Integrating web analysis in the user experience design process


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Measuring has become more and more important to the job of the information architect.

* We need to measure the KPI's of our projects to assure we meet our customers business objectives.
* We need to measure the usage of the site to assure it's effectiveness.
* We need to measure the users behaviour on the site so we can optimize the information architecture to meet their needs.
* We need to measure business parameters such as sales numbers, conversion rates, ... and compare them to the traffic analysis.

Measuring becomes essential to define what we do but also to define why we do it. We need to justify and document the effect our work has on the overall business. A new generation of tools allows us to integrate data from traffic analysis, CRM, ERP, with our traditional work of defining navigations, taxonomies, content organization, etc.

Most usability tests only include a small sample of users meanwhile there is data available on all of our visitors behaviours, we need to exploit this data and use it to define and refine the overall user experience of our online projects.

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  • Integrating web analysis in the user experience design process

    1. Integrating web analysis in the user experience design process Erik Verdeyen David De Block 26 th September 2008 EuroIA Conference 2008 - Amsterdam
    2. About this presentation <ul><li>Information Architects are used to have their work reviewed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expert review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability / eye-tracking research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This type of research has its limitations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not representative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on user scenario’s </li></ul></ul>
    3. About this presentation <ul><li>Too little attention for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Findability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversion </li></ul></ul>Core paths (Are Halland) Core Most optimal unit of consumption Balance business and user goals
    4. About this presentation <ul><li>Web analytics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adds information about findability and conversion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives you an insight about ALL your users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes affordable continuous UX optimization possible </li></ul></ul>Plan Do Measure Adjust
    5. About this presentation <ul><li>Analytics doesn’t replace anything in the design process: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analytics doesn’t tell how to improve when you don’t meet your targets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is no substitution to seeing how people really interact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is only usable as soon as the site is live </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is a complimentary tool in the UX design process </li></ul>
    6. About this presentation <ul><li>UX people are ideal for performing web analysis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We are the most user centered profile in a web team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are used interpreting user’s behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimizing ease of use is our core business </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It makes the ROI of UX design tacit for marketing and business - it justifies our job  /  </li></ul><ul><li>Capital expenditure vs operational expenditure </li></ul>
    7. About this presentation <ul><li>Conclusion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web analytics enrich the UX design process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a bridge to the marketing and business people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are the best party to be in the driver’s seat </li></ul></ul>
    8. About this presentation <ul><li>Content of the presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction in Web Analytics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Analytics in the UX design process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some current evolutions </li></ul></ul>
    9. ACT 1: Introduction in Web Analytics
    10. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>Narrow point of view: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Measuring behaviour of website visitors (= core) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wide point of view: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Measuring which aspects of the website work towards the business objectives (= core paths) </li></ul></ul>Core Most optimal unit of consumption Balance business and user goals
    11. Introduction in Web Analytics new users vs. returning users Findability Calls to action Core <ul><li>Cross media </li></ul><ul><li>SEO </li></ul><ul><li>SEA </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. networks </li></ul><ul><li>Online ads </li></ul><ul><li>E-mailing </li></ul><ul><li>Content-push </li></ul><ul><li>Job search </li></ul><ul><li>Job browse </li></ul><ul><li>Job details </li></ul><ul><li>My HR </li></ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Apply online </li></ul>
    12. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>This presentation takes the wide view </li></ul>
    13. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>It is what your customer wants: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He doesn’t want usability and UX as such </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He wants to meet his targets, he wants conversion </li></ul></ul>
    14. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>Conversion is also a measure stick for public or non-profit sites </li></ul>
    15. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>Targets / conversion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to be determined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different for every site </li></ul></ul>Retail informative site Government website Bank site B2B Webshop
    16. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>Business goals are described in KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drive business-critical action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rates, ratios, percentages and averages instead of raw numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlight change instead of presenting tables of data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not more than 10 </li></ul></ul>
    17. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>Focus points of the new generation tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic : where do people come from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users / content : what are people doing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversions : did I reach my goals? </li></ul></ul>
    18. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>Loads of tools available: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free / paid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service / software </li></ul></ul>
    19. Introduction in Web Analytics A free tool in the Forrester report 
    20. Introduction in Web Analytics
    21. Introduction in Web Analytics
    22. Introduction in Web Analytics
    23. Introduction in Web Analytics <ul><li>It doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics can be a great starting point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s better to invest in people than in tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As long as you use the tool well: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That’s more than next, next, …, finish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure your KPI’s </li></ul></ul>
    24. ACT 2: Web Analytics in the UI design process
    25. Case <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Portal Belgian Federal government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bi-lingual country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spans federal government plus regions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Portal team of 15: 10 theme managers + 5 specialists (search, metrics, news, publications,…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t replace the ministry sites: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ broad but not deep” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>an entry point to gov info </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>up to date </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul></ul>
    26. Approach
    27. Define <ul><li>Intake </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Findability </li></ul><ul><li>High level concept </li></ul>
    28. Define phase - intake <ul><li> portal vs. the other gov sites </li></ul>
    29. Define phase - intake <ul><li>Web analysis of existing site: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to learn from the past </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to give you input for realistic expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Findings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary goal of portal – “dispatching” people – was not met at all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People were looking for all governmental information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on“portal” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Belgian government portal </li></ul></ul>
    30. Define phase - strategy <ul><li>After definition of the business goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define KPI’s: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase in traffic in target sites (due to better portal function) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase in link backs from gov sites </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Top keywords </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>By the end of the define phase, we had: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear findings from the past </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicators – based on strategy – to measure success (KPI’s) </li></ul></ul>
    31. Define phase - strategy <ul><li>Cross site measurement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within a cluster of sites, taking a site as boundary is arbitrary </li></ul></ul>One visit is perceived a three visits
    32. Define phase - strategy <ul><li>Cross site measurement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify problems with the overall IA strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Styleguide & guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link with cross media efforts </li></ul></ul>global data on user behavior
    33. Design <ul><li>Navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Functional design </li></ul><ul><li>Graphical design </li></ul><ul><li>Demosite </li></ul><ul><li>Eyetracking </li></ul>
    34. Design phase – functional design <ul><li>After defining functional specifications: Create a web analysis inventory document : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General measuring requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. campaigns, links, custom variables </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reporting and exporting requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. comparative reporting, site overlay, segmentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>General reports </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. bounce rates, # clicks / visit </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reports based on KPI’s: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. external links, # visits in Dutch / French </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    35. Design phase – eyetracking <ul><li>Use of KPI’s to add conversion driven scenarios </li></ul>
    36. Design phase – eyetracking <ul><li>Testing a number of scenario’s and hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Testing (demo site, pre launch): do people use the doormat navigation system </li></ul><ul><li>Live site: check real life situation with analytics </li></ul>
    37. Design Phase - eyetracking <ul><li>Testing: do people find/use functionalities </li></ul><ul><li>Live site: check usage and be- havior, identify problems </li></ul>
    38. Some more examples <ul><li>Hypothesis in the design phase can be confirmed through web analytics, e.g.: </li></ul><ul><li>Facetted navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Banner blindness </li></ul><ul><li>Portal functions: exit to other gov sources </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
    39. Design phase – delivery to development <ul><li>It’s important that your web analysis tool measures the right information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write an implementation plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work closely together with the implementors </li></ul></ul>
    40. Realize <ul><li>Development (external party) </li></ul><ul><li>Support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content wise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web analytics configuration </li></ul><ul><li>Quality assurance </li></ul>
    41. Realize phase - configuration <ul><li>Web analytics configuration: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build your own reports based on custom variables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. external links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. campaign </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Segment your audience: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. civilians vs. Foreigners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Dependent of flexibility of your tool </li></ul>
    42. Realize phase – Quality Assurance <ul><li>!!! Test whether all information comes in </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t want to miss the launch </li></ul>
    43. Optimization <ul><li>Findability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Core </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion </li></ul>
    44. Optimization <ul><li>As soon as the website goes online: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your client understands the metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage him to have an optimize phase in the project before going operational or start a new project </li></ul></ul><ul><li> optimization phase in progress </li></ul>Plan Do Measure Adjust
    45. Optimization phase – KPI dashboard <ul><li>Try to do something about the information overload: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide your client a KPI dashboard: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manually - in excel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Automatically - via API </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to involve the manager </li></ul></ul>
    46. Optimization phase - findability <ul><li>Findability has lots of facets: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search engine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaigns and push technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referrals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It’s an important aspect of the information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you can segment your users on the way they came in </li></ul><ul><li>Calculate the Cost per Conversion (CPA) and weigh the options </li></ul>
    47. Optimization phase - SEO <ul><li>Search engine optimization: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal search: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Optimize the search results of your top 50 keywords </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External search: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Optimize the content for your top keywords </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Optimize your landing pages and navigation </li></ul></ul></ul>
    48. Search engine optimization - SEA <ul><li>Search engine advertising </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Becomes more and more important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEA management tools become available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. nightly exclusion of “bad performers” </li></ul></ul>
    49. Search engine optimization - SEA <ul><li>Even within public services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using SEA to get traction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ad-hoc emergency communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mind shift needed from “this is advertising” to “this is improving our findability” </li></ul></ul>
    50. Optimization phase – campaigns <ul><li>Different types of “campaigns”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS / widgets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Banners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email campaigns / newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify them all: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calculate the cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Segment and optimize </li></ul></ul>
    51. Optimization phase - core <ul><li>Optimization of the site: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small incremental changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A/B or multivariate testing possible (e.g. with Google’s Website Optimizer) </li></ul></ul>
    52. ACT 3: some current evolutions
    53. CRM / behavioral targeting <ul><li>From web-analytics to data-driven (online) marketing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavioral targeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Omniture bought Touch Clarity last year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Out-of-the-box techniques in CMS “Fatwire’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with CRM and BI: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open architecture of most commercial tools </li></ul></ul></ul>
    54. Campaign / bid management <ul><li>Bid and campaign management is getting bigger and bigger: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Webtrends, StormOptimizer, Tradedoubler </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Even CMS vendors integrate with campaign management tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. MediaSurface and Alterian </li></ul></ul>
    55. Benchmark <ul><li>Benchmarking information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market research companies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gives you insight in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Name recognition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appreciation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tells you where you are compared to the competition </li></ul>
    56. Thank you! [email_address] +32 475 567 890 [email_address] +32 486 134 138