Mouse Tracking: Beyond Analytics

August 1, 2006 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

The next big thing after website traffic reports appears to be mouse tracking. There are several services popping up that use JavaScript to track a user's mouse movements and clicks. When you login to the service you can watch movies of exactly how a user explored a webpage using their mouse. This is a much cheaper alternative to a full-blown eyetracking system. Here are some of the major players so far (note all of them have nice real-word names instead of "web 2.0" meaningless madeup names):

"Heatmaps"

  • MapSurface.com – Based on his orginal AJAX Link Tracker, Glenn Jones' service overlays graphical click data on top of your site. You simply press "Alt-X" and up pops your data. MapSurface.com is the hosted service, but there is also a free download [no commercial plans yet announced]
  • CrazyEgg.com – does essentially the same thing as MapSurface, but the overlays look a little more polished. [currently accepting beta inquiries]

"Mouse Movements"

  • OpenCube.com – OpenCube has been known for it's nice DHTML/JavaScript/CSS widgets and menus, but it has also developed a product that goes a heatmap and actually tracks the mouse movements of users. My worry here is that it seems to require IE to view the data. [$119 per site. Requires ASP on server]
  • ClickTale.com – Right now, this looks to be the most powerful tool for mouse tracking. This services is also in Beta, so it will take some time to see how good they really are, but their demo videos look solid. [accepting beta applications]

"Free"

  • MIT Labs – MIT's Media Lab has released a PHP-based tool that does some pretty powerful mouse tracking. It creates an overlay with arrows of differnt sizes and colors indicating the speed and direction of the mouse. They have a sort of hosted service as well as a download package. (usability study PDF)

It will be interesting to see how this arena shapes up over the next year and how useful this proves to be. I would be willing to be several open source tools will crop up as well.

10 Responses to “Mouse Tracking: Beyond Analytics”

  1. Albert Pascual Blog says:
  2. david says:

    I have written a couple of posts to start with this issue. These are just proofs of concept but work quite well.

    If you want to read them, http://blog.corunet.com/english/how-to-make-heat-maps-in-the-cheap

  3. Unresolvable says:

    A few months ago I was talking to a friend and he inform me about the AJAX will allow web stats to develop

  4. John Dyer says:

    David, that’s very cool. I need to get a .NET one started…

  5. John Dyer says:

    For the last two weeks, I’ve been running some tests of DTS’s website (which just won an award!) with…

  6. power says:

    it looks nice

  7. Anton says:

    That post helped, thanks!

  8. Aditya says:

    Iv made my own mouse tracker in flash mx..its 5 lines of code. and a decoder…tracks mouse movemennts clicks scrolls..everything…

  9. Rodney says:

    Found another one at <a href="http://vulabs.com">vulabs.com</a&gt;

  10. Newfred says:

    Another new one: [u]http://otterplus.com/mps[/u]

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Hi, I'm John Dyer. In my day job, I build websites and create online seminary software for a seminary in Dallas. I also like to release open source tools including a pretty popular HTML5 video player and build tools that help people find best bible commentaries and do bible study. And just for fun, I also wrote a book on the theology of technology and media.

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