Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hackystat UI : Telemetry and Alexa charts

Alexa is a site that provides information relating to site traffic. Hongbing sent out a link recently to this site with a query as to how they could produce PNG charts so quickly. I assume that with enough CPU and network bandwidth, anything is possible. What I was personally struck by is their user interface, which rather elegantly supports a lot of the features we want from telemetry. Consider the following screen image from their site, which I have annotated with a 1, 2, 3, and 4.

UI Feature (1) is the tabs, which provide various perspectives on the set of sites. From the Telemetry perspective, this is analogous to a set of related Charts. Thus, what they've done is provided the equivalent of the Telemetry Report interface, but in a much nicer package. Instead of scrolling down through an endless series of charts, you click on a tab to see the related chart. Much, much nicer.

UI Feature (2) is the "Range" selection. This is analogous to our "Day", "Week", "Month" interval selection mechanism. While it is not as flexible as ours, it provides easier access to common interval requests: Last 7 days, Last 1 Month, Last 3 months, etc.

UI Feature (3) is the "See Traffic Details". This is analogous to our "Daily Project Summary" drilldown (or maybe a "Project Status To Date" analysis.

UI Feature (4) is the ability to easily add and subtract different trend lines. This is interesting when translated to the Telemetry domain, because it could be interpreted in one of two different ways: (a) add/subtract one or more telemetry streams, or (b) add/subtract one or more Projects. Indeed, we might want to think of providing both abilities: you could specify what telemetry streams you want to display, and then this set of telemetry streams would be specified for each Project you specify. Thus the number of lines appearing on the chart would be the number of streams times the number of projects. In most cases, you will probably want to have one stream and multiple Projects, or multiple streams for one Project.

1 comment:

Hongbing said...

Currently in Hackystat, we can not compare two projects as what we did in the hackyApp_Course application. Crossing project telemetry analysis will be a great add-on. It is also a feature I would like to have for the ConfirmIT.