Sticky's recording platform is an integral part of the service we offer. This is the software that guides respondents through your experiment and collects eye tracking and other data that we use to produce reports. Because it runs on the computers of survey respondents where we have short interactions and minimal control, we strive for stability and broad platform support.
As the browser and computing landscape changes, we are working to keep up-to-date with the systems that reflect survey respondents in the field.
The first versions of Sticky (in 2011-2012) required respondents to download and install a browser plugin, which provided direct webcam access and allowed Sticky to work around the differences between browsers.
After learning that many respondents were unwilling or unable to install our browser plugin on their system, Sticky added support for accessing the webcam via Adobe Flash. At the time, Flash was installed on most people's computers and it tended to be reliable and easy to use.
As newer browsers brought Flash features directly to the web platform, they also began a slow process of phasing out Adobe Flash. In response, Sticky took the first steps toward deprecating Flash in February 2016. At that point, we created a webcam-recording module called the HTML5 recorder which no longer required Flash. This recorder is supported on Chrome and Firefox, but requires features that no other browser was offering at the time.
In the interim period, we have continued using the Flash recorder for other browsers. (Namely, Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge.)
As Flash comes nearer and nearer to its end of life (Adobe has announced that they will stop supporting Flash entirely by 2020), we have begun to focus on what comes next.
Here is our plan:
- Six months from now (April 22, 2019), we will remove Flash support entirely.
- The most important effect will be no more Internet Explorer 11 support.
- IE11 can only be supported using the Adobe Flash technology.
- Other browsers are making it harder and harder for users to enable Flash.
- To fix security bugs, Adobe has released updates with no notice that have broken Sticky's recorder.
- Adobe has announced Flash end-of-life by 2020.
- Over the coming 6 months, we will be releasing a new recording platform to broaden our browser support.
- Newly-supported browsers will be:
- Safari on Mac
- Edge on Windows
- Continuing support for:
- Chrome on Mac and Windows
- Firefox on Mac and Windows
As we approach a finished product in the coming weeks, we will invite customers to begin testing the new recording platform to ensure that it's working perfectly before removing Flash support in April, 2019.
If you have questions, feel free to reach out to us using the chat in the lower right corner.