Crazyegg = crazy good Matt 29 Sep 2006

38 comments Latest by rickdog

Crazyegg is a neat tool that gives you a clear picture of where visitors are clicking on your site. We’ve been using it to track traffic on our sites and we’ve been really impressed with it. It’s dead simple, beautifully executed, and damn useful (plus it’s built on Rails).

Part of the cool concept here is that you can set up A-B tests. Spec how long, or how many clicks, you want to test one version (e.g. test a home page layout for 5000 clicks or 2 weeks) and then make changes and test the new version to see how the results differ.

Of course this is all info that has always been available in the logs. But the quick, clear UI takes this data out of the shadows and brings it into the light.

Heatmaps
There are a few options for how to look at your data but we’ve been digging the heatmaps. Here’s a look at a heatmap of the Basecamp site…

BC heatmap
Click for larger version

…and one for the Backpack site.

BP heatmap
Click for larger version

Since the login link at Backpack got so much love we placed a yellow background behind it to call it out more. We also added a log in link to the Basecamp site too:

login

(There was no login link there before because it’s a trickier issue at Basecamp — customers need to login in at their private Basecamp URL. The link we added actually connects to an FAQ that explains how this works.) We’ll be keeping an eye on the sites using this method as we continue to tweak them.

Blank slate
The crazyegg blank slate that gets you started is quite nice too:

blank slate
Click for larger version

1-2-3 steps explain how to get started and there are helpful boxes that explain “What should I test for?” and “What do the results tell me?”

Public to private
And yet one more nice touch at crazyegg.com: The public site becomes the private site. If you are logged into your account and you go back to the crazyegg.com site, you are still logged in — and the signup page becomes the upgrade page. Going to the sales site to manage your account is an intuitive path for a lot customers so it’s a slick move.

38 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Darrel 29 Sep 06

Anyone have any opinions on the main pros/conts between Crazy Egg vs. Clickdensity (vs. others? I think Google offers the heat-map model as well).

We’ve looked at Clickdensity and are now playing with Crazy Egg a bit.

Simon 29 Sep 06

If you’re interested in heatmaps, you might like etre’s “five days / five heatmaps” eye tracking study: http://www.etre.com/blog/2006/05/five_days_five_heatmaps/

Eric Anderson 29 Sep 06

Do it yourself heatmap:

http://blog.corunet.com/english/the-definitive-heatmap

Eric Anderson 29 Sep 06

Do it yourself heatmap:

http://blog.corunet.com/english/the-definitive-heatmap

Jan 29 Sep 06

There was no login link there before because it’s a trickier issue at Basecamp — customers need to login in at their private Basecamp URL. The link we added actually connects to an FAQ that explains how this works

Ooh, you guys disappoint me. When a customer wants to login, he wants to login. Don’t give some explanation on how it is supposed to work. Customers don’t care. Just make it work.

Jon Maddox 29 Sep 06

@jan: I agree. Please, just make it work. It was really frustrating when i was trying to log into my basecamp account 2 months after not using it. Not only had i forgetten my “special” url, but i forgot it even USED one. While I am happy that you finally put SOMETHING there, I’d love to see you guys ‘make it work’.

“Since the login link at Backpack got so much love we placed a yellow background behind it to call it out more. We also added a log in link to the Basecamp site too:”

Wouldn’t it be smarter to apply that style to a link that ISN”T getting a lot of love, but should? If its getting clicked on so much, I dont think highlighting it is necessary. If it wasn’t, then it would.

Spike 29 Sep 06

I was stoked when I saw Crazy Egg for the first time but the steady stream of hype with absolutely no product put me off - crucially, between the site going live and the PRODUCT going live, they let a competitor take over - clickdensity.com: I’ve been using that and it works brilliantly, their “support” is basically just talking to their developers. I’ve been highly impressed with them in every regard, they are really keen to improve the product and take feedback. Schoolboy error from crazy egg IMO.

George Morris 29 Sep 06

For a more pro level solution check out Eyetools http://www.eyetools.com

They actually track the users eye rather then a mouse or clicks.

George Morris 29 Sep 06

For a more pro level solution check out Eyetools http://www.eyetools.com

They actually track the users eye rather then a mouse or clicks.

Scott Raymond 29 Sep 06

FWIW, we at Blinksale had the same problem of users expecting to sign in from the home page, even though they were “supposed” to go to their subdomain. Our solution was to add a signin form to the sales site that simply promts the user for their subdomain, and it seems to have worked well. To see what I mean, click “Login” at the top of the Blinksale home page: http://www.blinksale.com/

Bill P 29 Sep 06

Hey Scott Raymond…

Thanks for the practical example.
Much appreciated.

Hiten Shah 29 Sep 06

Thanks for the writeup on Crazy Egg! We are glad you guys “get” why we built Crazy Egg.

@Darrel: It is difficult to understand the differences between the different products on the market right now but our focus is on allowing people to test things, instead of being a site-wide analytics products, that is the main difference.

@Spike: You make some good points about our early “hype”, but a lot of that was out of our control, as we were testing our product to a large group of test users and the word spread. I urge you to try out what we have to offer, we have spent a lot of time making things easier for our users. Also, unlike some of the other products, we do not require any modifications to your website to get things going. For example Crazy Egg works with centered layouts and dynamic websites (like blogs) without a problem.

Christian Watson 29 Sep 06

I’ve been using Crazy Egg for a little while and wrote a review of it on my site.

I tried out Click Density too, but it has problems with centered pages. You have to add the id of the div that centers your page to the tracking script.

I just couldn’t get this to work for the site I was testing and so I gave up. Crazy Egg just works.

darrel 29 Sep 06

“FWIW, we at Blinksale had the same problem of users expecting to sign in from the home page, even though they were “supposed” to go to their subdomain.”

That’s a gripe of mine that I have with a lot of ‘web 2.0’ web-based application sites.

Having to remember unique subdomain along with a unique user name and unique password for yet another web application just adds to the burden of the end user.

Nothing wrong with custom domains for each user, but I agree, let them log-in from the standard domain name as well.

I also second Spike’s comments. Clickdensity support seems quite responsive. I had a long list of requests after trying it out and they replied with ‘we’ve added them all to the to-do list’. Nice!

Hiten…I agree with your ‘testing’ pitch. I think that’s a good niche to fucus on. It’s not what we needed for our own site, but I can see wanting that emphasis on various other projects.

kyle 29 Sep 06

Crazy Egg has a lot of nice touches that set it apart from the crowd.

For example, I saw this error message today: http://flickr.com/photos/flow14/255742470/
(fixed by a page refresh, BTW)

I haven’t used the A/B testing yet, but I have used CE to tweak pages just by looking at the clicks & heatmaps. It’s a great tool in the Analytics arsenal.

The Colonel 29 Sep 06

Just signed up, and I have to say… we’ll be using this tool!

Thanks for the recommendation, as we’ve been trying to suss out how many people are ACTUALLY clicking on our image links. (Every link on our site is some brand of humorous image, not advertising!)

Thanks again!

(Off topic: is this post’s title a Lazy Sunday reference?)

Ali 29 Sep 06


Wouldn’t it be smarter to apply that style to a link that ISN”T getting a lot of love, but should? If its getting clicked on so much, I dont think highlighting it is necessary. If it wasn’t, then it would.

I agree that makes logical sense, but highlighting a link which gets a lot of clicks will make it prominent. So the next time you go to that page and look for the link, you’ll find it easily than you used to when you had to look for it between other things.

gwg 29 Sep 06

Eyetracking is not the same as click heatmaps. They answer two differnet questions entirely. Personally, I don’t see a lot of value in eye-tracking. A lot is made of eye tracking studies that show that users don’t look at images. Images simply don’t take very long to mentally digest. Anyway, on topic…

We’ve tested both Crazy Egg and ClickDensity and I’ll post a quick comparison.

Crazy Egg ——
+ Crazy Easy Setup for every kind of site
+ It doesn’t matter what domain you use. You can test web apps across multiple domains which is really nice.
+ Pretty heatmaps
+ Hiten (very responsive and helpful)
+ A/B(/C/D/E) testing is great.
- Limited numbers of “tests” that can be run, so you can quickly exhaust your account (sign-up terms are confusing too)
- Doesn’t “Feel” as precise as ClickD.
- The real power of the tools can’t be utilized because of the UI. Comparisons aren’t easy and the UI can get in the way.
- No way to use the tool on pages behind login screens.

ClickDensity
+ Responsive support
+ Easy Date range changes
+ Feels very precise on heatmaps.
+ Inline navigation
- Annoying setup for centered sites
- Accounts are Measured in Clicks (easy-to-understand, but expensive)
- Accounts are domain-specific

Summary: They’re different tools for different purposes…sorta. Same pupose, but different goals…sorta.

We still run both, but I’d rather not. They are both quite valuable and I recommend either.

jonathan 29 Sep 06

One of the “features” I’ve seen no comment on anywhere is the error sound of Crazy Egg’s application actually failing.

The site displays a page about a “cracked egg” but more entertaining perhaps is the short sound file which I couldn’t quite place until I finally realised it’s the sound of a contestant picking the wrong door from the classic “Price is Right” tv show.

Or am I wrong…?
It’s a rare application that makes me want to experience an error every now and then for kicks. Kudos to the Crazy Egg team for making it entertaining.

May Bob Barker rest in peace too.

jonathan

Nikos K 29 Sep 06

Next time you want to spread hype about a service you should warn them before you post anything.
Their website just crashed and burned just after I set my first test.
BTW what is a 503 Service Unavailable ??????

Nikos K 29 Sep 06

Next time you want to spread hype about a service you should warn them before you post anything.
Their website just crashed and burned just after I set my first test. Couldn’t handle the traffice I guess.
BTW what is a 503 Service Unavailable ??????

Hiten Shah 29 Sep 06

Nikos, I aplogize for the issue, it is not due to the traffic, but actually an issue we are experiencing from time to time that has to do with Ruby On Rails and our servers. We are working hard to get this one resolved.

JF 29 Sep 06

let them log-in from the standard domain name as well.

The issue is that there can be hundreds of people using the same username on Basecamp since usernames are scoped by subdomain. We don’t want to prevent someone from using “bob” as a username because someone else is using “bob” in a completely unconnected site.

So, a subdomain is a requirement to scope the username/password scheme.

We have considered using username, email, and password, but you can have the same username, email, and password on multiple Basecamp accounts. So that’s tricky too. We’d have to prompt someone to pick the account they want to use after they’ve entered their username, email, and password. That may not be that bad, but it’s not an easy trick.

So, yes, there are options, and yes, there are challenges, and yes, we could make it work one way or another, but the issue isn’t as big as it may appear on the outside.

Adding a link to the home page was the right “10 second” fix for now. Since we’ve done that we haven’t had a single question from anyone about how to log in.

As with anything, it’s a matter of degrees. Is it worth putting in a lot of work to go the last few % to perfect in this situation? We don’t believe so at this time.

Maybe later, but the ROI on the 10 second fix was significant enough for now.

Anonymous Coward 29 Sep 06

If you want to remember a web site bookmark it. That’s what bookmarks are for. Your Basecamp login page is a web site like Yahoo is or Google is or the NYT is or whatever favorite sites you like.

You already have the solution: The bookmark. It’s solved. Now let 37signals focus on more important things than being forced to help you when you can already help yourself.

Eric Stoller 29 Sep 06

37 SVN might not have the reader #’s of Digg but they still can have a huge effect on a site. It’s like the “Digg Effect.”

Crazy Egg just got “Signaled” / “Thirty-Sevened”.

Chris 29 Sep 06

That looks cool - I have been using google analytics but this looks like it is worth checking out.

cvfoss 30 Sep 06

That login link on Backpack has been a major annoyance for me. It’s friggin impossible to find (it’s 5 characters wide, hidden in a block of text). The fact that it’s hit so much should tell you people are wanting to use it to login. It should be 30 pixels tall in a really prominent position. Screw that, just put the form right there. What’s the point of sending people to another page?

Dmitry Chestnykh 30 Sep 06

Google Analytics has similar tool called “Site Overlay” (it like Crazyegg’s Overlay feature). It won’t show you the pixel-by-pixel heatmap, only how many times links have been clicked (with percentage), but it’s free and has a feature to mark things based on goals you set up.

Arik 30 Sep 06

I would like to take out the shameless plug and draw your attention to a service we are developing called ClickTale. ClickTale is different from CrazyEgg/ ClickDensity (but also similar). We record user activity on the client side with javascript and then allow the webmaster to playback and analyze the data in different ways. We are currently in close beta and you are welcome to visit our site and signup for our beta queue.

Thibaud 30 Sep 06

Astonishing, people use to click on the middle of each button/link. Is it more efficient ?

Thibaud 30 Sep 06

Astonishing, people use to click on the middle of each button/link. Is it more efficient ?

Anonymous Coward 30 Sep 06

Screw that, just put the form right there. What’s the point of sending people to another page?

Or bookmark your login page. Problem solved by you.

Nikos K 01 Oct 06

I used Crazyegg to setup a test, which is running for the past 2 days. I already made up my mind that this is a useful service and I was going to propose to my boss (bosses love diagrams, overlays and heatmaps and loathe or fail to understand plain log statistics) to buy an account so we can run usability test on our sites.
Only problem is that crazyegg has been unavailable for the last hour and it really slows load times on the page which loads the script.
Bummer really because its a nice tool and I could really use it.

BTW how was your experience with setting tests on backpack and basecamp ? Was there any impact on load times? How long did you run the test ? Care to elaborate a bit ?

Hiten Shah 01 Oct 06

Nikos, We had some database downtime today, as we were upgrading servers this morning, things are back up now. Sorry for the inconvenience. Feel free to contact us anytime you have issues we respond to all requests as quick as we can.

Clint 01 Oct 06

What if you just had a login page like this?

Login:
Account Domain: [subdomain].[domain].com
eg. myname.projectpath.com | I forgot my account domain
User:[UserName]
Password:[Password]

Dan Zambonini 02 Oct 06

A very interesting discussion! Just to give a response from the clickdensity side of things…

As Hiten has already said, our products take different approaches, so it’s definitely worth trying both out, to see which suits your way of working best.

To answer the “- Annoying setup for centered sites”. I sort of agree; it’s only a single thing you have to change in the tracking code, but it’s still one thing too many for some people. Unfortunately, this is the best way of ensuring accuracy for our heat maps of centered sites. If you don’t want to do this, you don’t have to; you can just choose the ‘Follow targets’ feature in the reporting, and it’ll give a similar report to crazyegg (i.e. without having to modify the javascript), and will work for liquid layout. This also allows you to track dynamic, ever-changing pages (like blogs), in real-time.

We’ll be launching our version of A/B (and multi-variate) testing soon (in the next week, hopefuly), which is definitely worth checking out. Again, it takes a different (not necessarily better, but different!) approach to crazyegg, so check it out: you can set up specific parts of the page that you’d like to A/B test (a piece of text, an image, etc), then view different metrics for versions A and B (click throughs, etc).

As for “- Accounts are Measured in Clicks (easy-to-understand, but expensive)”, I can see where you’re coming from, but just to elaborate: we charge for a ‘click limit’, which is the maximum number of clicks that contributes towards the heat map. You can re-set this at any point (like starting a new test/session in crazyegg), so in some ways is very similar. You only need a few thousand clicks on a page to build up a useful heat map, so you don’t necessarily need to opt for a package with hundreds of thousands of clicks, just because you get the traffic. Just get enough for a decent heat map, analyze this, make changes, and start again. It’s an iterative process, where you never really need to store a huge amount of long-term data.

I think I’ve probably said enough now!

Thanks,

Dan

Darrel 02 Oct 06

“If you want to remember a web site bookmark it. That’s what bookmarks are for. Your Basecamp login page is a web site like Yahoo is or Google is or the NYT is or whatever favorite sites you like.”

And ‘favorite sites’ are easy to remember. I don’t have to remember myname.google.com, I can just go to google.com. Same with NYT and pretty much every site.

Yes, bookmarks are nice, but I don’t always use them. If I know the name of the site, I find it easier to just type it in.

Also, isn’t the whole point of web based apps the fact you don’t have to be at YOUR machine all the time?

rickdog 02 Oct 06

I put a test CrazyEgg in a blogspot homepage, and very few of the clicks get registered. I must have made over 100 clicks, but only 7 show up on the reports. I think they must still be beta.

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