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CRO and UX

An Intro to Microsoft Clarity and Its Dashboard

Bringing users to a website is undoubtedly a vital aspect for revenue; however, an equally critical facet of the ROI ecosystem is to keep users there to convert, and or have them perform the activities expected of them, once they’re there on the site.

Obviously, it always doesn’t work out that way, and hence the need to understand what’s going on and why that might be the case.

Many tools provide analytics built around how a user interacts with a site to fulfill this knowledge gap. From these choices, and relatively recent, is Microsoft Clarity.

What Is Microsoft Clarity?

A free behavioral analysis tool, all in the name of understanding how a user navigates & explores a website, Microsoft clarity offers tons of essential data points to steer website owners in the right direction — when it comes to satisfying its users.

High-level, the 2 top features offered & advertised by Microsoft Clarity are:

  1. Heatmaps
  2. Session Recordings

Outside of these two, there are other commonly expected datasets such as click & scroll data, referrer, engagement, and innovative ones around user action such as:

  • If a user selected a text
  • Entered a text
  • Resized a page, that also takes into account whether she or he switched between landscape and portrait modes.

If these do not invoke your curiosity, there are details around rage clicks, excessive scrolling, dead clicks, and more!

Also, some of the data points revolve or culminate towards the top 2 features. For example, the tool provides a breakdown of sessions by browsers, and in turn, you can view heatmaps or recording by a specific browser — say Google Chrome.

In some ways, it feels like Clarity is a creative blend of Google Analytics & Hotjar. I don’t believe it should replace either, but the fact that’s it’s free to use is a powerful reason to try it out, and so far, I am thoroughly impressed!

Microsoft clarity features
Top features of Microsoft Clarity.

The Clarity Dashboard

The Clarity dashboard gives an aggregate overview of the metrics that the tool was able to capture, based on the time-frame and or other filter selections you have in place. In fact, all of the presented information is governed by the filters.

If unfamiliar, the word filter may throw you off. However, it’s exactly similar to how other well-known tools such as Google Analytics work. For instance, say you’re looking at sessions in a month, narrowed by organic segment.

The filtration process is exceptionally robust and deserves its own post; but, it is highly customizable and even has an advanced tab for those wanting to summon their skillful craft in data dissection.

How the Clarity Dashboard Looks Like

how the microsoft clarity dashboard looks like
How the Microsoft Clarity Dashboard looks like.

As you can see, at the top-most horizontal area, you have your accumulated values for sessions, pages per session, scroll depth, and engagement, followed by individual cards for all of the remaining metrics.

The cards you see on your dashboard may differ from my example, as it’s dependent on your settings, filters, etc. Hopefully, though, this gives you the gist.

Definitions for Some of the Metrics in Microsoft Clarity Dashboard

It’s one thing to glare at all the information that’s dispensed, and another entirely to know what it all means. To ease that context gap, below are the definitions for some of the data points in Clarity — that one might be slightly unaware of:

  • Dead Clicks: Clarity defines this as an action where a user clicks or taps on a page with no effect, interaction, or feedback from the page.
  • Rage Clicks: This one seemed entirely original to me. Clarity defines rage clicks as excessive clicks (in rapid succession) that occurred within the same small area of a page.
  • Quick Backs: This is defined as an action when a user clicks on external links, but quickly returns back to that same page. We don’t have a clear picture of how much time quickly translates to, but Clarity has a threshold for it. Although, Clarity clarifies it a bit, saying that this is shorter than the dwell time for that page.
    • For instance, say your dwell time for page X is 5 seconds. Now, say that the user clicks on an external link, but comes back to your page in 3 seconds. As Clarity explains it, this could be considered a quick back.
    • Clarity says that for future releases, the dwell time would be adapted to your own site.

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In Closing

As a new entrant into the behavioral analysis world, Microsoft Clarity certainly demands one’s attention by making it completely free. And even if you discount its no-charge policy, it does not feel like a cheap attempt at a product just for the sake of attracting marketing folks.

With insightful details around semantic metrics, and the proverbial heatmaps & session recordings, not to mention state of the art filtering options, Clarity does remove some of the guesswork into why your users behave the way they do.

Seriously, give it a shot!