A friend of mine says that talking about web analytics is a good way to clear a room. I hope that's not true because today we're going to be talking web analytics -- one of my favorite topics.
The Assessment & Analytics Team is developing an approach to measure the success of the redesign. We will look at many ways to measure success -- usability testing (which has been done by the Research Tam throughout the iterations and will continue after the redesign), as well as onsite surveys and clickstream analytics -- the data we get out of tools like Google Analytics which tells us basically *what* users are doing on the website -- what pages they are viewing, where they are coming from, etc.
Before we talk about goals and what we will measure, let's answer the question: What is web analytics and why is it important? Web analytics is the measurement, analysis and reporting of website data with the goal of optimizing the website to meet user needs.
Web analytics provides website and content owners with insights into user behavior that will help make decisions about improving the website for users.
The importance of measuring a website should be directly proportional to the importance of that website to the organization. Basically, why have a website if you have no idea how well it's serving user needs?
The first step is knowing the business objective: why the website even exists. The second is coming up with website goals to support the objective(s) -- how does the website help meet the business objective? The third step is determining the key performance indicators (KPI) -- those metrics we use to see if we are meeting our goals.
The entire team is working hard to solidify these now.
We are also using an onsite survey to look at task completion rate to answer two simple questions: why are users coming to the site (the task) and are they able to accomplish the task (task completion). By segment (let's say people looking to find information about degrees) we can then know if the completion of that task improves after the redesign - are we making it easier for users to accomplish their tasks?
So there you go: measuring the success of the redesigned website. It's not an easy thing to do, but we have a great team that is working hard and is up for the challenge.
Don't forget: measurement doesn't stop after the redesign. The goal is constant improvement.