Using analytics to design a better portfolio
Generally, as a designer, I’ve been the type to use metrics and other raw sorts of data in order to better guide my decisions. I would imagine most do as well, but I’ve never really been all that comfortable with doing something in design just because it “felt” a certain way. That said, with my current job search, I’ve generated a pretty decent amount of traffic to the website and blog which has allowed me to build up a decent amount of user data about site usage, sources, etc. I may not end this post with a straightforward conclusion, but I’d like to share the data regardless if only because I find it interesting.
At present, the average user time spent on my website is 1:19 seconds and I have a bounce rate of 69.51%. That bounce rate is extremely high, but I’m not concerned about it for reasons that I’ll explain later on in this post. Google Chrome accounts for 52.45% of my visitors, Firefox 22.91%, Safari 12.62%, Internet Explorer 7.18%, Android Browser 2.55%, Opera 1.55%, and ‘Mozilla Compatilble Agent’ .97%. Of the Internet Explorer crowd, 56.76% use IE 9, 35.14% use IE 8, 5.41% use IE 10, and 2.7% use IE 7.
Generally my high bounce times and lower end engagement are associated with the blog portion of my site, hosted by Tumblr. Most of that traffic comes from web searches and most users are interested specifically in the contents of one particular entry. Once they’ve finished the entry, they leave immediately. I would argue that a large part of this drop off is due to the fact that I do not promote other entries on the blog posts instead, and if my goal with this website were to generate ad revenue (thus requiring more click-thru traffic) I would likely implement that.
My goal with the website is, of course, to promote myself, my work, and to secure work/opportunities, so the traffic that comes to the blog is only a piece of the equation, rather what concerns me more is the traffic on the main portion of the site.
On the front page of the site, 70% of traffic advance to the blog, meaning that I have about a 30% bounce rate on the index page. From there, these are my projects in order of traffic:
- Flood Zone NYC – 19%
- New Paltz MFA Poster – 15%
- Element 7 Logotype – 7.7%
- Wanting to be There – 7.1%
- Alt Magazine – 6.5%
- Snap App – 6.5%
- Electro-trash – 6%
- Encyclopedia of Crafts – 4.8%
- Important Things Poster Series – 4.2%
- Alice in Wonderland – 3.6%
- Nyaata Branding – 3.6%
- Modernism in China – 2.4%
Truthfully, these numbers don’t really surprise me as they fall in line with the traffic these projects are getting elsewhere. Flood Zone NYC, Alt Magazine, and the New Paltz MFA poster had all received features on Web Design Served, AIGA Members Gallery, and the Student Show Gallery, so their higher ranking positions don’t serve as much of a surprise.
Frustratingly, Important Things hasn’t really received much attention anywhere, so I suppose that ultimately the work isn’t as good as I personally hold it up to, or I’m just displaying it incorrectly on the web. Nyaata is also underrepresented in its rankings, though I suspect that the method where it really shines, the branding guidelines, is poorly represented in the portfolio itself. Encyclopedia of Crafts, I felt, should have been lower in the rankings, but it is on the top row, so I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised. If I want it to rank lower then I should physically move it to a lower position.
Generally, it would seem as though the technologically based work garners more attention universally than that which is based on print. On the Behance network, the digital projects make up the lion’s share of appreciations and views, so it is unsurprising to see similar metrics be mirrored on the web page itself.