TapeFailure Review – Not Out of the Woods Yet

TapeFailure Logo
Thanks to Allen over at Center Networks. I got an invite to the closed beta of TapeFailure.

TapeFailure is a service that allows you to visualize what your users are doing. As Allen alludes to it will be a great addition to services like CrazyEgg and Google Analytics once TapeFailure gets a few kinks worked out.

Recording – When TapeFailure is “recording” a user on your site, you get this constant “Waiting for www.TapeFailure.com…” which seems to make your site look like it has problems. (See Below). As you may have it, (thats right I’m recording You!)
This must be fixed, I’m no javascript Guru but if anything it should be showing, “Waiting for www.AddedTraffic.com…” not some other site, that has Failure in the name, this just doesn’t portray what I am trying to get my audience to think of my site.

To Record or Not to Record- they need to be able to implement a way to allow / disallow IP’s from being recorded. I really don’t want to see what I’m doing on my own site, I only want to see my users. As I type this, I am being recorded, this should be interesting to review.

I may post a link to it.

It just wasn’t worth watching

Fix the Statistics Page – there also seems to be an issue with the Statistics Page. I understand this is closed beta but this definitely needs to be fixed, if they wish to compete, or compliment the establish brands out there. e.g. (Crazy Egg)

Playback Tools – Playback of recorded videos seem to be lacking a lot, from what I had expected. Its a very unique feature, but some sort of speeding up of playback is necessary, other wise you will be sitting there watching some of your users videos for quite some time. Also playback speed seems to be slower than real time, this has its pros and its cons, but I think being able to switch up the speed is a huge value added feature.

Replay Screen Size – Currently the TapeFailure beta product shows videos in a small screen, so when the mouse moves the screen follows it, not allowing you to see the whole screen. This is a minor detail but it should be fixed in the final product.

Record Entire Visit – Allen at Center Networks stated:

“they can do multi-page tests. I was incorrect in the review.”

I have yet to find this feature but I truly hope this is added in the final product.

Pricing – According to Joshua the founder of TapeFailure:

“Pricing per month starts at 3.95, but there is a discount when more months are purchased.”

In my opinion, this is low, so fix up the features and raise the price a buck or two, and you get the best of both worlds. I have always been the fan of offering a quality service for a bit extra, giving the user the best possible experience. This is the approach my hosting company (DreamHost) should take, but thats a completely different story.

Creepiness – During all of my recordings, I always had feeling that I was stalking someone. It really is strange to think that someone is watching the way you browse their page (isn’t it). To me this seems like a small invasion of privacy. It will be interesting to see how this aspect is dealt with when TapeFailure goes live.

Overall – I think TapeFailure’s greatest use will be in optimizing forms, you will actually be able to see where users decided to quit going through with the form as well as where they hesitated. The ability to streamline your forms in this fashion will be a great advantage, as it takes simple a/b testing to the next level.

I look forward to seeing the final product as I am sure many of you are.

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