Have you ever looked at something and asked yourself, “What were they thinking?” Maybe a marketing campaign or new brand launch that didn’t make sense? Possibly a product launch that fell flat? How about a recent acquisition announcement? Wouldn’t you love to hear from those involved and get the inside scoop? Now’s your chance.
Recently, one of my colleagues had lunch with Eric Peterson, and the subject of Analytics new Insight user interface came up. Eric was kind enough to point out that since the release of Webtrends Analytics 9, a post on one of our forums has caused some confusion. The question seems to be whether the new Insight interface is really the “new” user interface or simply another way to view Analytics data.
This is a good question to be sure. Admittedly, it was a hotly debated topic in our messaging sessions prior to the release. The simple answer is yes, it is both. Insight provides a new way to view and interact with the data you know and love within Analytics. At the same time, it also provides some new data such as Bounce Rates and RSS-fed annotations.
And yes, it is the new interface for Analytics. It represents a major step towards our stated goal of totally redefining the user experience standards for web analytics. And this goal extends to other Webtrends applications as well. Over time, both existing Analytics functionality and new functionality will be designed using the same principles as the Insight interface. These core design principles include:
- A user experience built on “data as the interface” which allows users to interactively explore, filter, drill, and get details on demand.
- Intended use of color and broad adoption of the current and evolving best practices for data visualization.
- Use of web standards to maximize capability and minimize the need for plug-ins and other special technologies.
- Easy access to the underlying data for use outside of our applications.
For an even more detailed discussion on user experience design and these principles, check out the posts by Justin Garrity and the UX team.
So, you must be asking yourself the obvious follow on question, “How can it be the “new” user experience if not all the existing Analytics functionality is represented within Insight?” This is a more important point. The Analytics 9 release is a direct result of our new product development philosophy. This philosophy is founded in being open and nimble, embracing and incorporating feedback, promoting dialogue, and iterating in 3-4 month sprints: aka agile development.
The more traditional waterfall approach of working toward bigger releases, less often is an outdated model to fails to meet the needs of vendors and customers alike. We know we will never be smart enough to predict all the market needs, especially on new capabilities that are being delivered 12 months out. Our approach is intended to be more open and requires us to be more involved and in tune with our customers ─ never a bad thing. I believe the upcoming November release of Insight will demonstrate the power of this approach. Not only does it contain awesome improvements to the capabilities released in August (as a direct result of customer feedback), but adds some very powerful new stuff as well. More information on that is coming soon.
Going forward, look here for more insights (no pun intended) on the Webtrends product strategy, our road map, and previews of things in the works. Also, I encourage you to use this as a forum to ask questions, provide feedback, and tell us what you think in regard to these topics.