Of tracking and creative development
Posted on 2011-03-28
As creative developers, we need to be familiar with the concept of tracking. For those of you who are not familiar with the idea, tracking is a way of recording the user’s interaction with a website, an installation, a game, or any other interactive piece. For example, you’ll notice that I sometimes refer searches people did to end up on my site or what is the most popular post. I can get all that information via tracking.
The data obtained from tracking can be used for different purposes. In theory, the strategist should meet with the information architect in the beginning of a project to share the learnings obtained from previous projects. Afterwards, the information architect adapts or corrects wireframes accordingly.
Let’s think of a share button on a microsite. If an agency implements a share button, but said button is not used at all in any of it’s sites, the strategist could then decide that the share button is either useless, then ask for it’s removal. Also, it could mean that it is not either visible enough or in a proper location, that would then be a job for the information architect to rethink where that button should be placed in the site.
Tracking useless data: achievements?
That does mean however that when creating a tracking plan, a strategist might have to be careful to track every of the user’s actions, useless data might serve no purpose. But in other contexts, such as games, tracking all sorts of useless things might serve a purpose: achievements.
Many people who are familiar with games know that there are tons of things tracked in there, and since their creation. Asteroid’s rocks, Pac-Man pellets and fruits, Donkey Kong’s barrels, Super Mario’s coins. All those things were tracked in order to present a high score. Pretty basic, and a bit boring by today’s standards.
Bubble Bobble, an old arcade game, had a lot of undisclosed tracking that affected how power-ups and points were attributed to the player.