Browse Prior Art Database

Ambient view of website statistics for site developers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124046D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-07
Document File: 4 page(s) / 234K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Website analysis tools can produce dry reports which are often difficult for administrators to digest and understand. This article describes a method whereby the administrator can see a visual representation of the analysis within the pages themselves without disrupting normal users of the site.

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Ambient view of website statistics for site developers

The approach proposed here involves providing administrators with an ambient view of web pages which provides a visual representation of usage on the web pages themselves. Feedback is gathered without the users being explicitly asked to give feedback, and based on this information administrators could reorganise the site. For example, statistics could be collected on the frequency of usage of links on the website. This could be presented to the administrator by enlarging or colouring the link text when they view the site via the proxy (the users would never see this and the administrator would be authenticated by the proxy). Based on this information administrators could reorganise the links on their sites, for improved usability and to better reflect user needs.

    Currently the administrator is required to examine raw statistics and draw conclusions. The advantage of presenting the statistics in the way described here is that by using visual representations of the numbers gathered, it is easy for administrators to see at a glance the implications of the statistics.

- The user views web pages through a web server. - Statistics and other metrics are registered - Currently when the administrator views the web page they have the same view as a user - The article describes a proxy through which the page is viewed by the administrator. - The proxy changes the formatting of the page in real-time to visually reflect various aspects of the statistical data eg. frequency of links being followed

User

Administrator

Web Server

Proxy

Web Documents

Access statistics / other metrics

    To implement this approach the administrator would configure their web browser to use a custom proxy (which may be running on their own machine, or the machine of their webserver). This proxy would only be used by the administrator or content owner and combines both the original HTML (which normal users see rendered via their web browser) and the usage statistics generated by the webserver to display, in a visually understandable way, statistics on the use of their website.

The following screenshots provide an example: User view of www.hursley.ibm.com

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Administrator view of www.hursley.ibm.com through meta-proxy

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    This functionality could also be provided through the standard web server by somehow identifying the administrator (perhaps a special log-on or different URL). However, by using a proxy (which if it exists on the same hardware as the we...