Microsoft announces behaviour visualisation tool Clarity

The tool will go head to head with Optimizely, Google Optimize and Visual Web Optimizer

Microsoft has unveiled its Clarity analytics tools, designed to run A/B testing of user experiences on a website. It's going head to head with market leaders such as Optimizely, Google Optimize and Visual Web Optimizer that have been helping businesses test the effectiveness of user experiences.

The suite will not only identify which experiences are the most profitable for an organisation, but it will also help companies identify errors and usability issues, making for a very effective tool in a marketing arsenal.

It doesn't just tell you how users navigated through your site, but it can accurately replay exactly what potential customers clicked, hovered over, and tapped with their finger if using a touchscreen device. When Clarity is deployed on a website, it "listens" to browser events, network requests and user interactions. This data is then uploaded and stored on the Clarity server running on Microsoft Azure.

During testing, Clarity engineers were also able to uncover browser exploits, such as malware running in the Bing search engine.

Clarity highlighting evidence of malware in a Bing browser window

"Thanks to Clarity, Bing's engineers were able see what the user actually saw which wasn't at all what they expected," the company explained in a blog launching Clarity. "To diagnose the cause of the strange content, they used Clarity to determine that the content came from malware installed on the end user's machine, which were hijacking the page and modifying the content. As a result, people did not engage with Bing content and page load performance was also impacted."

Clarity can operate on any HTML web pages and is deployed using Javascript on the page, although it's only available on some domains at the moment, including those with two and three letters TLDs, including .com and .uk.

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