A UX portfolio is essential to showcase your design process to potential clients or employers if you are looking for a job. Using Google Analytics can help you understand how your online portfolio is performing by understanding a few important KPIs.
Before You Send Out Your Portfolio
If you search on google, there are so many articles out there about how to structure your portfolio and what to include. Before you start using google analytics to analyze how your portfolio is performing, make sure you read some of those articles first to make sure you covered the basics. And maybe ask your colleague or mentors to review your portfolio for you before you send it out.
Set Up Google Analytics
Okay now your portfolio is ready. What you want to do first is go to Google Analytics and sign up for a google account if you don’t have one already.
The process is very straight forward and there are tons of tutorials that teach you how to set it up with your website. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message.
Avoid Tracking Yourself
Now you can start sending your portfolio out to clients or employers. But if you are like me who always go back and check your own work (which I think you should), you want to avoid Google Analytics from tracking your own visits so your data won’t be affected. Go install this chrome extension called Block Yourself from Analytics.
After you installed it, simply go to the options and add your website to the website list. And now you can check your website a thousand times and not worry about messing up your data.
What you want to do now it’s be patient and wait. You need to collect enough data in order to analyze the performance of your portfolio. So go do something productive and come back after one week. (I chose one week because I evaluate my portfolio on a weekly basis and make changes accordingly. But feel free to find a frequency that works for you.)
Here is the summary of my results after I sent out 100 applications:
- 37 users visited my portfolio
- 3 pages were visited per session
- And they spent an average 1 minute 49 seconds during their sessions
So what is these data telling me? Let me break it down for you.
37 Users Visited My Portfolio
I have some trackers set up to track my application status and more than half of them are still yet to be processed so that explained the 37 users that visited my portfolio.
3 Pages Per Session
There is a total of 6 pages on my portfolio website. And out of the 6 of them 3 of them are my case studies. If we exclude the homepage, the average user only visited 2 other pages.
Average 1 Minute 49 Seconds
This is actually more time than I expected them to look at my portfolio. I have heard employers who only have 30 seconds to look at each portfolio and they will let you explained your projects further during your interview.
From here you started to have some basic ideas how people are looking at your portfolio. What you want to do now it’s dive deeper into your data. For my example, I wanted to know what 2 other pages they visited after the homepage.
What you want to do is look for Behavior under Reports and select Behavior Flow. And this is what you are going to see:
When I first started using Google Analytics, I was looking at what page got the most view and try to figure out how users are interacting with my portfolio. Until I found Behavior Flow, it totally changes my workflow. It presents users’ journey in an easy to digest visual manner.
Back to the original question, what other 2 pages did people visited after they first landed on the homepage? The original journey that I have mapped out when I was building my portfolio, is to have them go through my projects one after another which is why I have navigation at the bottom after every case studies.
If you look at the screenshot below, only 2 people actually went to /databeach after they visited my first case study portfolio/isocentral. Most people actually went back to homepage after the first case study.
Here are a few assumptions I made:
- They never reached the bottom of the case study.
- If they wanted to look at other case studies they either clicked on my name at the top left corner or clicked portfolio in the navigation at the top right corner.
- Some went on to look at other sections on my portfolio: about or photo.
With those assumptions in mind, I decided to add my case studies under Portfolio to help users navigate to other case studies without the need to go back to the homepage.
Another thing that you can look at it’s how much time were spent on each page. You can view this information under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
In my example, I wanted to see how users are spending their 1 minute 49 seconds on my portfolio. On average, each users only spent less than one minute reading my case studies. Combine with my assumptions I made that most of them didn’t finish reading my case studies, I am going to try to create another page that includes a summarized version of all my projects. I won’t be adding this until next week for two reasons:
- I wanted to see the impact of the changes I made to the navigation.
- It takes time to put together a summarized version of my project in a presentable way
Another benefit that I see having a summarized version of my projects is I can attached that if I ever have to email a client or submitted it online.