as proactive or active monitoring. You'll need to build scripts to replicate the user's behaviors in your application if you want to employ synthetic monitoring. Now you might wonder if a bot is very different from an actual human, and how can we use bots in place of humans? Why would we deploy a robot to replicate user behavior if we need to observe end-user behavior?
To evaluate the performance of your application, you don't require an actual user. You can develop a script that copies the actions of a real user to see how your application responds. As a result, when you employ synthetic monitoring, you learn about your application's availability and performance. Also, using machine learning and NLP you can copy and create different types of users to a greater extent.
Real User Monitoring
How to Do Real User Monitoring Right?
This method directly addresses real users, and it is the most useful metric for the developer to understand its users. All you need to do is put in a one-time effort while writing the script, which scraps the data when real users use the application. You don't merely capture user activity information when you employ real user monitoring. You can also collect data like page views, browser versions, user location, and page load time, among other things.
The most significant disadvantage is the results are only reliable when there is sufficient traffic. The results are insufficient to take action on if the program has no or extremely few users.
Device-Based End User Monitoring
At the time of building, the application developer may not care about the device on which the application will be running. But the device hardware is a crucial factor for user experience. If your application uses an excessive amount of battery, but the device does not have much battery capacity, the user will delete the app. You can utilize device-based end-user monitoring to track how much load your application is putting on the user's device. Device-based end-user monitoring detects site issues using metrics collected from desktops, mobile devices, and laptops.
The user could be utilizing various devices, such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc. You can use a simple code to see what resources your application uses on the user's device. This will assist you in optimizing your app for various devices. The user experience increases when you optimize your program, and it runs smoothly on the user's system.
Synthetic Monitoring vs. Real User Monitoring
Real user monitoring(RUM) and synthetic monitoring provide various perspectives on your performance and can be used for multiple purposes. RUM aids in studying long-term trends, while synthetic monitoring aids in diagnosing and resolving short-term performance issues. Each strategy has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but when used in tandem, they are incredibly effective. Let us discuss some of the benefits and downsides of each of them one by one.
Advantages of Real User Monitoring
Let us begin by taking a deep dive into the benefits of employing Real User Monitoring (RUM).
Puts Users First
Understanding page visits and load times, site page construction speed, and users' browser and platform performance for a wide variety of devices and locations are critical to knowing how your users are doing.
One of the worst things for your business is a bug-prone, issue-ridden website. Building websites is effortless nowadays; you just have to find a template and give some money to a freelancer, and boom! Your website is ready. The tricky part is maintaining it so that end-users do not face any problems while using its services. That is why real-user monitoring is essential.
No Metrics Missed
Another benefit of monitoring real data is that it eliminates the need to specify significant use cases ahead of time. As each user navigates, all information is recorded. As a result, performance metrics will be provided regardless of which pages users visit. It is beneficial for large websites of projects where changing features is an everyday thing.
Monitoring At Page and Network Level
Lower level problems of application are generally ignored because they are complicated to reproduce and resolve as well, just like a minor UI feature in-app. Real user monitoring can shed some light on those flaws and replay user sessions, functioning as a magnet for needle-like issues. This allows your team to set goals and prioritize tasks based on the severity and frequency of problems.
Disadvantages of RUM
Here are some disadvantages of relying on Real User Monitoring (RUM):
- RUM is only effective if people visit and use your website. It's challenging to get a sense of how well your website performs without building a large user base.
- It's difficult to identify recurring issues across the board because RUM is essentially random and relies exclusively on user traffic.
- RUM generates too much data; hence, it's difficult to have accurate knowledge in general.
Advantages of Synthetic Monitoring
Now that we have a sense of what RUM offers, let’s move to Synthetic Monitoring. Also known as Active Monitoring, it is a technique for monitoring your apps by imitating users. Scripts, in other words, artificially generate visitors to observe how websites operate in the real world. Here are some of the advantages of employing synthetic monitoring.
Simulate Real Users
Synthetic monitoring gives information on how well a system is doing and whether or not users are satisfied. It also benefits in tracking the application 24x7 even when the staff is not active. We can not afford to have real users when starting a new application. Hence synthetic monitoring seems very effective in end-user monitoring.
Synthetic monitoring allows you to keep track of performance at any time, frequency, and location. You can use this information to identify areas that need improvement and establish strategies to address them. Because of the large amount of data gathered from your app, benchmarking its performance at any point of time in the software development process is easy.
Disadvantages of Synthetic Monitoring
Synthetic Monitoring alone can fall short in several areas, even though synthetic monitoring delivers constant and dependable insight into your performance. Here are some of those:
- Synthetic monitoring does not track real user sessions because they are generated in controlled and predictable conditions. They just do not reflect what real people are going through at any particular time.
- Man-made scripts are highly predictable, and many edge cases can miss when using a script. Other than that, you can not create a geographical situation to a great extent; hence real user monitoring will be difficult.
The Business Impact of Real End-User Monitoring
Real end-user monitoring plays a vital role in getting valuable insights into how real human users find their way around your app. But how does this equate to your business’s growth? Let’s take a quick look at the business impacts of real-user monitoring in this section.
When you use real user monitoring, you track how users behave on real users’ devices. You can record the real problems faced by the user using stack traces and fix them. When the bug or issues are fixed, it improves the user experience and customer retention. It will, hence, increase the profit of the business.
Organizations must monitor infrastructure performance not just from the standpoint of their IT departments but also from the perspective of their business executives to assist their business executives in achieving their objectives. You can only realize this goal if the quality of IT service delivery is evaluated from the perspective of the service consumers.
Understanding Customer Experience
After assuring essential availability, site owners should focus on performance and functionality. Customers will eventually notice flaws. On the other hand, front-end monitoring solutions can assist teams in measuring performance in a staging environment before seeing real user experience from the diverse set of clients, device types, networks, and browser types found in production environments.
End-users demand the same levels of application performance for data they use at work as they do for data they use for personal reasons when residential data communication services improve in terms of speed and availability. Simultaneously, businesses deploy new apps that require increasingly complicated infrastructure and become more critical to their operations. This makes it more difficult for IT teams to support end-user application delivery and guarantee that application performance issues do not disrupt essential business activities.
Measuring The Health of The Backend
Modern websites rely primarily on microservices, APIs, and third parties to transmit information to web browsers and end-users. Synthetic tests and monitors should ideally alert site operators if service endpoints, APIs, and third-party components are up, running and giving accurate results and information that support a satisfactory end-user experience.
Managing Inter-Related Technologies
A modern website is complicated, with a dynamic mix of frameworks, APIs, graphics, third-party services, plugins, content platforms, and more delivering experiences. Building a site that satisfies consumers regardless of location, network, or device is part of a company's "job one."
Use End-User Monitoring to Your Advantage
Many companies still use application uptime as a primary metric for assessing application performance. Although this metric helps IT departments evaluate the availability of business services given to end-users, it does not allow them to assess the actual quality of IT services received by business users. As a result, enterprises are increasingly turning to performance indicators like application and transaction response times and end-user experience indices to track application speed and assess the quality of the end-user experience.
We have seen how crucial end-user monitoring is for businesses. It tracks all of the essential data required by the companies and hence increases the efficiency of the product. Delivering a flawless end-user experience is critical for a company's success. End-user monitoring tools are a quick and easy approach to avoid website performance issues that directly affect the end-user experience. They provide in-depth insights into each transaction of the visitor's trip and vital performance indicators that you may use to fix bottlenecks and outages, thanks to centralized dashboards. If you are looking for an end-user monitoring tool, then Scout APM can be your first choice. It provides pro insights into your application and has multiple features to fix any issue. You can try Scout APM now for free for 14 days, even without a credit card.