The rule is that companies let the software developers create the user interface, as a by-product of creating the code. It's strictly an afterthought. And then they hire technical writers like me to explain their stupid user-hostile interfaces instead of spending money on designing an intuitive interface that doesn't require a manual to understand.
And Google, which has no excuse, clearly followed that rule. Because the new Google Analytics interface is obviously designed by a team of software developers and sadists. The sadists are responsible for telling you how cool all the features like Events and Goals are, and the software developers created the user interface for using these features that require you to be a software developer yourself to use them.
It's NOT USABLE. Unless you are a software developer. Don't believe me? Here's the Goal setup interface.
a href="http://www.webanalyticsblueprint.com/" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Ads', 'Sidebar', 'WAB']);"
Nowhere in the Google Analytics help section did I come across a heads-up that you have to use this "_trackEvent" code. I mean, if nothing tells you that you will need to use code, you won't even be looking for it.
"this element helps you specify a value for you event that can be used when you setup a goal for your event."That's what is known as a tautology. It tells you that a value is a value. That's no help at all. But of course he's a software developer - he doesn't need to express himself clearly in English.
And to add insult to injury if you do an online search to try to find people to commiserate with about the fiendishly confusing Analytics interface, instead you get this:
If Google Analytics "has one of the most usable interfaces in the Web Analytics world" what that tells you is that the entire Web Analytics world is composed of software developers and sadists.Google Analytics already has one of the most usable interfaces in the Web Analytics world.
Now we've already seen that you have to have some level of comfort with code, but here's the best part of all: you have to learn something called "regular expressions."
As another random Internet person says: Regular Expressions – Don’t Use Google Analytics Without Them.
Would you like to see an example of a regular expression? Here you go:
$string1 =~ m/(H..).(o..)/)
I can't imagine what someone with no code experience at all makes of the Google Analytics interface.
So anybody out there who is looking for someone else to commiserate with over the sadistic Google Analytics interface - you are not alone.