"When we explained [Functionalism] to channel marketers and site designers, they got it immediately. We could see the lights go on. 'Ah – I get it. This page is supposed to move people here and it isn’t doing the job and I can even understand how you proved it isn’t doing the job.'"In short, functionalism works because people "get it."
In web analytics - a discipline often plagued by complexities and misunderstandings and so many "huh?" looks - it's refreshing to find something that people "get" so readily. As we strive to popularize and evangelize web analytics it really helps to have such palatable material. Try it, you'll like it.
So obviously you can see that I'm a convert. Here's how I got my start with functionalism:
Not long after I joined Semphonic, I took on a client project that involved a functional website analysis. I set out by reading Gary's white paper and reviewing some other previous projects and talking to my new colleagues about it. And my initial impression was, as in the quote at the beginning of this post, "Yeah, I get it. That makes total sense."
I felt as if I had been doing this type of analysis all along, but this just helped put a name and a structure around the activity.
These days, when I explain functionalism to new colleagues and new clients, I often say that the analysis part is very very simple, it's the methodology for the analysis that benefits from some study. Functionalism is a methodology for web measurement. It takes a bit of discipline to apply this methodology to an otherwise unstructured analysis task, but it pays off in the end because it gives a common language for all analysts and also all intended recipients of the analysis.
Are YOU ready to get started? Great. In the next post I'll explain the basics of functionalism.
[This post is part of my series on Functionalism.]