You’re Being Watched

Back at Reboot I met the amiable guys from seto, Jan & Tobias. Reboot’s the kind of place where almost everyone’s got a project they’re endlessly excited about, and these guys were no exception. During a coffee break they whipped a laptop out and gave me an impromptu demo of their product, mpathy.

If website statistics is looking through a telescope at a crowd, then mpathy is standing in the crowd, staring at people as they go by.

It works like this: sign up for their service, embed a little Javascript in your site, and as soon as someone visits your site, you can login at mpathy and watch the show.

mpathy shows me one crazy user…

The “show” consists of a layer over your site showing real-time mouse movements, clicks, scrolling — whatever the user did is recorded and played back for you. Whereas stats give you a very general feeling for what users are doing on your site, mpathy puts the second to second user behaviour under the microscope. Of course it’s usefulness is directly related to your own ability to notice trends and reach conclusions based on them, but for an interface designer it’s a remarkable addition to (or substitute for) user testing.

So remember, as you’re reading this your every move is being recorded. Try not to look as crazy as this visitor from the 15th.

Fair warning: seto is a German company, and so far mpathy is only available in German. But don’t let that scare you: just click the big pink “Anmelden” button ad the rest should (almost) explain itself.