Medium’s technology blog OneZero reports that many websites today use a service that collects all of your mouse movements, enabling “replays” of every move.
“What surprised me was that the software even recorded when I shook my mouse around while deciding what to click on. It felt like observing digital body language.”
Session replay services have been around for over a decade and are widely used. One service, called FullStory, lists popular sites like Zillow, TeeSpring, and Jane as clients on its website. Another, called LogRocket, boasts Airbnb, Reddit, and CarFax, and a third called Inspectlet lists Shopify, ABC, and eBay among its users.
They bill themselves as tools for designing sites that are easy to use and increase desired user behavior, such as buying an item. If many users add items to their cart, but then abandon the purchase at a certain rough part of the checkout process, for instance, the service helps site owners figure out how to change the site’s design to nudge users over the checkout line… FullStory even has a feature that tracks what it calls “rage clicks.” This is when a user gets frustrated with a site and starts angrily clicking over and over.
- In a semi-related story, a reporter for The Markup also recently discovered Amazon had apparently collected 90,000 rows of timestamped data about every tap they’d made on their Kindle.