What Is End User Monitoring?

Omkar Hiremath Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

For any business to succeed, it’s important for it to reach users effectively. Almost every business today is online and therefore reaches users through applications. If you run an online business, or if you are a part of such a business, it’s important for you to know what impact your application has on your users.

One of the best ways for you to know what impact your application has on the user is through end user monitoring. In this post, I’ll be talking about what end user monitoring is, why it’s important, and what its approaches are.

What Is End User Monitoring?

When you build an application and deploy it, users interact with your application. Knowing what actions a user performs while interacting with your application gives you a good idea of how the user’s experience is. You can also say that the user’s actions help you understand the impact of your application on that user.

End user monitoring, also known as end user experience monitoring, is a practice of monitoring the user’s behavior or actions while using the application. After you monitor the behavior of the user, you analyze the data and work on improving the user’s experience.

End user monitoring not only includes monitoring what a user does with your application but also how the delivery of your application affects the user experience. I will be talking about this later in this post.

Now that you know what end user monitoring is, let me tell me why you would need it.

Why Do You Need End User Monitoring?

You know that end user monitoring helps you understand the experience of a user on your application. Now let me tell you how this information is helpful for you and the business.

Here’s a list of how end user monitoring would help your business:

  • Identify the parts of the application that perform well/poorly
  • Understand the performance of a new feature
  • Identify page load problems and script issues
  • Decide where to invest more

Let’s discuss each of these benefits in more detail.

Identify the Parts of the Application That Perform Well/Poorly

When you build an application, it’s common to have different parts in the application based on your service. For example, if you’re building an e-commerce website, you probably will have categories for men, women, kids, special offers, etc. Through end user monitoring, you can identify which parts of the website are more pleasing to the user.

One more example would be if you have used different designs (colors, template, shapes of widgets, etc.) in your application. End user monitoring would help you understand which design gives the user a better experience.

Understanding the Performance of a New Feature

If your application has been online for quite some time and now you’ve added a new feature to that application, knowing how well it’s working is important. End user monitoring helps you analyze the performance of the newly added feature.

Identify Page Load Problems and Script Issues

When you get the information on user experience, you will also find details regarding the time the page takes to load. This can help you identify and fix page load and any other network issues. The load time of an application plays an important role in user experience because no user wants to keep looking at the loading icon for a long time.

End user monitoring will also identify script issues that will help you fix navigation problems as well as any possible glitches in the application with respect to how it’s designed to perform under ideal conditions.

Decide Where to Invest More

Knowing the user’s experience will give you an idea of what the user does and doesn’t like. This will help you prioritize your plan and decide which part of the application to focus more on.

This is how end user monitoring will help you in your business. Now, let’s see some of the different approaches you can use to monitor the end user.

Types of End User Monitoring

Though the approach for monitoring your user-base can be specific to your application, here’s a list of the most common types of end user monitoring:

  • Synthetic monitoring
  • Real user monitoring
  • Device-based end user monitoring

Synthetic Monitoring

Synthetic monitoring is basically using a robot to monitor the end user experience. This is also known as active monitoring or proactive monitoring. If you want to use synthetic monitoring, you will have to write to scripts to simulate the user’s actions in your application.

You might be wondering, “How would simulating help? If we need to monitor end user behavior, then why would we use a robot to simulate user actions?”

Well, you don’t need a real user to analyze the performance of your application. You can write a script to do what a real user would do and see how your application behaves. So when you use synthetic monitoring, you learn about the availability of your application and its performance. And as an added bonus, if you use synthetic monitoring, you can fix any issues found before making the application available to your real users.

Real User Monitoring

As the name indicates, real user monitoring is monitoring the experience of how actual users interact with your application. Real user monitoring provides you with the most accurate information regarding the end user’s experience. This is also known as passive monitoring.

In real user monitoring, you collect user experience data, primarily from the web browser being used by the user or the cloud. The most common way to capture real user data is by using JavaScript injections.

How do you do that? While building an application, decide which part of the application you want to capture data from. Then, inject some JavaScript code to monitor user actions in that part of your application. When the user uses your application, the JavaScript code will be triggered on certain actions of the user and capture the required data.

Real user monitoring is the most accurate because it gives you information based on actual user actions. When you write a script, as is the case with synthetic monitoring, you might have overlooked a few user actions. Those actions will be covered by using real user monitoring.

When you use real user monitoring, you don’t just capture information about the user activity. You can also capture information such as page views, browser versions, user location, page load time, etc.

Drawback of Real User Monitoring

Implementing real user monitoring does not affect the operation of the application. The main drawback of real user monitoring is that the results are only reliable when there is a decent amount of traffic. If there are no or very few users using the application, the results are not sufficient to take action on.

Device-Based End User Monitoring

Using a heavy application utilizes a lot of system resources and this, in turn, affects user experience. You can use device-based end user monitoring to monitor the load your application is putting on the device being used by the user.

The user might be using one of various devices, including laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc. You can use a light code to check the resources being utilized by your application on the user’s device. This will help you optimize your application for different devices. When you optimize your application and it runs smoothly on the user’s system, the user’s experience improves.

Conclusion

It’s very important for a business enterprise to make sure the user has a good experience while using its application. End user monitoring helps you understand user experience, identify the problems leading to a bad user experience, and then fix these problems.

About Omkar Hiremath

This post was written by Omkar Hiremath. Omkar uses his BA in computer science to share theoretical and demo-based learning on various areas of technology, like ethical hacking, Python, blockchain, and Hadoop.