I recently took a course on Analytics by the Nielsen Norman Group, which was a very insightful session for me as a UX designer. So I wrote a little excerpt about the key points I learned in that course. I know what you’re thinking… not another blog about analytics! (But if you’re thinking “Great! Can’t wait to read it!” Then I already idolize you, my friend)
I am of the opinion that every UX designer should be thinking about analytics at some point in the design process. UX professionals help organizations reach goals by designing interfaces that encourage users to take desirable actions. Usability testing, contextual enquiries, and A/B testing are all methods that we designers employ in order to create successful designs. Analytics is yet another powerful tool that we can add to our proverbial designer toolbox in order to gain more visibility on consumer behavior. The key is in triangulating these methods and getting a 360 degree perspective throughout. Was the Sistine Chapel painted by one person, with only one paintbrush? Of course not. You can never have too many tools in your toolbox. It is important to use multiple data sources and tools to inform, measure, and optimize designs. So how can digital analytics help?
Basically: analytics supports User Experience in 3 ways: Site/Application redesign, Optimization, and Maintenance.
For redesigning a product:
- Help establish a baseline performance
- Diagnose/frame issues
- Inform personas
- Identifying what areas need UX
- Justify budgets for improvements
- Help run experiments
- Identify causes of issues
- Quantify need for changes
- Help prove or disprove any myths that people may be holding on to
Whether it’s to help create personas or to justify the need for change to business, analytics give clarity and insight into consumer behavior which better informs how to design an app/site as well as what features to focus on.