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User Agents
Luiza Gircoveanu avatar
Written by Luiza Gircoveanu
Updated over a week ago


This document describes why you might want to configure the user agent for your ObservePoint audits and journeys.

Let's start with the basics:

What is a user agent?

When a web browser visits a website, the browser sends a piece of text to the website called the "user agent". This text tells the website the browser name and version, operating system name and version, and other information.

When ObservePoint visits your website, you can choose from a list of user agent text that ObservePoint's browser will send to the website.

Why would I change the user agent for my ObservePoint audits and journeys?

Some websites behave differently for different browsers (Safari vs. Chrome, for example). If your website behaves differently depending on the user agent text, and you want to validate this behavior, you can set the user agent text in your ObservePoint audits and journeys.

Important: In ObservePoint, changing the user agent setting does not change the browser that ObservePoint uses to run the audit or journey. It only changes the user agent text which ObservePoint sends to your website.

How do I simulate a mobile browser, like iPhone or Android, in ObservePoint?

The most reliable way to simulate a mobile experience in an ObservePoint audit or journey is to change the user agent and the viewport size (width and height, in pixels) to match the mobile device. Most websites use the viewport size to render a mobile experience that fits on a mobile device. But some websites will use the user agent instead.

Please note that all audits and journeys will run on the Chrome browser, but with a mobile user agent and viewport size. This is a good simulation of the user experience on mobile, but some features (like cookie behavior) might be subtly different.

What browser does ObservePoint use for audits and journeys?

All ObservePoint audits and journeys run on the Chrome browser. Even if you change the user agent text to Safari for your audit or journey, ObservePoint will still run Chrome, while telling your website it's Safari.

How to change the user agent

To change the user agent for an audit or journey, edit the audit or journey. Scroll down to the option called "user agent". You can choose from a list of user agents that ObservePoint will send to your website. ObservePoint will use your selected user agent on the next run.

By default, ObservePoint will send user agent text that indicates it is running the Chrome browser.

Please note that ObservePoint updates the user agent text periodically to stay up to date with the latest version of Chrome and other browser versions. This helps your websites treat ObservePoint traffic the same as regular user traffic, which is helpful to ensure that ObservePoint audits and journeys accurately reflect the experience of your website users.

Most ObservePoint user agents (including the default user agent) contain the text "ObservePoint" at the end. This is one of two techniques that allow analysts to identify traffic in their analytics reports that come from ObservePoint (learn more about identifying ObservePoint traffic here).

Note: ObservePoint has multiple User Agents Text Options available which you can find in the drop-down menu in our app.

However, please note that Linux (Non-ObservePoint) is the same as the default Chrome user agent, except it does not have "ObservePoint" appended to the end of the user agent.

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