Using google analytics and think-aloud study for improving the information architecture of METU Informatics Institute website: a case study

Demirel Kütükçü, Seher
Today, web sites are important communication channels that reach a wide group of people. Measuring the effectiveness of these web-sites has become a key issue for researchers as well as practitioners. However, there is no consensus on how to define web site effectiveness and which dimensions need to be used for the evaluation of these web sites. This problem is more noteworthy for information driven web sites like academic web sites. There is limited academic literature in this predominant application area. The existing studies measured the effectiveness of these academic web sites by taking into account their information architecture mostly using think-aloud methodology. However, there is limited study on web analytics tools which are capable of providing valuable information regarding the web site users such as their navigation behaviours and browser details. Although web analytics tools provide detailed and valuable information, the existing studies have utilized their very basic features. In this thesis, we have explored web analytic tools and think-aloud study method to improve information architecture of web sites. Taking METU Informatics Institute web site as a case study, we have used the reports of Google Analytics which is a commercial web analytics tool owned by Google and think-aloud study results to improve the information architecture of our case study web-site.