Understanding the site creation process through data

A current project for the NYU Web Publishing platform is the design and development of a new site creation workflow. My goal with this project is to create a workflow that results in fewer abandoned sites. We currently have a large number of abandoned sites within our network and we’re unable to retire them due to resource constraints.

However, before design can even start, I needed to understand how the current site creation process is being used. The current process is implemented as a plugin by Neel Shah. For reference, the process has 4 steps:

  1. User selects one of these use cases for their site: Teaching & Learning, Portfolio, Administrative, or Research. This doesn’t change any part of the process, it simply provides us with that data.
  2. Users fill out a form to specify URL, site title, and privacy settings.
  3. Theme selection.
  4. Select plugins. This step is said to be optional in UX text.
  5. Process completed. Users receive a link to their new site.

There is one way around this module for creating copies of other sites, so while the majority of sites are created through the above process, not all are.

Based on my understanding of this process, I wanted to know the following:

  • How many sites creation processes were abandoned?
  • Where do users abandon the process?
  • what kinds of users (students, faculty, or administrators) create sites?
  • What kinds of users abandon?
  • How long do users spend on creating their sites?
  • How many sites do users usually create?

Many of these questions were focused on defining the user groups that I wanted to focus on when collecting qualitiative data. The primary customer in university academic technology is usually thought to be faculty, but I’m always suspicious considering the size of the student population.

Or, if Github’s ipynb rendering is working, you can view it there.