One of the chapters of my book is all about measuring engagement and implementing analytics – chapter aptly dubbed, “What gets measured gets improved.
The lesson is to “instrument” an application to gather data points of how users interact with the product. Quickly, you can assess if users are traversing all the steps of a Getting Started Wizard, getting stuck while building out a team, or exiting a page with above-average frequency.
We implemented Google Analytics at Body Boss which delivered anonymized data at an aggregate level – useful, but doesn’t give finer perspective into engagement. More powerful instrumentation would including capturing “events” to every actionable UI element (i.e. button), page, etc. For example, in Twitter, events would include when a user navigates to a user’s profile, scrolls down, Likes a tweet, and then searches for another user.
There are many fascinating tools for instrumentation on web pages, in-app uses, and beyond. Here are a few I’ve recently got to play with:
  • Fullstory– records behind the scenes how users interact with a site or app that can be replayed later. You can see where a user hovers his mouse, scrolls, stays on some block of text, etc.
  • Unbounce – taking A/B testing to multi-variate testing for landing pages. Quickly set up a landing page with multiple variants, and Unbounce automatically directs visitors and tracks conversions.
  • Pardot – Easily send automated mass messages personalized to recipients based on where users are in the sales funnel. Tracks users from first site visit and beyond for nurture campaigns
  • MixPanel/ Intercom – Very different in how each operate, but the feature I liked most was being able to trigger specific messages (more granular than Pardot) based on user interactions. High-degree of control by building out event-driven rules and trigger notifications.
  • Kevy – Marketing automation for ecommerce stores. Slick tool to understand consumer behavior and enables stores to better market to consumers by offering coupons, messages, and the like based on rules and triggers.

In gist, there are lots of tools available for instrumentation with overlapping features. It’s fun learning about these tools now, and dreaming of how great these would have been at Body Boss. Though, several tools didn’t exist three years ago… inherent problems don’t change, but solutions do.

What are your thoughts on instrumentation? What tools do you use?
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