What Is End-User Monitoring and Why It’s Critical for Your Business

By SolarWinds on August 26, 2021


End-user experience monitoring is a practice designed to track user behavior or actions while interacting with a website or web application. The data gathered by end-user experience monitoring helps measure the impact of website and device performance on the end user’s journey. A meaningful end-user experience can help improve the enterprise’s operational efficiency, troubleshooting processes, employee productivity, and overall business value. However, tracking business-critical web applications and the impact they create on end-user experience can be challenging. As a result, organizations seek ways to track and resolve performance issues in real time, saving time and efficiency of human resources, and allowing IT managers to make smart decisions by optimizing efforts where needed.

There are several ways organizations can track a website’s performance, such as page speed tests and uptime checks. However, having access to real-user data can provide real-time insights into how the website performs based on end-user experience.

Outlined below are the two main approaches used to monitor end-user experiences.

Different Approaches to End-User Experience Monitoring

Real User Monitoring (RUM): Real-user monitoring is also known as passive user monitoring that measures real-time user experience. It involves collecting metrics from the browser level to complete the page loading experience of real users. Real-user monitoring helps determine performance by injecting Javascript snippets into the HTML code of web applications.

The data and metrics gathered from RUM helps determine the following elements:

  • Time taken to load the complete webpage
  • The time interval between sending the request and receiving the first byte of response
  • Time taken by the browser to receive the response and render the page
  • Geological performance of the website
  • Website performance on different platforms
  • The response time across different browsers

The major benefit of using a real-user monitoring approach is it collects and analyzes real-user data on actual traffic. Thus, it captures the entire user journey to generate accurate website performance data. RUM is best for complex apps in which the functionality or content is dynamic.

Synthetic Monitoring: Synthetic transaction monitoring is an approach designed to simulate end-user interactions to understand real-time user behavior while accessing the website. This approach involves the use of external agents mimicking end-user behavior at regular intervals. It also captures the actions and paths end-users take while logging in, viewing products, searching, or checking out. The data is recorded and analyzed from different geographical locations. It’s mostly used to monitor end-user experience monitoring, website performance, and web app testing prior to launch. Synthetic monitoring provides reference measurements to help detect network problems, performance issues, and more.

Why End-User Monitoring Is Critical for Businesses

End-user monitoring allows businesses to monitor various aspects of a website. It enables teams to identify performance bottlenecks, monitor website availability, track performance metrics, and more. It also helps to:

  • Monitor web app response time for each transaction: Today, organizations are focusing more on monitoring individual end-user transactions to determine the overall performance of a web app or a website. Using website performance monitoring tools, teams can simulate visitor interactions, monitor both simple or highly complex transactions, record each transaction, test transactions in a real chrome browser, and more.
  • Prevent performance issues: It’s crucial for a business to know their critical websites are available and accessible to visitors. This not only helps in delivering seamless end-user experience but also enables a business to grow and scale. With end-user experience monitoring tools, teams can monitor site performance from different geographical locations and send instant alerts if a website is facing a downtime or a performance bottleneck. This helps in preventing issues before they transform into serious outages.
  • Monitor performance metrics: Automating the traditional methods of collecting user data and evaluating site performance can help eliminate manual errors, thereby, saving time and efficiency of employees. End-user monitoring tools include intuitive dashboards to collect business-critical site performance metrics and provide a centralized view of key performance indicators that are easy to understand.
  • Gain instant visibility into end-user experience: End-user monitoring provides instant visibility into visitors’ interactions with the website and their experiences while using the web app. Website performance monitoring tools or end-user monitoring tools help to understand the digital behavior of visitors. These tools enable organizations to drill down into different time periods to determine the impact of website updates on end-user experience and the performance of the website.

Conclusion

For a business to succeed, it’s crucial to deliver a seamless end-user experience. End-user monitoring tools provide a quick way to prevent website performance issues directly impacting end-user experience. With centralized dashboards, they provide in-depth insights into each transaction of the visitor’s journey and critical performance metrics used to resolve bottlenecks and outages.

SolarWinds® Pingdom® is one such tool offering complete real-user monitoring. It combines synthetic and real-user monitoring to provide ultimate visibility and an enhanced troubleshooting experience. The tool enables IT teams to simulate visitor interactions to determine the flow of critical webpages and provides in-depth visibility into how actual end-users interact with your web application. With Pingdom, teams can monitor site availability from 100-plus locations, perform page speed analysis, test simple and complex transactions, compare usage and performance metrics, and determine visitors’ experiences based on browser, device, and geographic location. The key features of the tool includes Real User Monitoring (RUM), transaction monitoring, page speed monitoring, uptime monitoring, immediate alerting, root cause analysis, and more. Additionally, organizations can discover its features and evaluate its functionality using its free trial.

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