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Last night I attended the latest UX Brighton event – SuperGoogleAnalyticsExpialidocious, an event promising to show how applications like Google Analytics can be used to both formulate and answer questions around user behaviour.

The first talk was from freelance user experience consultant Alex Tarling on Combining analytics with user testing. Alex talked us through some case studies about how he had used analytics to inform what areas of sites should be focussed on during testing. He explained the importance of combining the quantitative (analytical) data and the qualitative (user testing) to give a more rounded picture of how people use the site. We were told to be wary of just using stats with the Albert Einstein quote:

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."

Alex finished his talk with the key message that analytical data should help inform user testing. That analytics should help shape user testing. The type of data provided by Google Analytics (and other similar services) can show you areas of the site that might be causing issues for users but you need usability testing to confirm this and show you what those problems are.

Next up was Phil Guilfoyle from Online Logic who spoke about Getting under the hood of Google Analytics. This was a very quick run-through of how Google Analytics works, from set-up to more advanced features. He started with a warning that no packages are 100% reliable and went on to explain why this might be. This is why you should focus on trends over time rather than over analysing every single piece of data available.

Phil went on to tell the group how to set up funnels and filters to help focus on important areas of the site and important visitor groups. He finished his talk by encouraging everyone to set up an additional profile in Google Analytics to experiment with.

Once again this was a really interesting informative event and one that got me wanting to get back and play about with our analytics here. If you’ve not been to a UX Brighton event before I recommend you do. They normally take place on the second Tuesday of every month and if user experience is your thing then don’t miss the first ever UX Brighton Conference that takes place in Brighton in September.

To find out more about UX Brighton events and all other digital media events taking place locally check our events calendar.

About the author

Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Director of Innovation and Projects at Wired Sussex, I deliver our portfolio of regional creative technology projects and support our innovation hub, the FuseBox.

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