Living in a Case Study

Published  June 28th, 2010

Ever read a case study about a website? Typically the thesis of a case study is painting an accurate portrayal of your user base, determining how these users interact with your website, and what you can do to improve your website based upon the findings. Get your data -> interpret the data -> extrapolate your interpretation into plans of action. Sounds simple enough, right? I wish. 

At my current job, I'm consulting for a company going through the final stages of a complete website overhaul. From a completely re-written and custom back-end to a re-design with all new front-end functionalities, this website is radically different from version 1 to version 2. We beta tested the new version for two days last week and based on the initial feedback there are still some necessary tweaks to be made before the website is ready. However, it's time for me to take these two days and benchmark the data against the legacy website's average data. I love challenges and I relish this opportunity so here's what my plan of attack is. The first step is discerning the information that will be able to uniquely quantify the changes we made. The second step is gathering user feedback and determining how heavily I should weight their responses. We have some very dedicated and powerful users who provide a lot of value to the community and our website's purpose, but should we tailor to our current users or potential new users? I just read in Re-Work there are always more people not using you're product then those who are so build for the general appeal. Let's hope there is a balance between both of the groups.

Do you hate the kind of movies that end unexpectedly and with little to no closure? The kind where the credits roll and you look around with that 'Really? That's it?' expression on your face? Well, you're not going to like this post...more to come when the results are in.