web page project

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    I’m working on a Six Sigma project to improve the utility/effectiveness of a website.  Was wondering if anyone has done something similar and/or has ideas about how to measure “web site utility.”  I’m sitting on a lot of data, such as # visits, # unique visitors, # file downloads, etc.  What’s the best proxy for utility in this case? 



    Hi Heidi,
    I think you might be looking at it the wrong way. You have tons of data, which one typically has when doing technology projects (especially website projects because servers log every hit, page, session, etc.). Tons of data, segmented and stratified, won’t necessarily help you improve your site’s utility/effectiveness.
    Let’s take a step backward and answer a few questions. How do you define utility/effectiveness of a website. They can mean many things and be defined many ways. And it depends on your business products and services (e.g., do you provide online banking services, versus brochures only for your heavy machinery). The utility can take on whole different meanings depending on what you do. And the best people to tell you what they want (how to define utility/effectiveness)…you guessed it, your customer.
    So, Heidi, what do you think? Has this moved you in the right direction? Do you have some definitions for us to view and provide feedback on?
    I look forward to continuing this conversation.



    I agree with Carol’s discussion and questions, and I would say that you need to understand your customer’s requirements as they pertain to your website.
    Have you done interviews or online surveys with them in the past? Do you have any of that data?



    I was working on a web project and had a similar task to do, as our HW were collecting a standardized set of measurements, but the details were up to each business to figure out… Anyway, one another important consideration is where the web site is located (intranet, extranet or public web – internet) and who is the audience is (employees, “real” customers, partners, prospects, etc.) and what is the mission of the web site (promote products, provide support, e-commerce, etc etc.).BUT: overall one key measure is important to all of them: “stickeness”, this means repeat visitors (unless you have a web site for filing complaints 8-) )  


    Kim Niles

    Dear Heidi:
    Your post provides an interesting opportunity for me to improve the hit rates at the site I administer (see or ) since one way to do that is by spreading my url around …. (smile).  Not only are you and others reading this post inclined to visit but spiders pick up the link and give the search engines they are associated with a higher rating for my site.
    The site I administer has had rising hit rates every month for 14 months from a few hundred hits per month to now over 70,000 per month.  Each month I report to our board different things I’ve done to either improve the content for attracting repeat visitors or to improve it’s exposure to attract new visitors. Large contributors in controlling traffic rates were difficult to distinguish but believed to be as follows:

    Adding meta tags
    Adding the additional url ( )
    Advertising with 15+ search engines
    Adding the virtual library with articles written by our members
    Adding the jobs pages
    Sending 2 emails per month to our members of updates or other reasons to visit the site.
    Getting written up in Quality Progress Magazine
    I hope that helps.
    Kim Niles – ASQSD Communications Chair

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