Website Analysis Isn’t a Game

A few games of Roller Coaster Tycoon don’t usually translate into productive work, but for one developer the diversion planted the seed for making website analysis more intuitive.

Several years after playing those inspirational games, Robert Savage came up with VisitorVille, a website-traffic analysis package that essentially crosses the DNA of SimCity with that of the traditional chart- and graph-centric tools businesses have long been using.

VisitorVille employs a graphical, urban metaphor to present information about customers’ real-time Web-traffic flow. A company’s entire Web presence is seen as an urban or suburban neighborhood, with each individual Web page presented as a building. The more visitors on a site, the taller the buildings, and the brighter the lights on each floor.