Thursday, August 24, 2006

Visualizing Web Analytics Data: Drooping Tail and Log-Log Charts

Analyzing analytics..

"Summary:
Using a linear diagram to plot data from website traffic logs can lead you to overlook important conclusions. Sometimes advanced visualizations are worth the effort.

Whenever I show double-logarithmic charts in my usability seminars, I see the audience members' eyes glaze over. People don't like anything but the simplest data visualizations, and I've certainly learned my lessons from the feedback sheets and scaled back on the amount of statistics I present.

Still, I can't help myself: there's data underlying the usability guidelines, and I have to show some of it. To understand traffic patterns found by Web analytics, for example, some of those hated advanced-visualization plots are sadly necessary. Without them, you simply can't tell what's going on.

As an example, consider the following linear graph of my log file analysis of how many visitors each page gets on a given website: "   (Continued via useit)   [Usability Resources]

Traffic rank- Usability, User Interface Design

Traffic rank

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