User Experience Reporting

DéjàClick has been extended to include browser-related events and page-render timings in addition to the existing network timings as it loads pages into the browser. The browser-related timings, DOM Load and Page Load are standard and are included in several existing AlertSite performance reports. Transactions being monitored with Firefox include both measurements; transactions being monitored with Internet Explorer include only Page Load.

The page-render timings, First Paint and Above the Fold, reflect perceived user experience and is an option that can be displayed in the Detail Report for a single transaction. These timings consume one usage credit for each action in the transaction, and provide screenshots at each stage. Note: the page-render timing option is available in DéjàClick Version 2.4.3.1 and later.

Standard User Experience Reporting

DéjàClick includes browser related events in addition to the existing network timings as it loads pages into the browser.

The browser metrics, DOM Load (DOMContentLoaded event) and Page Load (OnLoad event), are incorporated into several existing AlertSite performance reports. Transactions being monitored with Firefox include both measurements; transactions being monitored with Internet Explorer include only Page Load.

These metrics are described as:

DOM Load The time it took to complete parsing the page's documents.
Note: referenced style-sheets, images and sub-frames may not have completed loading.
Page Load The time it took for the page's documents (all referenced objects
and scripts, style-sheets, images) to be fully loaded into the browser.
Note: This does not account for load time of dynamic content such as AJAX.

The DOM, or Document Object Module, defines a standard way for accessing and manipulating HTML documents and presents an HTML document as a “tree” structure. This manipulation, or parsing, occurs behind the scenes. The elements of the page, e.g., other documents, text, i-frames, etc., are assembled before they are loaded. Here is a figurative example of a DOM:

DOM_tree.png

The DOM Load time measurement represents the amount of time it took to assemble these elements. Technically, the timer starts when the first element is accessed and stops when the DOMContentLoaded event handler is executed.

The Page Load time measurement represents the amount of time it took for the entire page and all of its related files and components to be loaded in the browser window, that is, ready for visitor interaction. Technically, the timer starts when the first element starts loading into the browser and stops when the browser OnLoad event handler is executed.

These metrics are useful for understanding what visitors to your website are actually experiencing in real time, and not just the network latencies that are happening in the background.

The new columns appear on the right side of the affected reports, highlighted in light blue.

The following reports display the new columns:

  • Detail Report
  • DéjàClick Action Detail Report
  • DéjàClick Event Detail Report
  • Transaction Step Summary
  • Transaction Detail Report

The "waterfall" graph of the HTTP Step Report and Fullpage Report have been enhanced to display a blue reference line for DOM Load (Firefox only) and a red reference line for Page Load (Firefox and IE).

For additional flexibility, a new option, User Experience Settings, appears in the Manage Transaction page to provide base page timings only. By default, this option is enabled so that reports show event timings for the base page only, not the cumulative timings for the entire page (including sub-frames).

Perceived User Experience Reporting

Additional User Experience information can be gathered for First Paint and Above the Fold timings with Firefox transactions. These optional measurements are related to page rendering:

First Paint The time it takes for the page to start rendering
Above the Fold The time it takes for all visible content rendered on the page to "stabilize"

These timings are distinct from the standard User Experience timings, DOM Load and Page Load, which are browser-related. There is no correlation between the two sets of metrics. There is also no correlation between the Perceived User Experience timings and the network timings DNS Time, Connect Time, Redirect Time, First Byte, and Content Download Time.

The Perceived User Experience option is available for both Usage-Based and Plans-Based customers. Contact your Sales Representative (contact information can be found in the AlertSite console Support Center page) for information on pricing.

Note: Perceived User Experience transactions must be configured with the Fullpage setting enabled in the Manage Transaction screen to include timings for page objects above the fold.

To include Perceived User Experience data in your Detail Reports, there are three actions to take:

  1. In DéjàClick, replay your recorded transaction with the Replay for User Experience option set
  2. In the AlertSite Console Manage Transaction screen, User Experience Settings section, check the Perceived User Experience box
  3. In the AlertSite Console Performance Reports screen, select Perceived User Experience Settings in the Detail Report Include list

The Perceived User Experience Settings option is only available with the Detail Report for a single transaction.

DéjàClick Configuration

This section assumes the user has sufficient knowledge of DéjàClick. Please see the DéjàClick Quick Start Guide for reference.

The DéjàClick toolbar button, Configure Options, has an additional Quick Settings selection: Replay for User Experience. After you have recorded your transaction and replayed it through, set this option to replay the transaction and "classify" the objects on the pages as dynamic or static content. This classification tells DéjàClick not to wait for dynamic content to stabilize during playback.

So, to summarize:

  1. Power on the DéjàClick toolbar.
  2. Record your transaction as usual.
  3. Replay as usual to verify the script and let the Replay Advisor handle any timeout issues.
  4. Click on the Configure Options icon, then click Quick Settings.
  5. Click Replay for User Experience to enable this option.
  6. Replay the transaction
    Note: a dialog box will be displayed asking you to allow the browser to adjust the screen size.
    Replay will take longer while objects are classified as static or dynamic content. This classification
    is necessary to properly assess the render times.
  7. Upload your recording to your AlertSite account as usual.

(The Configure OptionsDejaClick Options dialog includes a User Experience Options pane in the Replay section when Advanced Display Level is set. This allows you to modify the amount of time for classification, but it is not necessary under normal circumstances.)

AlertSite Console

Follow this procedure to include Perceived User Experience timings in your reports:

  1. In the Manage Transaction screen displayed after DéjàClick upload, scroll down to the User Experience Settings section and check the box for Perceived User Experience, which directs the monitoring locations to gather the additional timings.
    Note: Enabling this option will consume an additional usage credit for every action in the transaction.
  2. After sufficient time has passed for data to accumulate, select ReportsPerformance Reports from the menu bar.
  3. Select the transaction from the Site/Device list.
  4. Select Detail Report from the Transaction Reports list.
  5. Select Perceived User Experience Details from the Include list.
  6. Select Locations, Date Range, and any filters.
  7. Click Submit.

Notes:

If the transaction was not replayed in DéjàClick with the Replay for User Experience option enabled before being uploaded, the Perceived User Experience data may not be reported accurately in the Detail Report.
The Perceived User Experience box in Manage Transaction must be checked in order to select Perceived User Experience in the Performance Reports Include list.

Two additional columns will be displayed in the report details section of the Detail Report: First Paint and Above the Fold. These two columns provide the most realistic timings for what the user sees when navigating through the URLs in the transaction. Three network timings - DNS Time, Connect Time, and Redirect Time - will be removed from the report details section.

Also, every action includes a Capture Report, displayed by clicking on the "camera" icon (left-most column in the Detail Report and drilldown). The Capture Report will show exactly what the page looked like at First Paint and Above the Fold.

The Usage Report has a column for User Experience Credits, which will provide an accounting of how many User Experience credits were consumed by the transaction for the selected time frame.

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