We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
Daniel Waisberg is the Analytics Advocate at Google, where he is responsible for fostering Google Analytics by educating and inspiring Online Marketing professionals. Both at Google and his previous positions, Daniel has worked with some of the biggest Internet brands to measure and optimize online behavior. Daniel is also the Founder of Online Behavior. You can find him in Google+ and Twitter.
Whoever works with analytics on a day-to-to-day basis knows how important it is to have a continuity with the data. Any slip might be fatal: data can disappear, trends misunderstood and jobs lost. Losing data can have long-lasting consequences, as very often it isn't possible to reprocess the data—so what is lost cannot be recovered.
For this reason, it is essential to have a place where you can test changes to your settings and configurations. It is also important to keep track of changes in a way that they can be used to provide a context for analysts, so that when you are looking at incomprehensible spikes in past data, you can check whether any changes were made to the data collection methods (or if an offline campaign was in place during the period analyzed). Having such a process in place will help to keep data safe from loss and clean from inaccuracies.
In this article I'll be reviewing a few techniques that will help Web designers and UI professionals to improve their error pages in order to engage visitors and improve overall website experience. As C. S. Lewis once said, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement”. Web designers should take this to heart.
I’ll be focusing on error and maintenance pages, both from tracking as well as usability perspectives. I’ll also be providing a good number of examples on how to use analytics and defensive design in order to optimize user experience for such pages. First, let’s go over the error pages and cover the questions on how to optimize them efficiently.