What it is

Analytics is the process of collecting information about the use of your website or online application.  Analytics data measures traffic, like visits to specific pages and the length of time a user stays on a page.  Common analytics tools include Google Analytics and Piwik.

Why it’s useful

Analytics can give you useful insights into what’s working well on your digital service, and where users are experiencing issues.  Data showing users spending a long time on a page might indicate that the information is particularly helpful, or that users are confused and don't know what to do next.  Analytics can help identify areas where a service can be improved, helping to target and design usability testing.

When to do it

Analytics are often useful in the prepare phase and then after your develop phase - after you've implemented the solution.

How to do it

  1. If you’re looking to improve an existing digital service, find out if there's analytics software in place.
  2. Look for any unusual patterns (such as abandonments), as well as task completion rates.
  3. Design a usability test to understand the reasons behind these patterns.
  4. Make changes to the service, informed by the results of your usability testing and your analysis of the analytics.
  5. Use analytics to measure the success of the changes.  Are more users completing the service?  Has the number of users abandoning the task reduced?

 Further resources