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Microsoft Clarity – UX tool that I like to recommend.

If you use Hotjar for UX analysis, you may have noticed a recent price increase. Unfortunately, this may have made this tool unavailable to some small businesses or startups. It affected a lot of UXers in my area, because a lot of people I know use this tool.

Fortunately, I can recommend an alternative that works just as well. Microsoft Clarity.

The main advantage is that it’s free , which is fantastic for small businesses and startups on a tight budget, but also for large companies that don’t always need all of Hotjar’s features and pay the high prices. Currently, for some large clients, it jumped to $7-10k/month. Which is definitely difficult to defend when under pressure to investigate.

What can Microsoft Clarity do?

Heatmaps

Clicks, click zones and scroll, so classic. A thing that can sell some improvements even to managers or people less oriented to numbers. I quite like the automatic categorization of clicks, namely:

  • Dead clicks – shows where users clicked on the page without any effect/reaction. Learn more about dead clicks.
  • Rage clicks – shows where users clicked quickly on the same small area over a short period of time. Learn more about frenzied clicks.
  • Error clicks – shows clicks that occurred immediately before JavaScript errors. Learn more about JavaScript errors.

Operating the instrument itself is not difficult and can therefore be learned quite quickly.

Heatmap documentation

Recording visits

Here you can filter, segment, mark as favorites, etc.

My favorite trick is to make a special segment of recordings from people who, for example, went to the contact page or better yet copied it. And if they call me, I can see there what they went through before for articles, etc.

The LIVE function, where you can see current website visitors, is also interesting. Which seems unnecessary to me, but it has a pretty decent wow effect when you show it. However, the real value of this function is close to zero. But it could perhaps be used if you had someone on the phone and needed advice in the event of an error, for example.

Visit recording documentation

Filtering users / visits

In general, it has pretty decent filters compared to other tools. So you can make a pretty solid segment of users. Most often, I choose only the Czech Republic and then add conversion actions or monitor errors, for example.

Filtration documentation

Vlastní štítky / tagy uživatelů.

Just like Hotjar, you can send your own events / tags to user actions and thus sort, for example, B2B customers or people who have taken the desired action.

An example is conversion measurement.

<script>

// init Clarity data layers.
window.clarity = window.clarity || function() {
(window.clarity.q = window.clarity.q || []).push(arguments)};

window.clarity(“event”,”click_phone”);

window.clarity(“upgrade”, “click_phone”); // I definitely want to measure this

</script>

But maybe also a combination for AB testing. Then there is also an interesting function of comparing two, for example a heatmap. Where you can also make visual indications of how the test variants behave against each other.

window.Clarity(“set”, “experiment”, “experiment_<name>_<variant>”)

Documentation of custom labels.

What am I missing there?

Hotjar had a great module for questionnaires, although it was paid separately, it was used quite a lot.

There is currently no better connection to GA4. So far, only data is matched, but I miss the import of conversions or other metrics like it was possible with Universal analytics. So currently it’s better to do these things via your own “tags”.

Heat maps cannot hover heat maps / cursor tracking. i.e. places over which the mouse was, but the user did not click. Personally, I don’t miss it that much.

How to implement Microsoft Clarity?

Log in to https://clarity.microsoft.com/ and create a project for the given domain.

In the Google tag manager, you can find the Microsoft Clarity – official brand template in Templates.

Add this template to GTM. Then you go to brands. You insert the tag from the template, fill in the ID. You set consent rules, i.e. only with consent to measurement. Rules after launch, after loading the page with consent or when the user has given sufficient consent and measurement.


For your own label, this is then done via an HTML tag.

Nezapomeňte doplnit i nástroj do vašich stránek o GDPR / ePrivacy.

Here you can find a list of cookies and other information.

Developer view. Clarity is well written and doesn’t overload the visitor’s browser. The difference after deployment is not very measurable. Which cannot be said for Hotjar, which can slow down the entire website by 5-15%.

Videos about Microsoft Clarity

Comparison of Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity

Short tutorial:

Hotjar vs Microsoft

Hotjar explains how it is the only perfect tool:
https://www.hotjar.com/blog/hotjar-vs-microsoft-clarity/

Microsoft’s response to this article 😀 .
https://clarity.microsoft.com/blog/clarity-vs-hotjars-free-forever-plan-2022/

Reaction to other tools
https://www.fullsession.io/blog/hotjar-vs-microsoft-clarity/

Other comparisons:

https://blog.loginradius.com/growth/hotjar-vs-microsoft-clarity/

Importantly, Microsoft is actively working on this tool and developing it.

https://clarity.microsoft.com/blog/

Beware of dangerous tools

At the same time, I would not recommend using Yandex Metric. 10-12 years ago, this tool could be recommended, but then the risk only increased. And for the last 10 years I would not recommend this tool, and for the last years I would expressly forbid its use. By making heatmaps and records of visits, it also sends the data of your users to Russia and often also the contents of the fields that the user fills in. That’s why it’s very dangerous. In addition, there will of course also be a problem with the fact that the data does not need to and does not remain in the European Union. Unfortunately, there are still a few people in online marketing who ignore these risks and recommend the tool to their clients.

Is Microsoft Clarity doing better? Yes, Microsoft is pretty much audited and GDPR compliant.

My experience

I have Microsoft Clarity on both my website and several clients’ websites. I used to have Hotjar everywhere, today Clarity is my first choice, and if that’s not enough, we only think about Hotjar after that. Because Clarity is free and can handle large volumes, I can post it to those on HP’s big websites, while I can’t afford it with Hotjar. Do you want to pay the company? Arrange for Hotjar Clarity to be replaced.

There are also companies that have managed to keep their old contracts and have a 95% discount 🙂 , they can keep Hotjar.

What does CRO and UX expert Ondřej Ilinčev say about this ?CRO a UX expert Ondřej Ilinčev?

Hotjar is used by people just out of inertia and I predict a steep fall for it. Those are the days when they positioned themselves as a cheap alternative integrating more functions. I remember when Hotjar was $7 and had funnels, form analytics, and unlimited surveys. For a few years now, they have been cutting functions and making them significantly more expensive, most recently they turned the questionnaires into their own product, where you pay in advance for the number of answers.

The abandoned space has been elegantly filled by Microsoft, which makes the Clarity tool available for free due to anonymized data collection. Not only does it add features and improvements, but it has no traffic restrictions. Which is useful for large sites, but also for sites where you want to get to a specific user’s video (for example, because he complained to you about an error in the order).

The few things I would criticize Clarity for are:

  • Unintuitive use of masks (regex) for heatmap selection.
  • The impossibility of omitting an element by ID (suitable for cookie bars).
  • Sometimes incorrect rendering of the heatmap page.

But the list of my complaints is gradually getting smaller, they are stepping into development a lot and listening to feedback.

It’s currently my go-to tool for heatmaps and user videos

Conclusion

Can I recommend this tool? Definitely yes.

PS: With the bright future of Bing , I recommend registering Bing Webmaster Tools.

Update 2024-03-28

Generate session Insights

For me, a great thing that shows the future of analytics.

Core web vitals

Your site results for core web vitals.

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