Overhauled WordPress.com Stats

It’s something I’m completely proud to have been working on for the past few weeks (along with the incredible Automattic team!): WordPress.com has a new overhauled stats page. This first round of the overhaul brings sortable dashboard-esque boxes to the stats page, and a revamped non-Flash, iPad compatible histogram bar chart.

On the whole, the community seems to like the new look, but a number of people miss the old line-chart and a few others find the new design boxy and uninspired. Which is their prerogative and I won’t spend too much time defending it, other than say that a lot of thought been poured into the revamp, and personally I think and hope it’ll grow on people. As for histogram charts, there are a lot of good, semantic, reasons for going with them. But my personal favourite is the large hit area each bar provides, for when you want to look at individual day stats. Penny for your thoughts?

6 thoughts on “Overhauled WordPress.com Stats”

  1. qmackie says:

    Hi — well, as I said over in the wordpress thread, the new page requires multiple – maybe 10 or more – clicks to get the same information that used to be displayed all on one page. For that reason alone, I think it is a step backwards. This is especially true for mobile devices, since clicking accurately may require a lot of zooming and panning as well.

    Where’s my penny?! 🙂

  2. Matt Thomas says:

    Great job with the design on the new Stats, Joen. I’ve enjoyed working on it with you, but am particularly happy just to be able to use it on my own blog now. I think there’s lots more we can do with it; I’m already itching to launch the next iteration. But for today, you’ve pleased WordPress.com users — a group with notoriously high standards — so give yourself a pat on the back. 🙂

    1. Joen says:

      qmackie,

      Hi — well, as I said over in the wordpress thread, the new page requires multiple – maybe 10 or more – clicks to get the same information that used to be displayed all on one page. For that reason alone, I think it is a step backwards. This is especially true for mobile devices, since clicking accurately may require a lot of zooming and panning as well.

      So, I want to point out that I cannot speak for WordPress.com in any official capacity, as I don’t make the “higher up” decisions.

      But I want to say that the peeps at WordPress.com love their service, and they want you to be happy. They’re also fans of the iterative process, which means continuous improvement. For the time I’ve worked with them, it’s become clear to me that they make these changes out of a genuine desire to improve things.

      So you think it’s a step back, fair enough. I want you to keep the above paragraph in mind, though. I have a gut feeling that any persistant problems the new overhaul presents, will be ironed out.

      Alright. So you think it’s a step backwards, to have to click 10 times or more to get the same information as you used to get on one page. Let me ask you this: what if you ignored all yesterdays information — what if you chose not to click the tabs just as a test — do you not think the information remaining is presented in a tighter, more scannable fashion?

      WordPress.com Stats are deep. You can see a log of all your stats either by clicking the little “all” links in each box, or by clicking an individual day. That’ll give you all the information that’s recorded. In this overhaul, the stats frontpage is designed to be a scannable, easily readable, attractive overview of the most important stats. Which for this overhaul we’ve assumed to be todays stats — and yesterdays stats aren’t far away. We haven’t actually removed anything, we’ve tidied up. The metaphor is the newspaper — sure you could have every article, every newsletter, every single image on the frontpage. But it would be a very long frontpage, wouldn’t it?

      The crux of it is this: is it more useful to have a longer page, which shows todays and yesterdays “at a glance” stats on one expanded page? Or is there something to be gained by making the page shorter, more scannable — all the while having yesterdays information quickly accessible?

      It’s a tradeoff. And for now, we’re trying this solution because we think it works well. If it doesn’t, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, I’m going to give you a penny and ask that you try this new stats out for a week. If then you still don’t like it, come back here and let me know.

      Matt Thomas,

      Thanks Matt, it’s also been a pleasure working with you on this job!

      1. qmackie says:

        Joen,

        Hi, thanks for your thoughtful comments.

        Yes, the information as displayed now is much cleaner and more attractive. My issue is that less information is being displayed. As noted, this is particularly an issue on mobile devices. However, I will say, and I am not sure if this will sound insane, but the tabs on the modules and the segue from one tab to another (e,g, today to yesterday’s referrers) is superb. Maybe I am imagining it but there is a sort of tactile glissando as the second tab opens – quick but not too quick, smooth. As if the page was printed on the finest ricepaper. I like that a lot. is that even possible to design that transitionor is it in my head? I know nothing about webpage mechanics.

        Anyway I just prefer to have it all on one page. And since it clearly loads all the information in the first place, wouldn’t an option to see all or see today be possible? I like your newspaper frontpage analogy, but remember newspapers tell you what happened yesterday.

        OK, I am gettting used to the bar chart, the page does look clean, the fonts are a bit small, and I still am not keen on doing extra clicking. But I will give it a chance and I thank you for your gracious comments and for working to improve wordpress which, a few hicups aside, is a pretty great system.

        1. Joen says:

          qmackie,

          My issue is that less information is being displayed. As noted, this is particularly an issue on mobile devices.

          I understand your issue, and I’d like to reiterate that if it continues to be a problem for people, I’m sure it’ll be fixed in a future iteration.

          As for mobile devices, I personally think WordPress deserves a mobile stylesheet. Those are just my outsider thoughts.

          is that even possible to design that transitionor is it in my head? I know nothing about webpage mechanics.

          The tabs have been designed based on recommendations from Jakob Nielsen, a renowned usability advisor. That means they have to react almost instantly when you click on them. Technically, this is not difficult at all, but the effect is important.

          Anyway I just prefer to have it all on one page. And since it clearly loads all the information in the first place, wouldn’t an option to see all or see today be possible?

          Yes, it would be possible to make it an option. However, rules of usability also recommend limiting the possible options, so as to simplify and make choices FOR the user. Again, if this turns out to have been a bad decision, it’s something that will be revisited.

          But I will give it a chance and I thank you for your gracious comments and for working to improve wordpress which, a few hicups aside, is a pretty great system.

          Thanks, and you’re welcome!

  3. googleTv says:

    Thank you (google)

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