Blog Archives

Emotive analytics at stc17

This week I’m attending STC Summit 2017, the annual conference of the Society for Technical Communication. These are my notes from one of the sessions at the conference. All credit goes to the presenter, and any mistakes are mine.

Allie Proff‘s session had the intriguing title of “My Android Dreams of Electric Cats: Are You Capturing Your User’s Emotive Analytics?”

Allie took us through a fast-paced view of analytics and emotions. She started by looking at traditional analytics: bounce rate, time on page, number of views, etc). But this measures the “what”, and not the “why”. The “why” is emotions: how the readers are feeling when they come to the docs.

She talked about emotions, why they’re important, and the science of emotions. She told the story of Phineas Gage, who had a staking pole punched all the way through his brain, and lived to tell the tale. Later studies have shown that when you damage the areas of the brain that connect your emotions to your logic, you can’t make decisions. You can list pros and cons, but not make the decision.

We actually use the emotional part of our brain to make a decision, then use our logic to justify that decision. Emotions engage more of your brain than logic: 7 areas as opposed to 2.

Significance for technical documentation: Story telling engages emotions, which makes it very powerful. User experience focuses on delight. Gamification is a specific example of engaging emotions.

Emotive analytics

Also called emolytics, or emotional analytics: The ability to measure emotions of your reader, for example through their face, voice, wearables, bio-feedback, or text. For example, Facebook infers emotion from people’s updates.

Affective software is software that can analyse a user’s emotions and provide appropriate responses. As a simple example, you might display radio buttons asking how the user is feeling, then provide textual help based on the answers. Allie gave the example of cheery text delivered when the user is filling in a tax return, if the user says they have children.

A more complex example is voice to text software, which can analyse your words and meaning as it processes the input. Beyond Verbal does voice analytics. Their main focus is health care. You talk into the app, and it tells you how you are feeling, based on your tone, with a view to telling whether someone is well or sick.

Also face detection software, which discovers a face in an image. CV Dazzle is a website where you can find out how to trick face detection software. For example, cover up the bridge of your nose between your eyes, and add asymmetrical patterns. Sunglasses dont work. Affectiva provides software (Affdex) that can quantify emotion, such as joy, surprise, anger, based on your face as you watch a video. There are SDKs available for developers to use. A cat scored 99% disdain.

There are a number of companies providing affective software. Allie’s presentation deck lists a number of them.

Allie also showed us some companies producing robots that show or teach emotions to some extent.

Thanks for a fun and informative session, Allie!

Advertisements

How to track textual input with Google Analytics

This week an analytics ninja showed me how to use Google Analytics to track the values entered into a text field. It comes down to sending a dummy page name to Google Analytics, containing the value entered into the field. Google Analytics faithfully records a “page view” for that value, which you can then see in the analytics reports in the same way that you can see any other page view. Magic.

For example, let’s say you have a search box on a documentation page, allowing readers to search a subset of the documentation.  It would be nice to track the most popular search terms entered into that field, as an indication of what most readers are interested in. If people are searching for something that is already documented, you might consider restructuring the documentation to give more prominence to that topic. And how about the terms that people enter into the search box without finding a match? The unmatched terms might indicate a gap in the documentation, or even give a clue to functionality that would be a popular addition to the product itself.

It turns out that you can track input values via Google Analytics. The trick is to make a special call to Google Analytics, triggered when the input field loses focus (onblur).

<input onblur="ga('send', 'pageview', 'my-page-name?myParam=' + this.value);" />

The above ga call sends a customised page view to Google Analytics, passing a made-up page name that you can track separately from the page on which the input field occurs. The made-up page name is a concatenation of a string ('my-page-name?myParam=') plus the value typed into the input field (this.value).

The string my-page-name can contain any value you like. It’s handy to use the title of the page on which the input box occurs, because then you can see all the page views in the same area of Google Analytics.

Similarly, the part that contains the input text can have any structure you like. For example, if the page is called “Overview” and the input field is a search box, the Google Analytics call could look like this:

<input onblur="ga('send', 'pageview', 'overview?searchText=' + this.value);" />

This blog post assumes you have already set up Google Analytics for your site. See the Google Analytics setup guide. The Google Analytics documentation on page tracking describes the syntax of the above “ga” call, part of “analytics.js”.

Top 100 pages in the Confluence documentation

This week I took a look at the top 100 pages in the Confluence documentation, as reported by Google Analytics on our documentation wiki. Google Analytics data is nice-looking as well as interesting, and I thought you’d like to see the results too. So here goes.

The analysis covers the pages in the documentation space for the latest version of Confluence only – the “DOC” space on our documentation site. The analysis does not include the documentation for any other products on the site (such as JIRA or Bitbucket) and it does not include earlier versions of the Confluence documentation either.

I chose to do the analysis over a period of two months: 16 August to 16 October 2012. In the middle of that period was the release of Confluence 4.3, on 4 September. As the spike in the graph shows, something happened on 3 October too!

Inferences drawn from the Google Analytics results

I’ve drawn some conclusions which will help me in restructuring the documentation space and prioritising work on the documentation:

  1. Information about specific, complex topics tops the bill:
    • JAVA_HOME variable (at position 1, this is the most popular page. It’s likely that many readers are not even looking for information about Confluence specifically.)
    • Wiki markup (position 4)
    • Working with tables (9)
    • Integrating JIRA and Confluence (10)
    • etc
  2. Installation and upgrade come next:
    • Upgrading Confluence (5)
    • Installation Guide (8)
  3. Release notes are popular:
    • Confluence 4.3 release notes (7)
  4. “Getting started” information is popular:
    • Confluence User’s Guide (6)
    • Confluence 101 (23)
    • Getting Started with Confluence (24)
    • Dashboard (43)
    • About Confluence (54)
  5. Both “Confluence 101” and “Getting Started with Confluence” are popular. It may benefit customers to merge these two documents. Both need a refresh. We need to better define purpose and audience of each.
  6. Something big happened on 3 October – possibly the launch of a “collaboration” campaign by our marketing team, heralded by this blog post: Collaboration Best Practices – 3 Reasons Interruptions Hurt Your Team’s Productivity.

The pretty picture

Google Analytics results in the DOC space

Summary of statistics for the whole space

Page Views Unique Page Views Avg. Time on Page Entrances Bounce Rate % Exit

807,430

% of Total:

15.52%

(5,202,109)

663,691

% of Total:

15.53%

(4,273,708)

00:02:25

Site Avg:

00:02:13

(8.54%)

328,588

% of Total:

17.36%

(1,892,574)

58.70%

Site Avg:

55.64%

(5.50%)

39.60%

Site Avg:

36.38%

(8.84%)

Detailed statistics for the top 100 pages

Due to problems with the fixed width theme of this blog, I’ve split the table in two. First the list of top 100 pages:

1.
/display/DOC/Setting+the+JAVA_HOME+Variable+in+Windows
2.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Documentation+Home
3.
/display/DOC/helptips/header/iframe
4.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Wiki+Markup
5.
/display/DOC/Upgrading+Confluence
6.
/display/DOC/Confluence+User’s+Guide
7.
/display/DOC/Confluence+4.3+Release+Notes
8.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Installation+Guide
9.
/display/DOC/Working+with+Tables
10.
/display/DOC/Integrating+JIRA+and+Confluence
11.
/display/DOC/Installing+Confluence+on+Linux
12.
/display/DOC/Code+Block+Macro
13.
/display/DOC/Adding+a+Template
14.
/display/DOC/JIRA+Issues+Macro
15.
/display/DOC/Working+with+Anchors
16.
/display/DOC/Working+with+Macros
17.
/display/DOC/System+Requirements
18.
/display/DOC/Using+Apache+with+mod_proxy
19.
/display/DOC/Supported+Platforms
20.
/display/DOC/Connecting+to+an+LDAP+Directory
21.
/display/DOC/Importing+Content+Into+Confluence
22.
/display/DOC/Using+Apache+with+virtual+hosts+and+mod_proxy
23.
/display/DOC/Confluence+101
24.
/display/DOC/Getting+Started+with+Confluence
25.
/display/DOC/Server+Hardware+Requirements+Guide
26.
/display/DOC/Table+of+Contents+Macro
27.
/display/DOC/Page+Restrictions
28.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Setup+Guide
29.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Administrator’s+Guide
30.
/display/DOC/Database+Setup+For+MySQL
31.
/display/DOC/Customising+Exports+to+PDF
32.
/display/DOC/Configuring+the+Server+Base+URL
33.
/display/DOC/Running+Confluence+Over+SSL+or+HTTPS
34.
/display/DOC/Working+with+Links
35.
/display/DOC/Migrating+Confluence+Between+Servers
36.
/display/DOC/Installing+Confluence
37.
/display/DOC/Adding+Pages
38.
/display/DOC/Installing+Confluence+and+JIRA+Together
39.
/display/DOC/Restoring+Passwords+To+Recover+Admin+User+Rights
40.
/display/DOC/Confluence+4.3.1+Release+Notes
41.
/display/DOC/Setting+Up+Trusted+Communication+between+JIRA+and+Confluence
42.
/display/DOC/Installing+Confluence+on+Windows
43.
/display/DOC/Dashboard
44.
/display/DOC/Creating+Content
45.
/display/DOC/View+File+Macro
46.
/display/DOC/Space+Permissions+Overview
47.
/display/DOC/Writing+User+Macros
48.
/display/DOC/Working+with+Spaces
49.
/display/DOC/Keyboard+Shortcuts
50.
/display/DOC/Configuring+the+Documentation+Theme
51.
/display/DOC/Page+Tree+Macro
52.
/display/DOC/Creating+a+Page+using+a+Template
53.
/display/DOC/Assigning+Space+Permissions
54.
/display/DOC/About+Confluence
55.
/display/DOC/Customising+the+Dashboard
56.
/display/DOC/Confluence+4.3+Upgrade+Notes
57.
/display/DOC/Tasklist+Macro
58.
/display/DOC/Exporting+Confluence+Pages+and+Spaces+to+PDF
59.
/display/DOC/Working+with+Page+Layouts+and+Columns+and+Sections
60.
/display/DOC/Database+Configuration
61.
/display/DOC/Confluence+4.2+Release+Notes
62.
/display/DOC/Styling+Confluence+with+CSS
63.
/display/DOC/Moving+a+Page
64.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Security+Advisory+2012-09-11
65.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Wiki+Markup+for+Macros
66.
/display/DOCSPRINT/The+Simplest+Possible+JIRA+REST+Examples
67.
/display/DOC/Inserting+JIRA+Issues
68.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Installation+and+Upgrade+Guide
69.
/display/DOC/Running+Confluence+behind+Apache
70.
/display/DOC/Quick+Reference+Guide+for+the+Confluence+Editor
71.
/display/DOC/Migrate+to+Another+Database
72.
/display/DOC/Working+with+Templates
73.
/display/DOC/Confluence+4+Editor+-+What’s+Changed+for+Wiki+Markup+Users
74.
/display/DOC/Confluence+Release+Notes
75.
/display/DOC/Configuring+Tomcat’s+URI+encoding
76.
/display/DOC/Installing+the+Confluence+EAR-WAR+Edition
77.
/display/DOC/Using+the+Editor
78.
/display/DOC/Installing+Confluence+on+Linux+from+Archive+File
79.
/display/DOC/Upgrading+Confluence+Manually
80.
/display/DOC/Confluence+4.2.13+Release+Notes
81.
/display/DOC/Linking+to+Pages
82.
/display/DOC/Adding+a+Navigation+Sidebar
83.
/display/DOC/Chart+Macro
84.
/display/DOC/Installing+the+Firefox+Add-On+for+the+Office+Connector
85.
/display/DOC/Include+Page+Macro
86.
/display/DOC/Configuring+a+MySQL+Datasource+in+Apache+Tomcat
87.
/display/DOC/Configuring+a+WebDAV+client+for+Confluence
88.
/display/DOC/Working+with+Templates+Overview
89.
/display/DOC/HTML+Macro
90.
/display/DOC/Deleting+a+Page
91.
/display/DOC/Examples+of+User+Macros
92.
/display/DOC/Database+Setup+for+SQL+Server
93.
/display/DOC/Connecting+to+an+Internal+Directory+with+LDAP+Authentication
94.
/display/DOC/Configuring+Database+Character+Encoding
95.
/display/DOC/Expand+Macro
96.
/display/DOC/Global+Permissions+Overview
97.
/display/DOC/Widget+Connector+Macro
98.
/display/DOC/Subscribing+to+Email+Notifications+of+Updates+to+Confluence+Content
99.
/display/DOC/Column+Macro
100.
/display/DOC/Panel+Macro
Page

And now the figures for each page:

1. 37,312 34,826 00:05:46 34,025 91.66% 90.44%
2. 35,926 28,186 00:01:04 13,313 27.89% 19.12%
3. 21,708 666 00:00:12 651 52.38% 2.99%
4. 14,408 12,707 00:03:29 9,039 64.55% 57.54%
5. 10,061 7,967 00:03:38 4,004 45.65% 38.32%
6. 10,050 7,851 00:01:03 3,756 34.42% 22.32%
7. 9,400 7,303 00:02:55 4,346 49.08% 39.49%
8. 8,669 6,616 00:01:12 3,976 16.55% 13.85%
9. 7,950 6,800 00:03:31 4,909 64.25% 56.29%
10. 7,497 6,326 00:02:26 4,274 43.54% 36.40%
11. 6,761 5,346 00:03:46 1,276 52.59% 32.89%
12. 5,619 5,056 00:02:56 4,070 72.85% 66.90%
13. 5,542 4,558 00:03:40 2,454 52.20% 42.69%
14. 5,475 4,601 00:04:13 2,706 60.31% 50.52%
15. 5,305 4,685 00:04:22 3,463 70.81% 62.09%
16. 5,165 4,196 00:02:06 2,070 42.95% 30.71%
17. 5,107 3,837 00:01:39 888 28.04% 16.41%
18. 5,064 4,364 00:06:31 2,866 80.98% 68.58%
19. 4,898 4,035 00:02:51 1,004 55.48% 34.24%
20. 4,895 4,260 00:04:19 2,552 72.84% 58.18%
21. 4,823 3,881 00:01:40 2,316 37.52% 30.81%
22. 4,201 3,767 00:04:44 3,119 78.94% 71.13%
23. 4,136 3,469 00:01:53 647 52.24% 27.95%
24. 4,108 2,858 00:00:48 371 25.88% 10.20%
25. 4,016 3,583 00:03:13 2,121 78.22% 56.55%
26. 3,892 3,400 00:03:29 2,503 63.88% 54.47%
27. 3,875 3,368 00:03:00 2,274 57.87% 49.83%
28. 3,782 3,258 00:04:03 1,238 45.80% 37.31%
29. 3,754 2,908 00:01:08 717 33.05% 15.64%
30. 3,714 3,151 00:06:22 1,487 69.20% 53.26%
31. 3,691 3,043 00:04:08 1,625 70.15% 53.13%
32. 3,462 3,085 00:04:18 1,580 67.78% 54.02%
33. 3,451 2,999 00:05:21 1,904 67.59% 58.39%
34. 3,397 2,946 00:01:53 1,707 53.19% 39.45%
35. 3,390 2,922 00:04:35 1,496 52.67% 44.54%
36. 3,359 2,695 00:00:32 125 18.40% 4.91%
37. 3,317 2,738 00:02:09 385 51.69% 24.60%
38. 3,305 2,530 00:02:08 1,058 30.53% 20.85%
39. 3,299 2,923 00:05:48 1,990 69.05% 58.23%
40. 3,224 2,628 00:02:52 1,181 45.39% 36.79%
41. 3,131 2,514 00:03:09 1,064 43.33% 31.56%
42. 3,129 2,542 00:03:48 401 43.64% 29.34%
43. 3,123 2,640 00:02:31 681 46.26% 25.68%
44. 3,055 2,414 00:01:03 501 23.95% 12.54%
45. 3,047 2,575 00:03:23 1,608 63.06% 54.78%
46. 3,040 2,635 00:02:29 1,006 42.84% 36.64%
47. 3,020 2,550 00:03:24 1,253 53.95% 39.93%
48. 2,968 2,479 00:02:04 716 46.65% 25.40%
49. 2,963 2,721 00:03:12 1,969 74.25% 61.80%
50. 2,913 2,532 00:04:15 1,054 62.24% 49.40%
51. 2,901 2,322 00:03:13 1,131 54.11% 41.57%
52. 2,850 2,490 00:02:16 1,266 42.02% 33.26%
53. 2,797 2,457 00:03:16 1,133 60.72% 51.41%
54. 2,795 2,359 00:01:41 189 41.27% 21.97%
55. 2,782 2,230 00:02:51 1,337 47.87% 38.43%
56. 2,757 2,110 00:02:18 597 24.79% 21.11%
57. 2,749 2,354 00:03:14 1,665 55.98% 50.35%
58. 2,677 2,354 00:02:59 1,613 58.09% 50.84%
59. 2,646 2,347 00:03:24 773 69.47% 44.07%
60. 2,645 1,866 00:00:53 672 20.83% 11.83%
61. 2,602 2,110 00:01:58 999 35.34% 27.59%
62. 2,599 2,081 00:02:45 1,370 50.07% 40.28%
63. 2,574 2,257 00:03:32 1,148 65.16% 55.67%
64. 2,570 2,128 00:04:06 634 69.87% 64.67%
65. 2,559 2,217 00:03:12 491 54.18% 43.34%
66. 2,555 2,121 00:05:54 1,828 70.30% 65.75%
67. 2,480 2,155 00:02:52 763 46.92% 35.69%
68. 2,473 2,007 00:00:38 242 10.74% 5.30%
69. 2,442 1,906 00:01:41 875 36.23% 21.66%
70. 2,440 2,136 00:02:42 969 55.52% 41.27%
71. 2,435 1,939 00:02:58 911 54.12% 35.44%
72. 2,420 2,056 00:01:23 589 37.18% 26.03%
73. 2,413 2,188 00:03:26 1,242 67.95% 59.64%
74. 2,411 1,807 00:00:59 394 30.96% 15.93%
75. 2,350 2,189 00:04:59 1,955 90.90% 83.57%
76. 2,319 1,744 00:04:16 593 50.93% 34.54%
77. 2,315 1,897 00:01:58 512 38.28% 24.28%
78. 2,312 1,814 00:04:42 365 50.68% 32.74%
79. 2,311 1,905 00:03:26 524 50.00% 34.62%
80. 2,304 1,827 00:01:31 709 37.24% 29.12%
81. 2,304 2,002 00:03:06 834 61.63% 44.97%
82. 2,297 1,968 00:02:55 1,307 52.49% 46.02%
83. 2,267 1,953 00:04:31 1,343 67.76% 58.49%
84. 2,232 1,653 00:03:25 1,135 67.75% 53.45%
85. 2,221 1,930 00:02:55 1,065 50.89% 41.11%
86. 2,186 1,990 00:05:58 1,719 84.53% 76.12%
87. 2,184 1,733 00:04:31 1,258 70.99% 60.07%
88. 2,167 1,926 00:01:41 1,613 52.45% 48.18%
89. 2,164 1,786 00:02:26 1,018 52.65% 42.05%
90. 2,132 1,953 00:02:49 1,514 69.82% 62.66%
91. 2,103 1,242 00:00:52 367 26.43% 10.98%
92. 2,033 1,598 00:03:32 638 60.19% 42.15%
93. 2,030 1,850 00:03:33 1,189 75.19% 61.87%
94. 2,013 1,842 00:06:00 1,253 88.35% 71.39%
95. 2,000 1,704 00:05:28 1,213 32.65% 56.35%
96. 1,991 1,777 00:03:01 669 59.19% 41.64%
97. 1,989 1,560 00:03:52 710 66.48% 52.89%
98. 1,953 1,736 00:02:58 1,079 67.19% 53.51%
99. 1,943 1,701 00:02:05 868 47.24% 37.42%
100. 1,942 1,691 00:03:28 941 58.24% 46.76%
Page Views Unique Page Views Avg. Time on Page Entrances Bounce Rate % Exit
%d bloggers like this: