[development] Heatmaps on Drupal.org

Gerhard Killesreiter gerhard at killesreiter.de
Fri Aug 11 07:31:53 UTC 2006

Arnab Nandi wrote:
> Killes, thanks for taking the thread way offtopic. Let's try and get
> back to Heatmaps.

You are welcome.

> My point was that this service allows us to do analysis while
> considering a page as a 2-dimensional structure. You cannot do this
> with search logs, hence the point of this service, and my email. There

This service charges GPB 200 for 5 Mio clicks. Drupal.org served 7 Mio 
pages in July only, so we'd need some money to spend on this.

> are many others like it, this one seems to be simple, available(unlike
> CrazyEgg) and most importantly, free.

as in beer. Also, the free thing only covers one page.

> If you want to take the trouble and write your own Javascript mouse
> position handler for Drupal.org, it's not impossible, but someone will
> have to do it.

Sure, but as has been pointed out: We'd retain control of our own data, 
so I'd prefer it if somebody who has both skill and interest writes such 
a script.

Furthermore, as has been pointed out by me, drupal.org is a large, 
untapped datamine. If we make sure the data is properly anonymized, we 
can certainly use that data. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have more 
than passing interest to exploit the data.

So I don't see a point in accumulating more data by installing a 
non-free script which stores our data on somebody else's server.

> Will the heatmaps be theme specific? Of course. But the Bluebeach
> theme still maintains many distinctive properties common to most
> Drupal themes (tabs, form layouts, etc) This can give us a lot of
> usability information : for example, are the tabs really useful at
> all?

You can easily determine this from our own accesslog data. We store the 
referer and the destination of each click. So, if the referer is /node 
and the destination is /project then I clicked on the corresponding tab. 
In most cases there is only one link for a specific destination on one page.

> Do the disctinctive center-aligned-login boxes create problems?
> (people will click to the left of it if  this is the case).

Ok, this you cannot get from our data.

> Also, if people have a popular website and are using Bluemarine / any
> other popular theme, pl. go ahead and share your heatmaps! They are
> very valuable for Drupal development!

I think the results would not be very Drupal specific, actually.

> Regarding privacy: I don't see any privacy issues at all. If we
> restrict the page tracking to non-user and public pages, we are shown
> an *aggregate* of all users' usage.

To get an aggregate, you still need to store the individual events. They 
  especially list prices for stored clicks, so I guess that's what 
they'd do.

> There is no concept of personal
> usage at all. Pl. let's not get paranoid here, these are stats from a
> public community website, not your private AOL porn search records.

You should extrapolate from your own customs to everybody else's.

> Re: Other offtopic issues that were raised:
> - Pogo sticking: Use the session variable, will need some hacking
> - Search Quality: Definitely improved, a simple way to test this: 1)
> Take the list of search queries from logs,  2) perform Google / Yahoo
> searches using "site:drupal.org" as added parameter, and then 3) use
> Mean Reciprocal Rank tests to see the overlap between drupal.org
> results and "state of the art" search company results.

Anybody interested in doing this? I will happily provide the data.


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