Additional Methods To Measure Interaction Using The Get Time To Complete Plug-In

Recently there was a great article on the Omniture Blog all about Capturing Time Spent on . . . well, just about anything. It’s a great post and definitely worth checking out. After reading it I was wondering if there was another way to do it? Of course there is! I present the Time To Complete Plug-in.

The getTimeToComplete plug-in will track the time it takes a user to complete some process on your site. The “clock” begins when you call the plug-in with the value “start” and stops when the plug-in with the value “stop”. The plug-in can be used to track the time to complete a checkout process, to track the time to complete an application process, to track the time a user spends viewing/using Rich Internet Applications (RIA), or to track the time between a download and a purchase.

s.getTimeToComplete( v, cn, e )

v is the Value – ‘start’ or ‘stop’
cn is the Cookie Name – example: ‘ttc’
e is the Expiration – days to expiration of the cookie, 0 for session
This function will return an empty string ” or a value in days, hours, minutes or seconds

There is a bunch of different ways to use this plug-in. I like this first method because you do not have to add a single of code to the page to make it work (I have found it is much easier to get a development team to simply upload a new s_code file as opposed to adding additional code to the site.) Lets say you want to track a form on your site. Lets say the form is at /my-form.php. Once the visitor fills out the form, they are taken to the thank you page which lets say is at /my-form-thanks.php. I would add this bit of code to the s_code file:

if (window.location.pathname=='/my-form.php') s.ttc='start';
if (window.location.pathname=='/my-form-thanks.php') s.ttc='stop';
s.prop1=s.getTimeToComplete(s.ttc,'ttc',0);

What this does is looks for the path in the URL for /my-form.php and sets start in s.ttc. When the plug-in see’s this it set’s the cookie ttc with a start time Then when the URL path is /my-form-thanks.php stop is set. When the plug-in see’s stop, it then reads the ttc plug-in and records the time difference in s.prop1. The time value that you will get will have days and hours rounded to .2 (e.g. 1.4 days), minutes to .5 (e.g. 2.5 minutes), and seconds to 5 (e.g. 15 seconds).

NOTE:When this is implemented, if you check the debugger you will not see any value for s.prop1 until you have reached the stop point of the process.

Here is another way to use the code. Let’s say you have some events set right on the pages of your site. We want to know how long it takes to get from when event1 is set to when event2 is set. I would add this code into the s_code file:

if(s.events.indexOf('event1')>-1) s.ttc='start';
if(s.events.indexOf('event2')>-1) s.ttc='stop';
s.prop1=s.getTimeToComplete(s.ttc,'ttc',0);

What this does is look for when event1 happens, then set start in s.ttc. When event2 happens stop is set, and the time value is set in s.prop1.

NOTE: Another thing to remember is this can be used to record the time of many different processes or paths on your site. If you do that I suggest using a different cookie name and variable value in each one so there are no issues.

Here is the actual plug-in code:
The getTimeToComplete plug-in returns the time to complete a task. When v is ‘start’ a cookie is written with the timestamp. When v is ‘stop’ the cookie is read and the expired time is returned in days, hours, minutes, or seconds.

/*
 * Plugin: getTimeToComplete
 */
s.getTimeToComplete=new Function("v","cn","e",""
+"var s=this,d=new Date,x=d,k;if(!s.ttcr){e=e?e:0;if(v=='start'||v=='"
+"stop')s.ttcr=1;x.setTime(x.getTime()+e*86400000);if(v=='start'){s.c"
+"_w(cn,d.getTime(),e?x:0);return '';}if(v=='stop'){k=s.c_r(cn);if(!s"
+".c_w(cn,'',d)||!k)return '';v=(d.getTime()-k)/1000;var td=86400,th="
+"3600,tm=60,r=5,u,un;if(v>td){u=td;un='days';}else if(v>th){u=th;un="
+"'hours';}else if(v>tm){r=2;u=tm;un='minutes';}else{r=.2;u=1;un='sec"
+"onds';}v=v*r/u;return (Math.round(v)/r)+' '+un;}}return '';");

I really like this plug-in because you end up with a report that is completely dedicated to the time it takes to complete that exact action.

Enjoy!

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