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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Google Analytics

Yesterday I started playing around with Google Analytics, and figuring out how to build it into Auto Respond.

The versions that are out now do not include Google Analytics in any manner, but I am looking into possibly building it into future versions. That would mean that the paid app would once again need internet permission in order to send the data back to Google, but this would be the ONLY information sent and there would be no personal information transmitted.

For those who aren't aware, Google Analytics helps developers understand how users are interacting with their products. It will tell me how many times specific screens are viewed, how many active users I have, and potentially which buttons and other elements are interacted with most often.

This information can help me understand how you, as users, interact with my app. It can tell me which things you use often, which things you never really use, whether you tend to click buttons more than list views, and possibly even what settings are used most often.

I'm not sure of the exact information I can get, as I have just started playing with it, but rest assured that I will NOT be able to see that John Smith opened the app x times, or click this button, or has these settings set. I simply get a report for ALL of my users and cannot tell the difference between interactions from one user to the other. (I do not need, or care about, statistics on a per user basis in order to get useful information.)

I can then use this information to improve the parts of the app that are used most often. If people tend to use the scheduler a lot, I can spend some extra time with new features to give you more of what you want. Or if people use the preset messages a lot, maybe I can add more information to the list view, or create new sorting options, etc.

Or, on the other hand, if people tend to not click on my list views, I can make it more obvious to the user that clicking on the object will cause some action.

Overall I'm very excited to see what I can do with this tool! And once it's set up I think it can greatly help me improve interactions in my app. The ONLY downfall is that the paid version will require permission to access the internet, which I think is a small price to pay for an improved app.

Let me know your thoughts, and if you have any experience with Google Analytics, feel free to let me know how it worked out for you!

TL;DR - Google Analytics will potentially help me understand how my users use my app, and help me improve the user experience.