A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

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The 10/90 Rule for Magnificent Web Analytics Success

For every $100 you invest in web analytics, you should spend $10 on tools and $90 on people with the brain power to think about the results from the tools.

Kaushik, Avinash. Occam's Razor (2006). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Analyzing Your Traffic   (PDF)

Discover your site’s findability triumphs and tragedies with traffic analysis systems.

Walter, Aarron. Building Findable Websites (2008). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Are You Using the Wrong Web Metrics?

Do you base success on measuring the volume of visitors and page impressions? Such measures may in fact reflect the failure--rather than the success--of your website.

McGovern, Gerry. New Thinking (2006). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Bounce Rate Demystified

What is the industry standard for bounce rate? The simple and short answer is that there is no industry standard. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it is true. There is no industry standard. There are some ranges that I will share shortly but we can’t call them industry standards. There are a lot of factors that influence the bounce rate, so you really can’t compare bounce rates of one site (or page) to another.

Batra, Anil. Blogspot (2007). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Characterizing Audience for Informational Web Site Design   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Presents a sample of audience analysis results and discusses how they were used to make design decisions. Reflects on the strategy, the insights gained from the data, and the impact of the results on the subject Web site.

Turns, Jennifer and Tracey S. Wagner. Technical Communication Online (2004). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis


Competitive Analysis: Understanding the Market Context

Effective web design, from the simplest brochure website to the most complex web application, needs to involve an understanding of context. While user-centered design focuses on user needs/tasks, and information architecture focuses on content, these two aspects alone offer an incomplete picture. What is missing is the context: the environment in which the website or web application is used as well as the market in which it exists.

Withrow, Jason. Boxes and Arrows (2006). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Rhetoric


Data Quality Sucks, Let's Just Get Over It

Data quality on the internet absolutely sucks. And there is nothing you can do about it. At least for now.

Kaushik, Avinash. Occam's Razor (2006). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Design Decisions vs. Audience Considerations

Deep down below the layers of interface, CSS, HTML, and XML—down where only the geekiest among us roam—everything comes down to this: it’s all zeroes and ones. On or off. The digital switch Though interaction and conversion becomes a bit more complicated at the point the interface meets the visitor, though there are a few more shades of gray, in the end it comes down to the same thing: yes or no.

Ragle-Davis, Robin. Digital Web Magazine (2008). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>Audience Analysis


Improve Conversions by Connecting with your Audience

Lots of people design sites based on what they would like to see. However, what makes sense to a designer may not make sense to their target audience. If designers seek to create a conversion-friendly web experience we’re going to have to learn about our audience and what makes them tick.

Griffith, Aaron. UX Booth (2010). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Audience Analysis


Know Your Site

A good starting point for planning the future of your website is to analyze what you already have. To some extent we are doing this all the time. That is how new projects happen. However, a more formal approach helps to better inform your decision-making throughout the web project. There are two ways to better understand your current website: qualitative and quantitative.

Boag, Paul. Digital Web Magazine (2008). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Audience Analysis


Log Analysis - A Brief Overview

Log files are text files which can range in size from 1KB to 100MB, depending on the traffic at a given a web site. Webmeisters measure traffic by the number of hits or accesses their site receives in a duration of time.

Rubin, Jeffrey. Florida State University (1996). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Making Web Space for Young Adults: Issues and Process a Case Study of the Internet Public Library Teen Division

This paper will discuss the issues associated with the creation of useful, appropriate, and entertaining Web space for teenagers, in the context of the formation of the Internet Public Library (IPL) Teen Division during the fall and winter of 1995.

Bailey, Samantha and Sara Ryan. Internet Society (1996). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Case Studies


Measuring the Influence of Blogs on Consumers, the Media and Corporate Reputation

According to the report "State of the News Media 2005" from the Project for Excellence in Journalism, "more than a third of Americans, some 36 percent, are regular consumers of four or more different kinds of news outlets—network news, local TV, newspapers, cable, radio, the Internet and magazines."

Woods, Julie. Business Communication World (2005). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Blogging


Measuring User Motivation from Server Log Files

Estimating user interest and motivation by just counting page requests from a World Wide Web server log (or "hits") provides a distorted metric of user activity. Some of the reasons why this metric is unreliable are that the path dependent nature of hyperlink usability treats index and navigational aid pages as equal to the goal, because differenes in web browsers can determine how effectively users can percieve content and navigational alternatives, and because the poorly designed structure and content of the documents themselves can inhibit users from finding what they are looking for. This paper proposes that measures of how much time users spend looking at a page are better estimates of user interest than page hits, providing simple human factors principles have been applied. An extended example of how this method might be used to collect and analyze data is also included. The types of decisions that can be made by authors and system administrators based on a time-based metric of user interest is summarized.

Fuller, Rodney and Johannes J. de Graaff. Microsoft (1996). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Multidimensional Audience Analysis for Dynamic Information   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

As technical communication gains the technology to deliver dynamic custom documents, the importance of audience analysis increases. As a major factor in supporting dynamic adjustment of document content, the audience analysis must clearly capture the range of user goals and information needs in a flexible manner. Replacing a linear audience analysis model with a multidimensional model provides one method of achieving that flexibility. With a minimum of three separate dimensions to capture topic knowledge, detail required, and user cognitive ability, this model provides the writer a means of connecting content with information requirements and ensuring the dynamic document fits varying audience needs.

Albers, Michael J. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2003). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Personalization


The Problem Of Reaching Out To a Target Audience

Filling a website with quality articles and other texts is not the warranty for success. For successful website search engine optimization, its data has to have an attractive form both for users and search engines.

Farzin, Ali. Articlesbase (2010). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis


Remembering Your Reader in Web Design

Technology advancements have allowed for many improvements and enhancements in web design. Drastic changes have been made concerning programming, development, and available features. From flash animations, to blog pages, forums, and live chat, website designers have a multitude of design elements that can be added to their websites. Multimedia products such as audio, video, and podcasts are some of the other advancements in web design. One thing that has not changed, however, is the website readers. Successful website developers know and understand this concept, and apply it to every website that they design.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Rhetoric>Audience Analysis


Selling Your Brand by Using Your Web Site as a Customer Research Tool

With companies moving business online, the Internet has become a source of profit for them. We all know how this works. You establish an online presence, sell your brand well—and you make money. Let’s rewind. We are selling our brands online, but doing it well is the challenge. To do it well, keep the following in mind: customer research is an important factor in generating business revenues, so it must be done right—that is, at the right place and at the right time; the online medium should not be the only way of gathering customer information; recognizing emerging trends—behavioral, demographic and emotional—helps companies move forward strategically.

Kirmani, Afshan. UXmatters (2008). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>Audience Analysis


Tracking Your Users in the Access Logs

Most server log analysis applications on the market simply present usage information grouped by date with sub-groupings like daily averages and top downloads by file size. While this can be useful, it doesn't begin to touch the range of information available to be gleaned from the logs with a little creativity.

Hoyt, Philip. evolt (2005). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Twitter, Tweetdeck and Simplicity

The usability of a website is relative to the audience that it was designed for. A website that is designed well for its primary audience will not necessarily provide a great user experience for everyone that tries to use it. It’s important to identify your target user if you’re going to make a site that works well for the right people.

Hamill, David. Good Usability (2009). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Usability


Unsuspected Correlations Are Sweet!

Tracking web usage with a one dimensional mindset (or in a silo) means that you will end up missing so much of the picture.

Kaushik, Avinash. Occam's Razor (2006). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Using Your Web Stats for SEO: Search Marketing Analysis from Web Stats

Last week, Jennifer covered the basics of web statistics and what they should mean for you. Now that you have a fairly good handle on what all these statistics mean, how do you put them to work for you? These concerns are answered in this article.

Sullivan Cassidy, Jennifer. SEOchat (2005). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Web Analytics: Insights From the Front Line, Part 2

2008 will see a more serious attempt to get Web analytics to become a part of business analytics. We're still a silo in most companies (data and people). We'll see more collaboration and innovation in helping Web data become a core part of the company data to truly give end-to-end visibility (and maybe the holy grail of multichannel analytics/impact).

Mason, Neil. ClickZ (2008). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Web Log Analysis

Getting to know your audience is key to designing a successful website. Because your audience may be spread around the world, learning about the users of your site may be quite a challenge. Even if you think you have a pretty good idea of who your audience is, in many cases, there's a lot of information that you won't know--for example, what browsers your users are using, whether or not they are connecting from on or off campus, or what pages they find most useful.

Novogrodsky, Seth. University of California Berkeley (2000). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis


Web Site Stats: A Look Behind The Numbers

In the dot.com boom of the 1990s, an electronic goldrush began as companies flocked like new age prospectors seeking to plant their stake in this digital revolution that has today transformed the ways companies communicate and do business around the globe. Because the web is becoming a viable communications channel, it's important that communications professionals understand how the content they're putting up on a web site is delivering to users the kind of value that is realizing a return on their investment.

Gannon, Joseph P. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis



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