Introducing FullStory Free Edition

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FullStory is proud to announce the launch of FullStory Free Edition. FullStory Free Edition empowers those small-but-mighty teams — from SaaS startups to Sole Proprietors — to make usability experience research an integral part of their design strategies. The best part: it’s free forever!

If you need more, carefully designed tiers will allow you to upscale your efforts without stressing your accountant too much.

FullStory Free

FullStory, a product developed by a team of ex-Google engineers, is specially designed to help you get valuable insight from your users. FullStory offers high fidelity playback (including the full DOM and console logs, exactly as they ran on your customer’s browser), analytics, detailed search and advanced customer segmentation. In addition to that, FullStory is compatible with a range of bug-finding tools and support desks.

The road to a top tier product is full of ups and downs. There is no universal solution that works for everyone. Following basic UI/UX principles, testing and refining your code, improving and adopting the best solutions available, should get you there. While you are climbing to the top, don’t forget your most valuable asset: your users! No amount of testing equals the raw data your real time users are providing.

Like everyone else, you’ve been probably using tools such as Google Analytics or Mixpanel to gather feedback from your users to improve the UX, slash bugs from your code, polish existing functionality and add new features. However, you occasionally will still get some bad ratings for your app here and there, your conversion rate is not what you expected, and your support inbox is full with tickets. On top of that, your killer feature is underused. There must be something wrong…

Discovering FullStory

During one of our weekly brainstorming session, Carl, a product manager that joined our team recently, suggested that we should use FullStory in addition to our standard toolset we’ve been using for our developing and testing scenarios. This was a revelation! Imagine a conference room full of grown-up individuals, jumping around the projector screen, setting up virtual servers and test-driving the tiny code snippet in our prototypes. Even our CTO, with his AI-like personality, was quite excited.

FullStory is a first class ticket in the world of user experience. It allows you to follow the interactions between users and your product at a granular level. Every click counts and FullStory will prove that to you. FullStory uses a record-everything approach to collecting data, and, thanks to its filtering capabilities, it delivers all that information in a human readable format. No more Euler diagrams.

“With FullStory I feel like we can actually hear what our customers are thinking.” – Bill Boebel @ Pingboard

Yep, Bill, I get you.

FullStory in day to day operations

We’ve been using FullStory to monitor features engagement and conversion rates, code development and optimization, user support, testing, and more. With FullStory we experience our products just like our users do, without the rose colored glasses of your product manager, the rigidity of our test squad or our own preconceptions as developers. Pure user experience. We’ve effectively rediscovered our projects. No amount of testing gave us the unbiased insight that FullStory did.

We’ve experienced our share of perplexity when we discovered that features we thought were well designed only looked great from a developer’s point of view. Even our testers found them easy to use, yet our actual users struggled to share our enthusiasm.

“Our Marketing Director used to struggle coming up with more than a couple different A/B tests on his own… but with FullStory, we can watch 20 or 30 sessions and come up with at least five new tests at a time. And some changes are so obvious that they go straight into the product!” – Jeff Epstein @Ambassador

This is exactly what happened in our case. FullStory allowed us to improve ourselves.

Developers, product managers, testers, all of us learned a thing or two from FullStory. Thanks to FullStory, we’ve managed not only to find bugs but also to identify good experiences and implement them in other projects. And this is what matters the most. There will always be room for improvement, and we feel that FullStory allowed us to step-up our efforts, and brought us closer to our customers. In fact, FullStory significantly improved our relationship with our customers. Instead of trying to recreate their steps, we replayed them, and, when necessary, we engaged in live sessions. Instead of wasting time trying to figure out why stuff isn’t working for them, we’ve managed to find solutions to faulty or convoluted UI proactively. Now, we talk less with our clients about bugs and more about future opportunities.

Installing FullStory

One tiny script captures every user interaction on your site, without any manual intervention. The script is available from the user panel by clicking Settings > General. Paste the snippet intro the <HEAD> and… that’s it for the installation part. Yes, is that simple.

Installing FullStory

The recordings will appear in your dashboard as soon as the first user activity triggers the script. A green “Online” icon represents an active user session, and that the session is being recorded. The blue icon with a time and date stamp indicates an ended session or an expired session.

Don’t forget to exclude, at this point, the data you don’t want to be indexed. And while you are in the settings area, have a look at the Identify Your User & Record Data section where you can add custom data to FullStory.

FullStory is easy to use

There is no learning curve associated with using FullStory. If you’ve ever used Google Analytics, then you’ll find FullStory familiar and easy to use. The interface is polished and glitch free. The only reason you’ll ever have to check FullStory’s documentation is to make sure you aren’t missing out on some features.

From the moment you insert the code snippet in your product, FullStory starts recording. No need to define recording parameters or tweaking settings. Record everything, use only what you need. Replay your user experience and, when needed, jump in live sessions as you need. No more predicting and lucky guessing. Place comments on your replays for later review and share notes with your team on recorded sessions to make teamwork a breeze. The comments and notes will conveniently appear next time you or a team member reviews the replay.

Navigating your data with MagicSearch… I mean OmniSearch

The amazing OmniSearch will help sort out the avalanche of data that FullStory is providing. Type what you want to know in the search box, and you’ll immediately get the data you need. You can search for pages visited, queries or paths. Omnisearch also handles more complex searches, for example, interactions between users and an element in a page.

OmniSearch

In addition to that, once you click the search field, you’ll get a quick launch menu which features various things you can search for. There are some useful tips just below the search area which you can easily hide once you’ve got yourself up-to-speed with OmniSearch’s features. As you type, you’ll get suggestions that match your search.

Virtually, everything is accessed from the search bar. You can fine tune your search by specific filters including by date and time. Each search can be saved for latter reference. The full list of OmniSearch’s features is available here.

FullStory’s performance

FullStory is an asynchronous script, packed in approximately 16k. It’s edge-cached on Google’s CDN and is fetched in less than 20ms. The script is loaded dynamically and only after the page will be loaded in the browser. The script is designed to avoid being stalled by static resources. The impact of the script on the overall performance of your website is negligible. You can test FullStory’s telemetry by deploying the script on your test server or have a look at FullStory astonishing performance here.

Integrating FullStory

Modern developer scenarios are quite rigid. You may wonder if FullStory can be integrated with tools like Bugsnag, Desk.com, Jira, etc. FullStory works out of the box with most popular tools a developer may use. Have a look at the possible integrations here. Also, the tool includes APIs for other custom integrations in case you have a particular tool you’d like to use (if you do that, hint us in the comment settings).

FullStory and privacy

Privacy and data integrity are some of the most valuable assets of any developer. FullStory ensures that your customer data is securely stored and accessible only to you and your team. For your peace of mind, FullStory services are hosted on the Google Cloud Platform and are running continuously patched Linux systems. FullStory’s web servers use TLS 1.2, protecting your data from eavesdroppers and MID attacks. With 2048 bit RSA SSL certificates, signed with SHA 256 and persistent data encrypted using the AES-128 standards or better, your data is as safe as it can be. Have a look at FullStory’s security overview here. By the way, FullStory supports recording and playback of sessions on internal testing servers.

Additionally, you can block sensitive data from being recorded. You can define exclusions in the Recording & Exclusions area. No excluded data will leave your customer browser. For a plus of functionality, the Inspect Mode is there to exclude elements on the go. The excluded fields are rendered as a gray box which will indicate that the field is not recorded. No password is recorded.

FullStory has a bright future!

With backing from KPCB, Google Ventures, and Tom Noonan, FullStory is here to stay. Just have a look at the talents behind FullStory and you’ll understand why. Keep in touch with the team on Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to bookmark their blog.  And while you are there, have a look at this blog post on product development and start building delightful products.

Check out FullStory Free Edition today!

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