Clicky Supersize XL Extreme edition

I've been wanting to make Clicky take advantage of larger screens for a long time but there were a lot of challenges involved beyond just changing the width of the site container. (I know that sounds pretty lame but just trust me).

But after last week's release of our new Segments feature, it was clear this needed to be the next major project. Segments are great, but they take up a lot of horizontal space which really crippled a few reports. For example, the Links (referrers) report:

[Note: Click any of these screenshots to see a full sized version]




That just killed me, having every referrer be basically unreadable beyond the domain name. Well, here's what that report looks like now:




Much better, eh?

Here's a summary of what's changed:

  • Instead of a fixed width of 960px, the width is now dynamic with min/max boundaries of 960px and 1200px. We wanted to make sure everything still worked fine with the old width (e.g. this is important for some of our white label customers who have Clicky integrated via iframe), but let people with larger screens take advantage of them.

    I'm not really a fan of sites that go the full width of your browser window, as I feel the readability suffers on really large monitors. I tested various max widths and anything over 1200 just felt wrong. BUT... my opinion on that may change. Feel free to try and convince me.


  • We now have the browser do string-shortening for us, instead of doing it on the backend. This always ensures that the text takes up the full width available, which was extremely important in order to support a dynamic width. Doing it on the backend has also always been a major issue for non-English character strings, as our old shortening code was not "multibyte friendly", so I'm glad that's behind us now!

    This was the major challenge of this release. The basics of it are of course dead simple, but it's the small details that matter. The voodoo magic I had perform to get this to work in all the variety of scenarios I needed it felt like I was jamming a square peg through a round hole over and over (and over) until it finally fit.


  • Spy looks gorgeous. We got a much higher-res map, combined with the wider screen, it's killer. (Screenshots below). We've also moved the controls (e.g. map zoom) to the top left corner so they're in a fixed position instead of moving around when the map size changes.


  • There's not really any "small" text anywhere anymore. Now that we have so much more room, the font sizes (almost) everywhere now are more of a "normal" size, which makes things a lot more readable.


  • The main site dashboard and the user homepage both need some work to take better advantage of all the extra space, but I didn't feel delaying this release was warranted just for that. I wanted to take some time to think up and test different ideas. For example one thing I'm considering is having an option for a third column on the dashboard. So hopefully we can get some updates out to those in the next few weeks.



SPY VS SPY


Here's a few screenshots comparing the old Spy to the new one. Click any of them to see full size!

OLD SPY :(





NEW SPY :D








This was heavily tested with all 5 of the major browsers, and everything is cool, including all the way back to IE7. However there are bound to be a few bugs so please let us know if you experience any layout issues. Screenshots and details of your OS/browser version are of course appreciated.
17 comments |   May 07 2015 3:08pm

New feature: Segments!




It's been a while but the wait was worth it! (Yes, we're still here!)

Segments has been in demand FOR. EVER. and we could not be more excited to finally offer this to you. Think of it as the one-off segmentation we already offer, but integrated into nearly every report automatically and with almost no impact on speed. You can also sort the reports by any of these new columns. It's pretty nice!

(A very important note, that this data for your main Content report is vastly different than any of the others, but for good reason. This is fully explained here.)

One reason we avoided doing this for so long is that we didn't think we could make it happen without a drastic hit on performance. But a lot of creativity went into this on the backend and the results are great. One of the aspects of the great performance is data sampling for higher traffic sites. Don't worry, we only do it for high traffic sites and/or large date ranges. It's explained in full detail on the new Segments knowledgebase article.

If your site has more than 10,000 page views in the date/range being viewed, sampling takes effect on all data past the last 10,000 page views. By default it's 25% but Pro Plus and higher members (Upgrade) can choose a few other options, including 100% if you really want it. You can change this setting on your user preferences page, or using the new sampling menu, next to the trend menu, so you can change it quickly as needed as you hop between sites.




We plan to make this new feature available via the API as well, but first we want to give it a day or two and see the impact this on our resource usage once thousands of people are using it at the same time. Just playing it safe.


There are various other tweaks and small changes with this release, but probably only one that many will notice.

Our old "family style" reports, e.g. browsers grouped by family (Firefox, etc) had to go the way of the dinosaur. They were a really nasty hack and anytime we made global updates to reports like this, it was always a huge challenge to get those changes into those family style reports. We've never had an update to all reports as big as this one though, so I just had to declare bankruptcy on that code and move on.

But I felt good about it, because the backend API changes I had to make for this new data structure allowed a lot more flexibility so this worked out well and it's fast.

You can still view individual families. You'll just have to use the new menu system I built into these reports, as you can see in the screenshot below. This affects Browsers, OS', Hardware, Campaigns, Custom data -- I killed the search engines one since there were only a few categories anyways, and if you use split tests, those are also not grouped by family anymore because even people who do use that feature tend not to have more than one or two total.




That's all for now!
8 comments |   Apr 26 2015 9:21pm

Change your trend preference on demand from any report

When we revamped and centralized our UI preferences in October, our goal was to simplify things, particularly for new users. There was one change that a good number of power users didn't like though, that change being that the same trend preference didn't always make sense for all of their sites and/or dashboards. Previously the trend was a dashboard preference, and each dashboard is tied to a specific site, so for some power users the old set up was better.

To address this complaint, we've added a new trend menu in the top right corner that allows you change your trend preference on demand.




When you change the trend option, it's saved to the database immediately so it sticks with you as you move to new reports and/or sites in your account.

I like this new method quite a bit, it's really nice to be able to change it on demand while viewing a report, to compare different trends quickly and easily. And having this menu front and center, more people are aware there's even a trend preference in the first place. (Even with the new set up in October, there were still not nearly enough people aware of this option).

We didn't have enough horizontal room to create a full menu button that would display the current option, hence the choice of using an icon. Hover over the icon to show the current setting. This particular aspect isn't necessarily ideal but it was the only design that we felt worked.
0 comments |   Dec 03 2014 7:34pm

HTTPS for all

As HTTPS becomes more and more common for even just the simplest of blogs, we've decided to allow the tracking of HTTPS sites for all customers, including free customers and those on our grandfathered "Starter" plan.

clicky.com is now also available over a secured HTTPS connection for all customers. Previously we only offered this to paying customers. One of the main reasons for this was that our advertising company, buysellads.com, didn't support ads being displayed over HTTPS. We offset the cost of offering free service by the revenue we make from our ads, so we had no choice in this department. BSA just pushed out HTTPS support though, so now clicky.com is available via HTTPS to all customers, paying or not.

We only force HTTPS on our web site when you're logged in. If you want to disable the full time HTTPS for any reason, you can do that in your user preferences.
0 comments |   Nov 18 2014 12:43pm

Favorite sites

For those of you with multiple sites in your account, chances are there are a few sites that are lot more important to you than the rest. Now you can make sure these sites are always at the top of your user homepage for quick access, on both the desktop and mobile versions of Clicky.

Flagging a site as a favorite works just like the other reports. Click the star and presto, it's a favorite. Click it again and it's no longer a favorite. If you need a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor, please take it.

On the desktop there are options to sort your sites by something other than alphabetically, such as visitors or bounce rate. When you use favorites, the same sorting rules will still apply, but divided into the favorite and non-favorite sites. In these screenshots that sorting is default (alphabetical), so you can see that the favorites are at the top sorted by name, then the rest are below them also sorted by name.




4 comments |   Oct 21 2014 6:18pm

Next Page »




Copyright © 2015, Roxr Software Ltd     Blog home   |   Clicky home   |   RSS