This article describes how UXCam defines sessions
1.1 How are Sessions recorded?
1.3 Why is my session count different from other tools I use?
1.4 How do other tools define sessions?
UXCam's Session Definition
How are sessions recorded?
UXCam records every session by default.
UXCam SDK starts recording a session when the user launches the app and stops recording once the user sends the app to the background.
There are no limitations in terms of session duration. A session could be 01 second long or more than 1 hour long. Since it reflects the real user behavior and the time the user engaged with the app.
What if the cycle of the app requires users to send the app to the background or leave the app in the foreground for a long time?
We provide different APIs to help you customize session recordings in such cases.
Allow short break API
Used when the cycle of your app requires users to send the app to the background in order to continue a certain process.
This API allows the user to take a short trip to another app without causing a break in the current session. This is useful when users need to send the app in the background for a specific task to complete a certain process, for instance:
- A login using Google, Facebook, etc.
- Navigating to another URL using an external browser.
- Taking a picture in order to complete a setup process.
- Getting the OTP and/or verification email to complete a process.
- Obtaining the confirmation of payment through an external resource.
Control Recording API
If your app stays in the foreground for a long time and you need to control session uploading you can use this API. It will let you control when to start and stop a session.
For example, if you have a POS app, such as at a fast food restaurant. The expected behavior is that your app will be constantly open and in the foreground. Therefore, you need to decide what starts or ends a session. Following this example, you could start the session when the Menu screen is opened and stop the session on the Payment confirmation screen.
Read more about the Control Recording API →
Why is my session count different from others tools I use?
Session definition depends on the platform, so other tools you use might have a different session definition. This explains the difference in the session count, let's review some examples:
How do other tools define sessions?
Mixpanel defines sessions in different ways:
- By session length. You can set the session timeout period that will define the end of a session. By default, it’s set at 30 minutes.
- By events. You can set up events to start and end a session. These are custom events that you need to track within your app and use to define your session duration.
- By property. You can define a session property that will be used as a rule to define a unique session. As long as the property value remains constant the session will be considered unique.
Firebase Analytics starts a session when a user engages with your app for a minimum amount of time (10 seconds by default) and ends when a user does not engage with your app for a certain amount of time (30 minutes by default).
Amplitude's session definition is not different from UXCam's session definition.
Why is UXCam better?
UXCam’s session recording reflects the actual user behavior.
1. No time limitations | You can record all the sessions
Short sessions also matter!
High bounce rates on your entry screens, unengaged users that leave quickly, and uncovered issues that block your users from continuing their journey, all of these short experiences are important.
Neglecting these will lead to lower retention and higher user frustration.
Unlike other tools such as Firebase, UXCam allows you to record sessions regardless of the length, including those sessions shorter than 10 seconds.
Unlike other tools (Firebase & Mixpanel) UXCam has the capability to record sessions shorter than 10 seconds. Many customers want to understand what happened with customers that quit or had very short sessions, and looking at these recordings allow them to figure it out.
2. Get the full picture | See how your users interact with your app in a real environment
UXCam’s way of capturing sessions allows for accurate reflection of user behavior and allows you to find opportunities to hook the user, boost engagement and decrease distractions.
The mobile app experience is characterized by being subject to multiple distractions from the environment and from other mobile applications. Mobile users have little time and patience when interacting with an app and there are hundreds of other apps vying for their attention. So understanding the whole cycle of your users’ experience is key to finding those opportunities to engage your users.
Let's take an example of an e-commerce app. Many times, customers browse products, add them to the cart, leave the app and come back at a later point to add more products or complete the purchase. Having several sessions allows you to understand that your users either need to be reminded of their product or add a sense of urgency to their decision-making to drive purchases.
Besides, since sessions are interrupted, you will see different screens after launch because users would resume sessions from the last screen they visited before they were distracted. This information is crucial as you now know at which point exactly your users get more distracted and abandon your app.
3. Identify problems with your users’ experience | Analyze how many sessions your users need to complete an action in your app.
Measuring the time and effort it takes your users to complete an action is key to improving the UX of your app.
If a user attempts to complete an action several times and has to quit and go back to the app, then multiple sessions will be uploaded by the same user. This highlights the real behavior of your customer and helps you identify an issue that can cause frustration and abandonment.