UX Review of Google Analytics Beta

Google has opened the “beta” of thier new Analytics interface.  It looks nice visually.  Alot of UI improvements.  They use fmore flash now.  Most of the charts are bigger, which is good.  But I still think it lacks some “follow-through”.  My main complaint stems from a simple action that I keep trying to take that it doesn’t support.  I want to drill into details of particular nodes.

What do I mean?  If I am looking at a chart showing that April 15 had alot of traffic.  I want to be able to click (or right-click) and drill into that date.  I want to know who came that day, from where and why?  I want to see the page the way it looked that day.  I want to see an overlay based on that day.  It’s alot more data for Google to store but that’s not my problem.  I live in a world where I can ask for any feature I want.

Another example is when I am looking at the map of the world and it says someone visited from Hawaii.  I want to be able to zoom in.  Zoom ALL the way in.  And then I want it to use Google Maps so I can see the area with a satellite photo.

I don’t use alot of Analytics because I dont have AdSense ads on my site.  Maybe I should so I can get more experience with them.  I’m torn on that issue.  But I think that the drill-down problem still exists even with that.  Google shows where data comes from, but just doesn’t keep daily snapshots of your site.  Maybe the volume of data would just be too big, even for Google.

Overall, I give it a B- for the upgrade.  Visually, it’s nicer.  Some decent usability improvements.  The date range picker is still convoluted, but it has some neat Flash trickery that I appreciated. (After I figured out how to use it, that is).  I found some bugs in IE7.  The main chart has a selectbox in the top right that opens up 100% width.  It shouldn’t be thata wide.  Makes clicking on the choice really a pain in the butt.  It should be constrained to the info and probably 200px wide at most.  It also seems like they removed the ability to change the chart type from line to bar to pie.

Some good stuff, some bad stuff.  Visually nice.  Missing the key follow-through feature which I think would kick butt.  Overall, I’m not that impressed.

DISCLAIMER:  I did my review after using it for about 10 minutes.  Individual results may vary.  Do not read while driving.  Commadot.com is not responsible for the contents of commadot.com and does not agree with anything here. 

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