At FullStory we strive to make understanding everything about your customer experience as bionic as possible. While we do a lot already (i.e. capturing the entire DOM automatically, including every click, swipe, and scroll), there’s so much more we are working on to make FullStory even more powerful.

If you are eager to do more now, you might be interested in a tip we’ve discovered to unlock even more insights about your customer’s experience using FullStory!

Imagine if you could know both when and how often a specific element was visible on a customer’s screen. Specifically, imagine you could know if a user saw an error message — and how frequently that error was surfacing.

Intrigued? Let’s do this!

Which of my users saw a specific error during their session?

Whether you want to extend proactive support for your customers or are striving to understand exactly how pervasive a painful experience is, being able to search for when a certain element (in this case a specific error) occurs would be a necessary first step.

The way FullStory currently works, an element isn’t indexed simply by being visible on screen. Because it’s not indexed, it’s not searchable. Thankfully, we can work around this problem by faking a click whenever a specific element appears. Since clicks are indexed, these previously elusive error messages are suddenly searchable. ?

Here’s how we do it

In order to start capturing when our customers ‘saw’ a specific error through faking a click, we need one of our front-end engineers to tweak the code:

  1. In the front end code, find the place where you handle the error and display a message to your end user.
  2. Change the code so that when you display the error message, you trigger a click event on that error message element. (See “NOTE” below for a way to set this up)
  3. Give the error message element an easy-to-search-for CSS class (e.g. div.someErrorMessage)

Once this is done we can search in FullStory for “clicks” on the CSS selector div.someErrorMessage and find all the sessions where our customers saw an error.

Hello proactive support!

Now that we’re armed with awareness, we can proactively find and fix errors that customers are finding irritating—just not irritating enough to go through the hassle of reporting them. We can then proactively follow-up with affected customers to let them know we’re on top of improving their experience!

The sky’s the limit.

Surfacing error message visibility is but one application of this trick. How might you use this tip to unlock even more value from FullStory?


One way to call up a click would be to use this code:

Where the myErrorMessage part is whatever css id you put on your error message — what that’s saying is, get the error message in the view, and make the browser artificially click on it.