REVIEW & TIPS FROM HIGHER ED EXPERTS.COM’S ANALYTICS CONFERENCES
Thanks to efforts of Christopher Gabel, UK's College of Engineering webmaster, many of us were able to attend the February 6 Higher Ed Experts.com’s Analytics Conference via the new facilities in the Davis Marksbury Building. Most expressed their appreciation that the experience brought a better understanding of web analytics and their implications for overall strategic direction.
Although the majority of the 11 presentations were pertinent to some extent, only half were most notable for what we could corporate here - goals, tracking, dashboards, search analytics, investigation and analytics profiling.
Thanks again to Chris for providing all of the Conference slides so those of us who were unable to attend could benefit from it anyway.
This link goes to a Dropbox zip file. Download it to your computer and unzip to see all 11 slides from the Conference as PDF files.
This link goes to recordings of the complete conference (login: cgabel / password: gocatsalways). Scroll down until you see "Conference Program," then click on any of the "Recording" links.
AUTO-FORWARDING CAROUSELS AND ACCORDIONS ANNOY USERS AND REDUCE VISIBILITY
In the past few years visual cues and links on home pages have been accepted as the norm for attracting users to those sections web designers have determined to the the main focus of a corporation or institution. However, a recent study by the Nielsen Norman Group, who are strong proponents of evidence-based user experience research, showed that because it moves, users automatically assume that it might be an advertisement, which makes them more likely to ignore it.
Although they can be visually appealing, boxes that look like an accordion but act more like a carousel because they auto-rotate to show a new panel every few seconds can be a turn-off. In addition, auto-forwarding causes many usability problems:
- Moving user interface elements usually reduce accessibility, particularly for users with motor skill issues who have difficulty clicking something before it's taken away.
- Low-literacy users often don't have enough time to read the information before it's removed.
- International users also read more slowly if your site is not in their native language, and thus won't be able to understand a panel if it's displayed only briefly.
- It's just plain annoying for users to lose control of the user interface when things move around of their own accord.
Read more -->
TEENAGE USABILITY: DESIGNING TEEN-TARGETED WEBSITES
Another study by the Nielsen Norman Group with repercussions for UK Web Publishers contained the following surprising summary: "Teens are over confident in their web abilities, but they perform worse than adults. Lower reading levels, impatience, and undeveloped research skills reduce teens’ task success and require simple, relatable sites."
Not surprisingly, the study discovered that "technology is so integrated with teenagers’ lives that creating useful and usable websites for them is more critical than ever." However, teenagers don't necessarily need to be dazzled to the extreme by every new trick proposed by mainstream web designers. Letting this steer your design can lead to disastrous outcomes
Using charts and strong survey points, an article by Jakob Nielsen notes several steps to rethink and restructure your site to attract and keep this all important demographic.
Read more -->
Because the University has invested heavily in Drupal, UK Web Publishers are strongly encouraged to attend the monthly editions of Drupal Lounge, where University's experts and long-time users answer questions and provide helpful tips and news.
You are also reminded of the Drupal Support Community website where you can request a new Drupal site or module, view the newest resources, find out what current UK sites use Drupal, have your questions answered in the Support Forum, and follow the Drupal Community at UK on twitter @UKYDrupal
UK International Center - www.uky.edu/international/ (Vaughn Fielder)
Web Visions - Feb. 27-March 1, New York City - www.webvisionsevent.com/new-york/
Midwest PHP Conference - March 203, St. Paul, MN - www.midwestphp.com/
SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive - March 8-12, Austin - http://sxsw.com/interactive/
An Event Apart Seattle - April 1-3 - http://aneventapart.com/2013/seattle/
University of Illinois Web Conference - Champaign, IL, April 15016 - http://publish.illinois.edu/uofiwebcon/