Update on January 11, 2011: I submitted a proposal to talk about the impact of the work we’ve done had on the business and the bottom-line for Velocity 2011. It would be great to go back and talk about the positive impact of our work 🙂
Comprehensive, One Stop Shop for Achieving Complete End User Satisfaction
My review on Amazon
This book is ultimately about the End-User. The content of this book is designed to answer the following four questions (in order) about the End-Users:- What did they do?
– How did they do it?
– Why did they do it?
– Could they do it?
To answer the first question, a closer look at data warehouse and web analytics is in order. The authors talk about that in detail, listing tools and services that address various issues often faced in collecting user data. The second question, "how did they do it?" is answered through constant monitoring of your site's usability and engagement, both of which are explained well in this book. The third question is about user interaction and feedback. The authors attempt to answer this question by explaining the process of VOC, or Voice of Customer, and all the details it entails.
The most important content in this book, I believe, is laid out in the three chapters dedicated to answering the fourth question, "could they do it?"
The first chapter talks about Frontend Performance and End-User Experience. The topic of Frontend Performance is relatively new and the list of books dedicated to it is growing rapidly with Steve Souders' books on top of the list.
The second chapter tackles Synthetic Monitoring and its advantages and drawbacks. Following that, the authors move into Real User Monitoring in the third and last chapter attempting to answer this question.
The authors then dedicate what I think is too much content to communities and competitors and how monitoring them can help you better your site. Although the information is useful, I feel it took away from the focus of the book but not too much to be a distraction.
The authors then close the book with a recap and a look at the future of web monitoring. Both chapters are very useful and give a much needed perspective.
All in all, this is an excellent book for any serious web entrepreneur and for all online businesses that hold "User Experience" paramount in their business objectives.
Native mobile applications will soon become a fad and the tried and tested Web will prevail. The rapidly maturing HTML5 coupled with Google’s Latitude will dominate eventually.
Web developers couldn’t stop talking about HTML and its evolution during the 1990s. New features were usually tempting, though not always workable, and the Browser Wars meant that vendors competed by providing and copying features. The HTML standardization process had its twists and turns, moving from the IETF to the W3C, developing standards that reflected immediate needs and tried to channel developer energy in more productive directions.