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Google Analytics new interface and navigation

  • UPDATE 11/10/2016 changes: Hierarchy navigation
  • UPDATE 02/11/2016 changes: Top/side navigation
  • UPDATE 25/05/2017changes: New Home and discover page

There is no doubt that Google Analytics is by far the most complete and powerful Analytics tool out there, not only because of its multiple reports and metrics but also because of it's a new and more intuitive interface. A brand new Home page, and new apps make your Analytics even more powerful.

Google Analytics Interface Update History

The new Analytics UI has a complete makeover based on Material Design standards, a visual language created by Google that is used in many of their applications. The changes have been gradual:

  1. Old interface (Before July 2016): The Top Navigation changed a couple of times in the last 6 months. The first one in July 2016 and the second one started to roll out in February 2017. Other applications like GTM had a similar change.Google Analytics Old Interface
  2. 1st update (Between July 2016 and January 2017): The top navigation remained almost the same; the links were moved to its own row and the color changed from blue to orange.
  3. 2nd update (Between January 2017 and May 2017): All elements of the top navigation were moved to the left section and the home link was removed.
  4. Current interface (Since May 2017): The Home button was readded but now it links to a new landing page with an overview of some of the most important reports. Also a new button "Discover" with links to resources and complements for Google Analytics.

Changes: Home Page, Interface, and Navigation

To better explain the new changes, I will divide them into 4 parts:

  1. Home Page
  2. Left Navigation
  3. Hierarchy Navigation: Accounts > Properties & Apps > Views
  4. Accounts, Settings, Notifications and New apps
Google Analytics New Home and Navigation

1 New Home Page

In the previous version, the Home button linked to the list of all your properties and views. You can still get to this page by clicking on the GA logo at the top left corner.

  • Old Home Page: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/#home/
  • New Home Page: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/#embed/report-home/

The New Home (screenshot above) will be the default screen and its link is located below the search box in the sidebar. It comes with a nice overview of the most used reports in the form of graphs, tables, and maps. An excellent way to visualize data quickly without much clicking, especially useful for new users. (the previous default page is in Audience > Overview report)

Meet the New #GoogleAnalytics Home and Improved NavigationClick To Tweet

Metrics not Showing by Default in Properties/View List (Old Home)

You may have noticed that in the list of views/properties (previous home page) the metrics numbers for Sessions, Avg. Session Duration, Bounce Rate, and Goal Conversion Rate are not showing anymore.

To show the metrics in the home page you just need to star either the view or the property. Once you mark it as a favorite, in the next data refresh you will see the numbers, or if you want it to get it right away, go to the bottom of the list and click refresh table.

2 Left Side Navigation (top menu merged)

The lateral bar is available across all sections of GA, and all four elements of the top menu were moved:

  • The Home links now to the new dashboard I described above.
  • The Customization and Admin link were moved to the sidebar.
  • Ther Reporting link was removed, no reports can be accessed from any section.

Customization Section

  • Previously it contained the Custom Reports only, now this section also has:
    • Custom reports 
    • Custom dashboards - Now all dashboards are shown in the same list, and you can filter them by Shared or Private at the top right corner of the dashboard window.
    • Shortcuts
    • Alerts
      Note: there was a bug that marked the dashboard as private even if they were set as shared, but it seems to be fixed now.

Report Section

  • The reports design remains the same. A couple of reports were removed:
    • Intelligent Events
    • In-Page Analytics (you can still access in-page from a chrome extension)

Admin Section

  • To my knowledge, the administration page didn't have any changes. (let me know if you know of any)

3 Hierarchy Navigation: Accounts > Properties & Apps > Views

The new Hierarchy Navigation has more intuitive controls for switching between Accounts > Properties > Views. This is especially useful if you manage multiple users, accounts, properties or views. The name of the property and view are now at the top left side of the screen with an independent navigation.

Google Analytics New Interface Navigation

One difference with the previous window is that everything was under the same column, including your user accounts. Now when you click on the name of the view, a window will pop up with 1 column for each level of the hierarchy.

4 Accounts, Settings, Notifications and New apps

Several things changed in this little section at the top right corner.

Notifications Area

  • still represented with a bell  has a cleaner interface in the form of cards. It also has a new button that opens them in plain text and will allow you to easily copy your notifications.Google Analytics New Interface Notifications

Google Analytics Apps

  • Represented by little squares in a big square shape. This is a new addition to the interface and it gives quick access to Google Tag Manager, OptimizeData Studio, and Surveys
    Google Analytics New Interface AppsSome of these Apps come in 2 versions: The standard and 360. If you want to know more about the new Google Analytics apps and the differences between them check this post  

User Settings

  • previously represented as a gear, now is replaced by the standard three vertical dots. From here, you can change the language, send feedback, and open the help menu.
    Google Analytics New Interface User Settings The possibility to choose a default date range for your reports was added to the User Settings.

Logged In Users

  • The last change you will find is in the user menu. This is now the same as other Google Apps with the list of all emails/users you have. There is also a link to your global Google account settings.
    Google Analytics New Interface Users List The new list will simplify the life of GA managers that work with multiple users.

Extra: Discover Page

Discover is a new section that doesn't provide any new functionality to GA but it has links to handy tools, great resources, and other complements that will help you make your Google Analytics more powerful.

Summarizing

The new Google Analytics interface will certainly simplify some common tasks and bring joy to the millions of Analysts that use this service. Besides the evident visual changes based on Material Design there are a few functional improvements.

  1. A brand new Home with an overview of your Visitors data. The previous home (list of properties) can still be accessed by clicking on the GA logo.
  2. A more intuitive and clean navigation using Google’s Material Design standards. Both the top and lateral.
  3. All Customizations in one place. Now Custom Dashboards, Reports, Shortcuts, and Alerts can by found in the section “Customization”.
  4. Simplified GA View switching. A new picker at the top left corner allows moving between Accounts/Properties/Views easier from any screen in GA
  5. A streamlined login flow. Logging in now automatically takes you to the last Google Analytics View you were previously viewing.
  6. An adjustable default date range You can now change the default date range that GA reports load with. Defaults are now set to 7 days.
  7. Goodbye to a couple of things
    • Automatic Intelligence Events will be replaced by automated insights from GA Assistant.
    • In-Page Analytics. If you miss is, you can still get it with this Chrome extension!
  8. The addition of Google Analytics Apps is also good news, not only for Premium users (Analytics 360), some of the new apps (Optimize, Surveys, Data Studio) will be available for free users too. 
  9. A new section "Discover" with links to excellent Analytics resources, tools, and complements.
Meet the New #GoogleAnalytics Home and Improved NavigationClick To Tweet
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