Designing Analytics

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on the new AddThis Analytics. This is the 3rd generation, and it’s come a long way. I’d like to talk a little more about the design. You can read all details about it on the AddThis blog.

Introducing Analytics Version 3.0
Our previous generation showed everything about shares… but very little about what happens after something is shared. The new analytics tells different story—how someone found you, how a user engaged with content, who came back from the shared link, and what their interests are. The images below are screenshots of our new analytics.

The original wireframes were created by Jim (pictured right), and we prototyped it to see what data would look like. When we populated the original reports with real data, everything changed:

We discovered interesting things:
• The funnel visualization, while interesting, was confusing
• Top content took too much space in a Summary page
• The Snapture screenshots were not helpful
• We couldn’t do social mentions at a domain level—too slow
• Share velocity doesn’t make sense for smaller publishers
• The page felt like it was scrolling too much vertically
• New queries were affecting performance
• We wanted to know more about Audiences and their Interests

The bottom line was that we all had to challenge ourselves to show the data in a more compelling way. So, we grabbed a room and reworked everything. The images below show how we shifted components around to tell a story. It was important to show the data in a specific hierarchy, so the reports could convey interesting correlations and deltas.

While this approach requires more rounds of revisions, I think we ended up with a better product—a product that we would have never arrived at, if we didn’t challenge ourselves.

The Video (watch)
Lastly, the video was created immediately after the reports were finalized. Huge thanks to Kori for laying down the vocals. She’s a rock star.

The Final Result
After weeks of revisions, exploration and tweaks, we have something that I’m really proud of. I’m excited to see how our entire team pulled this together quickly. Huge high five to everyone.

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