Full day training course

Analytics and User Experience

Helping UX practitioners understand how to incorporate web analytics into their work

For usability and user experience professionals, much of our decision-making has traditionally been driven by empirical data derived via qualitative research -- if we are lucky! With all the friction surrounding UX decisions (e.g., angry HiPPOs, disappointed designers, irritated IAs), quantitative data-driven decisions are very attractive. And getting attention from business executives and those who hold the purse-strings can be much easier when you've got quantifiable data to support your findings and recommendations.

In this course, we will outline the types of data that are available, the questions they can answer and how to incorporate these into the design process and complement existing qualitative research methods.

"I feel empowered to make a strong case for or against proposed redesigns based on my analyses."

Angela Runnals
Simon Fraser University

Please note: This course is not intended to provide instruction regarding how to use particular analytics packages.


  • Why use analytics and user research?
    • Triangulation
    • Merging who, what, and where with the why
  • How can analytics help UX folks?
  • UX Discovery
    • Issue Identification: Find problems to be solved with UX expertise
    • Strategy Guidance: Justifying projects, validating personas, informing customer journeys maps, and collecting background information necessary for design planning
    • Health Monitoring: Ongoing measurement plan and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that indicate if there are UX issues
  • UX Optimization
    • Project Metrics: Determining project-specific metrics that can be measured before and after implementation to ensure satisfaction with your deliverables.
    • Experimentation: Running A/B and multivariate tests to improve results via different design and content variations.
  • Analytics mechanics
    • Server log file analysis
    • Javascript page tagging
    • Cookies
  • Goals
    • Different types of goals: transaction, engagement, etc.
    • Macro conversions indicating revenue-related or mission-critical transactions
    • Micro conversions indicating process milestones toward a macro conversion or secondary actions that indicate potential future macro conversions
  • Custom variables to track characteristics of users, sessions and particular pages people interact with to be used for more advanced analysis
  • Event tracking to capture actions users take within web pages such as downloading a document, interacting with a calculator, watching a video, filling out form fields, etc.
  • Metrics terminology and UX value/interpretations
    • Visits/Sessions
    • Unique visitors
    • Pageviews/Unique pageviews
    • Pages/visits
    • Average visit duration
    • Bounce rate
    • % new visits
    • Entrances
    • Exit rate
    • Page value
    • Average time on page
  • Analytics landscape
    • Enterprise-class analytics vendors
    • Other analytics vendors
    • UX analytics such as clickpath and heatmap tools
    • A/B testing vendors
    • Tag managers
  • Storytelling with data (versus reports and dashboards)
  • Report manipulation tools
    • Dimensions
    • Filters
    • Views
    • Segments
    • Navigation Summary
    • In-page analytics


The course is mainly in lecture format with lots of case studies and a few exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines. Opportunities to ask questions and get answers.

Attendee Feedback

"Analytics and User Experience is by far my favorite class during usability week. I'm leaving Las Vegas with renewed energy and a tool box loaded with some awesome new UX tools." 
"Take this course if you've ever had to go over button colors or names because you'll learn a practical and defensible approach." 
"This course is the foundation I needed to validate the decisions I've made and fix the holes in improving my business."


Aurora Bedford

Aurora Bedford is a User Experience Specialist with Nielsen Norman Group.

Prior to joining NN/g, Bedford was a User Experience Designer at a web development agency, where she created and refined user workflows, site architectures, and wireframes for a variety of e-commerce and branding websites, web-based intranets, and mobile applications. Her experiences as a front-end web developer allow her to create effective designs while balancing technical and business needs. Read more about Aurora.

Kathryn Whitenton

Kathryn Whitenton is a Senior User Experience Specialist with the Nielsen Norman Group. She works with clients to evaluate the usability and information architecture of websites in a variety of industries including technology, telecommunications, and media, as well as corporate intranets. She has conducted usability research, eyetracking user research, and studies of users on mobile devices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Her user studies have included general audiences as well as specific consumer types, business segments, children, and seniors. Read more about Kathryn

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