Cone Trees

Solution to the Camtasia Studio flickering cursor issue

Summary
To prevent the cursor from flickering during recording, open Camtasia Recorder, go to Tools > Options and deselect the ‘Capture layered windows’ checkbox.

Camtasia Studio as a tool for Usability Testing and User Interviews

Camtasia Studio can be a useful (cheaper) tool for user research. You could use it for usability testing (instead of Morae which would be the right tool for it, but costs five times the Camtasia Studio’s price which you can get for $ 300). You could also use it for conducting user interviews that require the participant to use your computer or laptop to interact with an application or website.

How the flickering cursor can foil your plans of using Camtasia Studio for User Research

Camtasia sounds all good till you notice that when you begin to record using the Camtasia Recorder, the cursor begins to jitter/ blink/ flicker. The blinking cursor is irritating, especially if used for long sessions, though you might still ignore it when conducting user interviews.

But you really shouldn’t ignore a flickering cursor as a negligible issue if you want to use it to for usability testing. A jittery cursor is not something the user will experience using your product in real life. And more importantly so, it’s something that will skew results due to the sheer irritation caused by the blinking that will simply end up affecting the way participants performs tasks through the session, which will be different from how they would participate without the flickering.

And in all cases, a flickering cursor could trigger an epileptic seizure if your participant has photosensitive epilepsy .

How to fix the Camtasia flickering cursor issue

To prevent the cursor from flickering during recording, open Camtasia Recorder, go to Tools > Options and deselect the ‘Capture layered windows’ checkbox.

But there’s a tradeoff

Camtasia says that some types of windows and/ or tooltips will not be captured in your recording if you disable capturing layered windows, so do a test recording to see whether there are any chances of anything you would like to get recorded that doesn’t first.