Turning Frustration Metrics into Actionable Insights.

When it comes to engagement, FullStory's frustration metrics help reveal when things go wrong for your users. One of the best ways to find frustration on your site is through searching in FullStory for sessions that contain "Rage Clicks."

Rage Clicks are indexed by FullStory when users repeatedly click (or tap) on a specific section of your web site or app. If you're new to Rage Clicks, they are moments of excessive clicking or tapping by users on your web site (or app) that get indexed in FullStory. While session replay can't pick up on mouse slamming, keyboard pounding, exasperated muttering, or other physical abuse of computer hardware, clicking multiple times on a specific element on your site may be the nearest digital equivalent. Rapid-fire clicks on your site can be a clear signal of a frustrated computer user.

Rage Clicks are the virtual equivalent of mashing an unresponsive button on a vending machine—only it's a mouse button. Rage clicks are a digital signal of a user's annoyance with your site's UX.

You can search[1] all your sessions in FullStory for Rage Click events and then watch replays of those sessions to analyze and understand the user behavior that precedes the event.

Notably, Rage Clicks are not evidence of some psychological phenomenon or that your customers are angry people (though that could be the case). Rage Clicks are a simple, universal indicator that the customer experience could be improved.

Rage Clicks reveal actionable insights.

You just saw that you had an increase in your bounce rate. What's going on? Is it an indication that users are getting frustrated? Is something broken on the page? How do you know? And what are you to do about it?

You need more information, and that's where FullStory comes in. Session recordings allow you to replay the experiences of users on your site so that you can tease apart what's really going on.

Of course, you have thousands of sessions, so which ones should you watch? You can search for Rage Click events in FullStory to narrow down those sessions that are most likely going wrong can focus your efforts, saving you time.

For example, if you see your bounce rate is alarmingly high on a specific landing page, you can research session recordings in FullStory by searching for and watching sessions in which users visited that specific landing page. You can further narrow down the resulting list of sessions to those that contain Rage Clicks. This list of session recordings will have a high probability of containing user information you can immediately put to work to understand what's damaging the customer experience—so that you can fix it.

When you watch sessions that contain Rage Clicks, there's a high probability of uncovering an insight on which you can take action—a.k.a. the elusive "actionable insights"—because Rage Clicks happen alongside the frustrating experience.

Since you're able to see and unerstand that frustrating experience through FullStory session replay, you get the nuanced, detailed information you need to both understand what's going wrong and figure out what you can do to fix it, reduce UI confusion, and increase conversion rates.

Improving activation rate through Rage Clicks. A case study.

Ty Magnin of Appcues relates how Rage Clicks helped surface bounce rate issues—issues that never would have been clear otherwise.

The signup form on Appcues—after collecting your email address—used to display a small bit of text on the submit button after you clicked it. The button would display, “Warming up our engines...”

It was a subtle bit of copy that was intended to convey the idea that things were happening—but please be patient.

"Warming up our engines ..." What does it mean? Click, click, click.

The problem, as the Appcues team discovered, was that the copy was confusing to users.

As it turns out, on clicking the "Create your first experience" button, users had to wait a meaningful amount of time. Users failed to intuit that “warming up" implied "things are happening—please be patient.” As a result, Appcues saw that users were Rage Clicking the submit button over and over—all while the site's backend was trying to get through processing a fair amount of data to set up their accounts in the app.

In other words, what was intended to be a helpful, human bit of copy ended up having the opposite effect, and users, confused by the text on the button, were expressing their frustration by clicking the button repeatedly—and leaving.

To fix this, Ty went into the app and coded up a new bit of copy to display after the button was clicked. Now, when you sign up for an Appcues account, you get the text: “Thanks! You'll be redirected in a sec.”

"Thanks! You'll be redirected in a sec." Less creative but much more clear.

That simple change in copy[2], making it clear to users what was happening, brought Appcues' activation rates back up and eliminated their onboarding Rage Click problem.

Where Rage Clicks happen the most.

Where do Rage Clicks happen most? While a wide variety of things can lead to user rage, below are some common points that spur Rage Clicks.

  • Dead time: Like the Appcues example, whenever a user is not in control of your site and it's unclear what's happening, you may see a flurry of Rage Clicks. The quintessential example is waiting on a video to load. Impatience mounts quickly and before you know it click click click.

    Note: This is not a real YouTube video! But ask yourself if you've ever Rage Clicked a play button before bouncing.

    If you're waiting for external input or loading data, make that clear to your users before they conclude your site is simply broken.

  • Misleading buttons: Rage Clicks on site elements often indicate that a user expects that element to do something. Perhaps a CSS selector is misbehaving and making an element look like something that should be clicked.

    Clicking on a site's logo to get back to the home page is a classic example of a digital desire path. When a site doesn't let you do it, it feels like an archaic anti-pattern.

    Sometimes it can help you discover a more efficient route through your web site or app (i.e. a digital desire path).

  • Dead links. If you have text that looks like a link but isn't, prepare for lots of clicking as users click click click expecting something to happen.
  • Anywhere you have interactivity: Whether it's finely scrubbing a video or audio or expanding and contracting a sidebar, Rage Clicks on interactive site elements can clue you into places where you could make your product easier to use.

    For a time our playback speed button required users to click through to their preferred speed for each new recording, leading to lots of Rage Clicking a lot of over-scrolling.

    Repeatedly tapping through a widget on your app (i.e. a calendar) could trigger a Rage Click event that may not seem overtly "frustrating;" however, ask yourself if there might be an opportunity to reduce clicks and improve the UX.

  • False positives. Sometimes rage click events in FullStory _don't_ correlate to UI confusion. For example, user frustration manifested as rapid-fire click click clicking could be caused by things outside a website owner's choice in fonts. Perhaps user rage is driven by an uncooperative device. We all know that when the Wi-Fi goes down or the Internet is slow, rage is quick to follow.

It's hard to predict just what might cause a rage click. That's why searching in FullStory for Rage Click sessions can lead to surprising discoveries.

Are you seeing other design and product considerations lead to Rage Clicks? We are still in the early days of articulating what drives Rage Clicks and if you are seeing other common situations that lead to Rage Clicks, please share.

Put Rage Clicks to work.

While there are countless reasons a user may get frustrated and leave your site, only a few can be revealed as quickly as a simple search—Rage Clicks are the low-hanging fruit for fixing frustration on your web site or app.

If you're new to FullStory, go ahead and login. From there, search in FullStory for sessions that contain Rage Clicks directly from the Omnisearch bar, or mouse over to the "Rage clicked recently" segment in the left sidebar.

Watch a few sessions and see what you can learn.

Additionally, look below your list of sessions in FullStory and check out the Top Rage Clicks Searchie, which lists the most heavy hitting Rage-Clicked elements on your site (You can also check out the Top Error Clicks and Top Dead Clicks while you're there[3]).

If you want to broaden your frustration reducing efforts, check out your Rage Grade—a new feature that uses machine intelligence to identify sessions with combinations of error clicks, dead clicks, and rage clicks—watching user sessions listed in your Rage Grade are highly likely to show you a broader spectrum of user frustration.

What are you waiting for? Go and reduce user rage on the web!


  1. FullStory search gives you the power to "Google" the customer experience on your site. ↩︎

  2. For a thoughtful write-up on providing clarity in copy, see Jason Fox's When Copy Loves Itself Too Much. ↩︎

  3. What are Dead Clicks and Error Clicks? Read about them here. ↩︎