10 Free Tools for Tracking the Performance of Your Design
Google Analytics: Say what you want about Google, but you can’t deny that they have assembled quite the analytics program. Google Analytics is generally considered to be the standard that other analytics programs are compared against. While it is not perfect, adding this analytics program to a website can give you a lot of insight into how users are interacting with the design of that website. Best of all, Google Analytics is absolutely free for as many websites as you want to track.
ClickTale: Although it has a wide variety of features (like most programs within the analytics space), the highlight of ClickTale is the ability to watch movie of the movements that visitors make when they come to a website. This gives you a very concrete set of data to analyze the performance of your design. You can get a free ClickTale account, which allows up to one hundred recordings a week.
Crowd Science: This is a new type of program that collects research from your visitors in a non-intrusive manner. If you are wanting human feedback about your design, a free account from Crowd Science can be a very useful tool.
Clicky: If you want your analytics delivered in real-time, Clicky may be the program for you. With a free account from Clicky, you can track up to three thousand pageviews a day. I really like the fact that your Clicky data can be accessed from an iPhone, which is one area where Google Analytics falls short.
clickdensity: In addition to providing a heat map of where visitors are clicking on your website design, the feature that makes clickdensity stand out from many of its competitors is the ability to run A/B tests, which can you give you concrete data on which version of a design is more effective. You can store up to five thousand clicks with a free account from clickdensity.
Pagealizer: If you are specifically trying to evaluate the design of a landing page, Pagelizer can be quite helpful to you. Pagealizer provides statistics such as visit length, scroll distance and click data in real-time. A free account with this service gives you the ability to track up to two hundred visits to one website.
TAW – Web Accessibility Test: While you may have a great looking design, it could be causing problems for certain types of users. To ensure that your design isn’t accidentally excluding certain types of users, the free TAW – Web Accessibility Test evaluates your website against the W3C – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and provides you with the results.
ClickHeat: While ClickHeat is far from being the only program that provides visual heat maps of clicks, it’s big advantage is that it is completely open source and can be installed directly on your server.
Snoop: Although it is still in Beta, if you sign-up and receive an invitation, you will be able to view real-time data from a website on your Mac OSX or Windows XP desktop.
Woopra: Another desktop based analytics program that is stil in Beta, Woopra is designed to reduce the load that traditional analytics programs place on web servers.
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