Those of you who have read about Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 here and else­where prob­a­bly know a few things about it: we’ve added pow­er­ful seg­men­ta­tion fea­tures, improved report per­for­mance, and made it eas­ier than ever for mar­keters to take con­trol of their imple­men­ta­tions. But not to be totally over­shad­owed are the UI improve­ments and admin fea­tures that we hope will make your life just that much eas­ier. Today I’d like to talk about just some of these changes.

The First One You’ll Notice

It’s hard for me to pick a “favorite usabil­ity improve­ment” from Site­Cat­a­lyst 15, but this one is def­i­nitely in the run­ning. In Site­Cat­a­lyst 14, it often took up to four mouse clicks for you and your users to get to data. You’re not log­ging in to Site­Cat­a­lyst because it’s good for your health (although, for what it’s worth, med­ical research has yet to dis­prove my the­ory that Site­Cat­a­lyst is, in fact, good for you); no, you log in because you want to answer ques­tions using data. In Site­Cat­a­lyst, we’ve made this eas­ier than ever. When you click “Sign In,” you imme­di­ately get this:

Site Overview dashboard in SiteCatalyst 15

What is this? It’s a Site Overview dash­board that comes pre-configured and dis­plays on login unless you have over­rid­den it with a cus­tom land­ing dash­board or report. Right here, your users can begin to answer ques­tions such as:

  • How is my over­all site traf­fic trending?
  • Which key pages on my site have high and low bounce rate?
  • How are vis­i­tors reach­ing my site?

And the best part (in my not-so-humble opin­ion)? Because this is a work­ing dash­board, you can change the date range, the report suite, and the seg­ment at both the entire dash­board level and/or the indi­vid­ual report­let level. With­out leav­ing this dash­board, you can begin your analysis.

And if you don’t like this dash­board, we’ve made it easy for you to change the land­ing page your users will see when they first log in.

Set a dashboard as landing page in SiteCatalyst 15

Just go to any dash­board and click More Actions > Set As Land­ing Page. Voila. Pat your­self on the back for giv­ing your users exactly what they need in SiteCatalyst.

Change We Can All Believe In

Implicit in my state­ment that you “imme­di­ately get this [Site Overview dash­board]” is the fact that, with Site­Cat­a­lyst 15, we have done away with the “pin­wheel” of prod­ucts shown below. (I know you’re all thrilled, but please hold your applause.)

The product pinwheel in the Online Marketing Suite prior to SiteCatalyst 15

In addi­tion to adding a click to your work­flow, the pin­wheel was dis­ori­ent­ing and con­fus­ing to many users, who often weren’t sure whether they were sup­posed to choose Site­Cat­a­lyst, or Dis­cover, or Test&Target, or some other prod­uct to get what they needed. Instead, with Site­Cat­a­lyst 15, the Online Mar­ket­ing Suite helps out by auto­mat­i­cally log­ging you in to the land­ing page for the last prod­uct that you used before you logged out. If you were using Site­Cat­a­lyst when you logged out, you’ll be placed in Site­Cat­a­lyst when you log in. Ditto for Search­Cen­ter, Sur­vey, etc. When you want to change prod­ucts, we’ve moved the list to the upper-left cor­ner, where our tests showed that users expected it to be:

Product drop-down in the Online Marketing Suite with SiteCatalyst 15

All prod­ucts and tools are located here, which means no more dig­ging around for Data Ware­house because it’s buried in a lit­tle drop-down menu to the far right of the prod­uct tool­bar. That upper-left-hand cor­ner is your one-stop shop for every­thing in the Online Mar­ket­ing Suite.

(BONUS: The new prod­uct drop-down menu is actu­ally avail­able in Site­Cat­a­lyst 14, too, although the pin­wheel still exists there, too.)

The VCU of Site­Cat­a­lyst 15

If you’re not an fan of Amer­i­can col­lege bas­ket­ball, this anal­ogy may be lost on you. (When I used it dur­ing inter­nal train­ings, I got—at best—pity laughs.) Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­sity, or VCU, was a mostly unheard-of team that made a shock­ing run to the Final Four this past March. In other words, they were a lit­tle group of scrappy under­dogs whom nobody pre­dicted would do much in the tour­na­ment, but who ulti­mately shocked us all and cap­tured our appre­ci­a­tion. This next fea­ture is kind of like that. It seemed lit­tle when our devel­op­ment team added it, but cus­tomers have responded to it in a big way, let­ting us know how much eas­ier this is going to make their lives, and the lives of their users, in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15.

At the top of the left nav­i­ga­tion menu in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 you will find a text box where you can enter a search string.

Inline report search feature in SiteCatalyst 15

As you type, the list of avail­able reports whit­tles itself down to include only report names that match your search. If you needed to give some­one direc­tions in Site­Cat­a­lyst 14, you had to say some­thing like this: “Okay, Fred, go to the Cus­tom Con­ver­sion menu, then go to Cus­tom Con­ver­sion 1–10, then go to Prod­uct Find­ing Methods.”

You can now sim­ply say, “Okay, Fred, just type ‘Prod­uct Find­ing Meth­ods’ into the text box, then go to the only option avail­able to you!

Inline report search feature in SiteCatalyst 15

Hope­fully, gone are the days of scour­ing through lists of hun­dreds of reports to find the one that you want. As long as you know the name—or even part of the name—you can get to it in a mat­ter of a few seconds.

You can also search through your list of dash­boards and book­marks in a sim­i­lar way, using the search field under “Favorites” on the left nav­i­ga­tion menu. No more scan­ning through thou­sands of dashboards!

Ban Irrel­e­vant Metrics!

Is there any­thing worse than going to a Cus­tom Con­ver­sion report and see­ing Rev­enue as the default met­ric when Rev­enue makes no sense in that report? Maybe your site doesn’t even record rev­enue as a met­ric, or maybe it just sim­ply is out of con­text in the given report. Of course, we could be talk­ing about any met­ric; the point is that, until now, you have often had to load up a report, then remem­ber to change the met­ric in order to get data you can use. Sure, you could change the default met­rics at the report suite level, but that’s less than ideal when cer­tain met­rics are rel­e­vant in some places but not others.

Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 intro­duces the con­cept of default met­rics on indi­vid­ual reports. In any report where you can select met­rics, admin-level users will have a lit­tle arrow next to the “Add Met­rics” but­ton. When you click this arrow, you will have the option to set the cur­rent set of met­rics as default for the cur­rent report only. It doesn’t affect other reports or report suites; all users of that report will see the met­rics you choose.

Set Default Metrics feature in SiteCatalyst 15

I can set Rev­enue, Vis­its, and Add To Reg­istry as my default met­rics in one report, and then set Leads Gen­er­ated, Prod­uct Views, and Unique Vis­i­tors as my default met­rics in another report. You (and your users) should never have to see “No Data” mes­sages due to irrel­e­vant met­rics again! This will lead to much less con­fu­sion due to strange com­bi­na­tions of data dimen­sions and met­rics in Site­Cat­a­lyst, and much faster/easier report­ing and analysis.

The Ninth-Ranked Idea on the Idea Exchange

This fea­ture is for admin users only, but it’s worth men­tion­ing to every­body. One rea­son I want to men­tion it is that it some­how became the ninth most pro­moted idea on the Idea Exchange. Admins can now go to Admin > User Man­age­ment and see exactly which users are logged into Adobe Dis­cover for their com­pany, along with the last action per­formed by these users within Dis­cover. If nec­es­sary, admin users can kill cur­rent Dis­cover ses­sions if they need to reclaim a float­ing license for some imme­di­ate need.

Discover Manage Users feature in SiteCatalyst 15

No more wait­ing in a queue if you have an insa­tiable desire to get into Dis­cover imme­di­ately (or, you know, if you need an answer for a key meet­ing begin­ning in three min­utes… or whatever).

The Fea­ture For­merly Known As “Impersonate”

(We thought “Imper­son­ate” sounded too creepy.)

Last but cer­tainly not least is an admin fea­ture that also came highly pro­moted via the Idea Exchange: the abil­ity for admin users to log in to Site­Cat­a­lyst as their non-admin users with­out requir­ing the users’ pass­words. We’re call­ing it “Log In As User.”

'Log In As User' Feature in SiteCatalyst 15

There are a num­ber of uses for this fea­ture, such as help­ing your non-admin users set up reports and dash­boards on their own account, val­i­dat­ing that per­mis­sions are work­ing as you expect, and more. We wanted to empower our admin users to sup­port their orga­ni­za­tions in every pos­si­ble way, and this was a key com­po­nent as sug­gested by the 37 votes this one received in the Idea Exchange. (In case you’re con­cerned about shenani­gans, have no fear; we are log­ging every action taken while you’re logged in as one of your non-admin users. These logs are avail­able in the Admin Console.)

Con­clu­sion

As I men­tioned at the begin­ning of this post, these are only some of the things we’ve done to improve usabil­ity and admin func­tion­al­ity in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15. (For exam­ple, should I talk about the vastly improved action tool­bar at the top of reports? I will not. But it’s cool.) We hope you will enjoy these fea­tures and many oth­ers not described here. Please let us know what you like (and don’t like?) about the new Site­Cat­a­lyst UI. We have done a tremen­dous amount of work to respond to your usabil­ity feed­back already, and we’re cer­tainly not done yet.

As always, if you have any ques­tions about any­thing in this post, or about any­thing else related to the Adobe Online Mar­ket­ing Suite, please leave a com­ment here or con­tact me on Twit­ter and I’ll do my best to get you the infor­ma­tion that you need.

3 comments
nic
nic

Ah, there it is, thanks:-) I think I will use Idea Exchange to propose to show an exclamation mark whenever there are new notes. I definately need to convince you guys to let me switch to SCv15 very soon. It looks pretty cool _and_ useful. Good combination. so long nic

nic
nic

Hi Ben, are the homepage announcements still present somewhere. I like to use them to let my users know about important stuff. so long nic

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Nic, Yes, they are. Look for them under "Notices" in the green header at the top of the page. Thanks, Ben