Im working a lot from home. I have a huge iMac where I can stack a lot of windows. The right side is dedicated to Google Analytics. I have two windows one on top of the other. The first shows some real-time data (number of visitors, pages visited, countries) and the second one data that’s not real-time but compared to the same day a week before.
Anytime in the day, I can see live traffic and by refreshing the second window have consolidated daily data. But still. That realtime windows is always there. And I keep staring at it. Not to see what happens, to see what’s going to happen. Is the number increasing or decreasing? Sometimes nothing happens and I can stay for 30s waiting until the number change, Then I can start being happy or worried, so I might refresh the second window to see if Im fine for today or if Im late. And take some actions accordingly (should I put more in Adwords? ;P)
Switch to emails, switch to Salesforce, switch to anything, always these windows.
I could remove them both, but I feel bad when they’re not here. SOmething’s missing. It’s been like that since we launched the new website two months ago. Even on week-ends. If Im playing on my computer, in-between games Ill refresh and check what happened while I was playing. And I stare for a while a the real-time number of visitors.
It’s probably because we don’t have so many visitors and Google designers need to fill in the space, but this number is displayed in a big font. Way bigger compared to the other information on the dashboard. So it steals all your attention easily.
And it took me those two months of living like this to realize Im living what Ive been advocating for all year long: how real-time data, changing data keeps your attention as a user. Ive been writing pages and pages of explanation about this, and Im not even capable of realizing when it happens to me. Made me smile. And convinced me.
I was using the argument (better retention, more dewl time), but wasn’t convinced about it that much, deep into me. I talked about FOMO. I had it written down in our presentations. I know it’s real, but never felt it so hard then with these analytics thing. Now I feel like I have my valuable example. And it’s the my that is important.
It takes time to build an intimate story with your product, to fully relate to its benefits depending on what you do. I like these moments where I can build my story around it and know Ill be able to communicate that Im convinced of what Im saying.