Thursday, March 15, 2007

March Montreal WaW Recap

Yesterday's Web Analytics Wednesday brought about a dozen people, a bit less than the expected 20 or so, but nevertheless some new faces and enough to have very good discussions. Here's a brief recap of the meeting, but if you want a very detailed one, check out YashLabs detailed account.

After the usual chit chat and a round table where we presented ourselves, I was happy to share a recent talk I had with M. Scott Wells, senior account executive from Omniture, where we discussed the possibility of having an Omniture Café event in Montréal. I think this is exactly in the spirit of the Web Analytics Association objectives: unite web analytics consultants, professionals and end users to increase our common knowledge and best practices in web analytics.

To give a new twist to our get together, I invited the participants to pick a topic from the WAA course on web analytics for site optimization I will present at the coming eMetrics conference. Following a brief intro, everyone was invited to share their thoughts and ideas about "designing for usability or conversion (sales)". Although we agreed one is obviously not incompatible with the other, there are some distinctions between the two mindsets when comes the time to build a web site. Being usable doesn't necessarily mean it's built for your audience. Brian Eisenberg example is self explanatory:
Usability is related to the individual's subjective experience. The same mug I love to drink from is a disaster waiting to happen for my two-year-old daughter. Is the mug usable? Yes, for me. Not for her.
Later on I had a good chat with Sean Power, a fellow Web Analytics Association volunteer, about our involvement and the positions we're in: him at Coradiant, and myself as a part-time practitioner at Desjardins. When I left my previous employer I was very close to start on my own as a web analytics consultant. For now and for the foreseeable future, I'm happy with the choice I made: a good job and an outstanding company culture, good work-family balance, and support for my activities in the web analytics community. What could I ask more? :)

P.S. You can get your own WAA mug and other stuff from the new CafePress store!