David Housman

Omniture Discover and Discoverability


I’ve been an Omniture SiteCatalyst and Discover user since 2007. I remember when it had the annoying green background and the site metrics report wasn’t all fancylicious.

When I finally got my training on Discover I was stunned by feature after feature, which I’d been rubbing up next to for so long, but I never knew was there or how to take advantage of. Analytics products should enhance the value of the original data set.

Development of features that your users can’t find isn’t just wasting your company’s resources- you’re taking something away from your user. Everyone loses, except maybe your professional training group.

Selective placement of help text, tool tips can provide automated, adaptive education. Lets compare the splash page for Discover with the that of another power user tool, UltraEdit. This is the spash page for Discover:


Yes. YES. YEESSSS. I just want to say in the eyes of God and Avinash Kaushik: Thank You. THANK YOU Adobe Product people. I have been a web analyst for the better part of a decade, and it was not until today that I realized that what I’ve been searching for in an analytics tool is silhouettes of some jerks milling about and looking cool.

Not valuable to me. Not valuable to my users, who will never get to take professional Discover training. As a Program Manager, I look at this complicated product and useless splash page, and I’m not sure I want to roll it out to my users. My company has 10 Discover Licenses, and half a dozen people that could benefit from using it. I’ve given out two because I just don’t have the time to get them up and running.

On the other hand, there’s UltraEdit. UltraEdit is the gorilla of the text editors- you can do just about ANYTHING with it, including code and run JavaScript. UltraEdit isn’t nearly as flashy as Discover, and I think the user interface is even more challenging. And the first thing you see when you open UltraEdit is this:


8 links on how to use the product. I learned to use UltraEdit from these useful links. I’ve learned to love it, and I ask for it whenever I start a new job. I tell others about it. I’ve purchased several licenses over the years, and I know others who have done the same.

Neither Discover nor Ultraedit are Walk Up and Use. But these two companies took complexity in different directions: Omniture is looking to sell training services. UltraEdit is facilitating learnability and product engagement.

To the Omniture powers that be (or even CAB members): please invest in usability. Find ways to let me share this valuable tool with my users.

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