Integrating web analytics into information architecture and user-centered design


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My presentation from the 2008 IA Summit in Miami

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Integrating web analytics into information architecture and user-centered design

  1. Integrating web analytics into information architecture and user-centered design 2008 IA Summit Hallie Wilfert [email_address]
  2. CSI MiaMi User Experience Capturing Statistics to Influence
  3. Or the boring title…. Integrating web analytics into information architecture and user-centered design 2008 IA Summit Hallie Wilfert [email_address]
  4. Overview <ul><li>What is web analytics? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should you care? </li></ul><ul><li>What it can and can’t tell you about your web site </li></ul><ul><li>How to implement a web analytics program </li></ul><ul><li>How to quickly analyze web statistics data </li></ul>
  5. What is web analytics? <ul><li>Web Analytics Association’s official definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage. </li></ul></ul>
  6. What is web analytics? <ul><li>AKA Web stats, web statistics, the gigantic report that comes every month that no one looks at </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative data collected about web site activity </li></ul><ul><li>Interpreted through a web analytics software </li></ul>
  7. What I use <ul><li>Urchin </li></ul><ul><li>Webtrends </li></ul><ul><li>Analog </li></ul><ul><li>Clicktracks </li></ul><ul><li>ACSI / Foresee Survey </li></ul>
  8. Why should you care? <ul><li>It’s USER RESEARCH! </li></ul><ul><li>IAs are good investigators </li></ul>
  9. Why you should care <ul><li>Statistics are captured 24 hours a day, 7 days a week </li></ul><ul><li>Can locate areas that need further investigation </li></ul><ul><li>Sets the stage for additional user centered design </li></ul>
  10. Where it fits in
  11. What it does not do <ul><li>WHAT people do but not WHY they do it </li></ul><ul><li>Some things must be planned for in advance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracking where people go </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracking within flash or other dynamic apps </li></ul></ul>
  12. Implement a web analytics program <ul><li>Quick wins, start small </li></ul><ul><li>Show impact </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation of data matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarize the key issues and tell people what to pay attention to </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analytics software only does part of the job </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A person needs to interpret the data and add the context </li></ul></ul>
  13. Truth and Heresy <ul><li>You do not need to be a statistician to implement an analytics program </li></ul><ul><li>You do need to be a good communicator and a good interpreter </li></ul><ul><li>Do not expect or promise accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Trends are more important than exact numbers </li></ul>
  14. So, your first assignment… <ul><li>You are about to start working on a web site </li></ul><ul><li>Your goal is to improve the site’s user experience </li></ul><ul><li>You ask, “Do you have web site statistics I can look at?” </li></ul><ul><li>They say, “Yes” and hand over the stats </li></ul>
  15. Step 1: Check out the web site <ul><li>Mission & Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Key pages for the user </li></ul><ul><li>Key pages for the business </li></ul><ul><li>Technical assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>URL structure </li></ul></ul>
  16. Step 2: Check the accuracy of the stats report <ul><li>Has the report been set up correctly? </li></ul><ul><li>Are searchbots, spiders, and other non-human visitors being excluded? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the top visitor to the site “crawl−66−249−65−83.googlebot.com_Mozilla/5.0 (compatible;Googlebot/2.1; ”? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are internal visitors being excluded? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure to exclude employees, contractors, and others who work on the site. </li></ul></ul>
  17. Step 3: Read through the report quickly <ul><li>Get a high-level overview of what is being reported on and the overall trends. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the pages that appear frequently? </li></ul><ul><li>Are these key pages or pages that you did not expect to see? </li></ul><ul><li>What are people searching for on the site? </li></ul>
  18. Step 4: Look at a number of months’ reports side by side. <ul><li>Get a sense of the trends. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there more traffic during the week than the weekend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are certain pages popular only during a particular part of the year? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are the same pages appearing over and over again? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there some pages that do really well and then fall off the radar? </li></ul></ul>
  19. Step 5: Connect with the communications team <ul><li>Are there promotions and campaigns that you should be aware of that might impact traffic? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the hot issues that might get people to your site organically? </li></ul>
  20. Step 6: Prioritize what you pay attention to <ul><li>Visits and page views </li></ul><ul><li>Average pages viewed </li></ul><ul><li>Site navigation preferences </li></ul><ul><li>Entry and exit pages </li></ul><ul><li>Most popular content </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic to key pages </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords that referred people to the site </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords used on internal search engine </li></ul><ul><li>Referrers </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion </li></ul>
  21. Pay attention to <ul><li>Visits and page views </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual pages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Documents </li></ul>
  22. Pay attention to <ul><li>Site navigation preferences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are visitors going where you want them too? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are people getting stuck </li></ul></ul>
  23. Site navigation preferences
  24. Site navigation preferences
  25. Pay attention to <ul><li>Entry and Exit pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are visitors leaving at expected or unexpected places? </li></ul></ul>
  26. Entry & Exit pages
  27. Entry & Exit pages
  28. Pay attention to <ul><li>Keywords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal Search Engine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External Search Engine </li></ul></ul>
  29. Pay attention to <ul><li>Referrers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From Search Engines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From External Sites </li></ul></ul>
  30. Step 6: Prioritize what you pay attention to <ul><li>Conversion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How people get through a process or set of pages </li></ul></ul>
  31. Conversion
  32. Conversion
  33. Conversion
  34. Conversion
  35. Conversion
  36. Conversion
  37. Anything else? <ul><li>Intranet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at the top users and go to them for feedback </li></ul></ul>
  38. Step 7: Analytics applied to User Centered Design <ul><li>Are the goals of the site being met? </li></ul><ul><li>Are people getting to the pages that they need? </li></ul><ul><li>Are people getting to the pages that the business wants them to get to? </li></ul><ul><li>How have changes to the site design impacted the site’s traffic? </li></ul>
  39. What can you do with it? <ul><li>Analyze patterns in Web site usage </li></ul><ul><li>Benchmark Web performance and set goals </li></ul><ul><li>Locate problems </li></ul><ul><li>Predict opportunities for growth </li></ul><ul><li>Measure the effectiveness of Web site </li></ul><ul><li>Help direct Web site strategy </li></ul>
  40. Step 8: Present the information clearly <ul><li>Answer questions </li></ul><ul><li>Provide next steps </li></ul><ul><li>Make connections between the numbers and the real world </li></ul><ul><li>Make it interesting </li></ul>
  41. Good resources <ul><li>Web Analytics Demystified : </li></ul><ul><li>Occam’s Razor : </li></ul><ul><li>Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik </li></ul><ul><li>Search Analytics : http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Web Analytics Association’s standard definitions : </li></ul>
  42. Wrapping up <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>