Your Web Analytics Software Is Junk

http://flickr.com/photos/wired_protocol/469641067/
Scoble asks What Will Steve Jobs Kill Next?

It’s a good list, if not misleading (the iPhone will have a keyboard equivalent, for instance) but shows how designers should be ruthless in challenging assumptions, and cutting out what isn’t necessary.

Think about web analytics software. We’re overwhelmed by silly reports, useless visualizations, and bizarre multidimensional slice-and-dice capabilities that don’t answer the business questions.

Junk is the ultimate merchandise. The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise, he degrades and simplifies the client. — William S. Burroughs

For a similar take, see BI vendors just don’t get it.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. — Michelangelo

Your Web Analytics Software Is Junk

PC World Gets Its Knickers In A Twist

Give me a sign
Oh brother.

One of the stories I missed while at Emetrics was the flap over at PC World Magazine. In short:

  1. Editor wants to run a 10 things we hate about Apple (followed by a 10 things we love about Apple)
  2. New CEO spikes the article
  3. Editor resigns
  4. Subscribers are pissed
  5. CEO gets moved out, new CEO search underway
  6. Editor in chief comes back
  7. PC World online publishes 10 things we hate about Apple

Sounds like the Editor-In-Chief defeats the Corporate Overlord. I suspect the reality is more complex than that.

Honestly, the “10 things we hate” article was pretty weak. Bluetooth not available? Nobody is perfect (number 6)? They don’t pre-announce security updates? Given the contrast between the hate and love articles, I’d say the writers are Apple fans. This was a puff piece for Apple in disguise, wrapped around a controversy.

PC World Gets Its Knickers In A Twist

Common themes for Mac applications

The Mac community is aghast at some of the cosmetic changes in iTunes 5. Apple in general seems to be encouraging its own developers to do whatever feels good. The resulting interfaces are sometimes pretty slick, and sometimes gruesome.

I’m in the “brushed metal sucks” camp. So at home, I use Sagefire’s Iridium theme. Here’s a screen grab of iTunes 5, Mail and Finder, after the theme is applied:

Iridium theme

Iridium Volume It’s not for everybody, doesn’t even out all the usability quirks, doesn’t mask absolutely everything (see the white in menu bar volume control, for example), and it only runs on OS X 10.4. But when the alternative is brushed metal finder, I can deal with these minor inconveniences.

Common themes for Mac applications