It’s a Shame Google Analytics Can’t Show…

November 18th, 2005

It’s a shame Google Analytics can’t show how many users leave a site because they don’t want to wait on its Flash splash screen to load. Look, folks, I don’t want to wait 30 seconds while my broadband modem downloads your fancy-pants Flash page. My time is too valuable to waste it waiting for downloads, especially when you could even more easily offer me a plain old HTML page with a static image on it. I want simple, fast, effective web sites; I don’t need to be wowed with your dancing, singing Flash thingy. You may think it makes your site look really cool, but I am never going to see it if it doesn’t load almost instantly. There’s no excuse for making people wait half a minute for a page to load. And, by the way, if it takes 30 seconds over cable, it’s going to take forever over dialup – you’re just writing off those users.

Unfortunately, Google Analytics gets only one data point per page load – that’s inherent in how Analytics uses JavaScript to gather its data. Analytics can tell how many people hit a site’s Flash page and never visit another page on that site, but it cannot distinguish between the users who wait for the Flash applet load and then leave, and those like me who bail out before the Flash applet finishes downloading. It’s a real shame, because maybe then some of that Flash nonsense would just go away.

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