Google Analytics Interface Changes

17.01.2013 in EnglishNews  von Katrin Mathis

If you logged into your Google Analytics account yesterday you may have noticed some changes as Google has rolled out a structural makeover of their navigation plus an improved dashboard.

Restructured Top Navigation

With the update, most notably the navigation is restructured. The orange top navigation bar now has a home button that takes you back to your list of accounts and profiles. Next to it, the accounts list dropdown became wider and now contains a section for recent profiles which helps especially when managing a long list of accounts. Reporting now combines the former Home plus Standard reporting tabs in one and Custom Reporting was renamed to Customization.


When scrolling down longer reports the top navigation bar now stays always visible at the top of the page. Though this is a nice feature, the top navigation bar is certainly not the options needed most when scrolling down on long pages. Instead I would love to easily access the left navigation, date picker or filter options from there. 

Google Analytics restructured top navigation
Google Analytics restructured left navigation

Restructured Left Navigation

The left navigation within profiles was split into two parts: My stuff contains Dashboards, Intelligence Events and the relatively new Shortcuts that used to sit within the Home tab previously located in the top navigation. Real-time analytics that was also part of the former Home tab moved into the standard reports and Google AdWords which used to be a self-contained navigation item slipped into the advertising section within traffic sources were it makes perfect sense. Even though you can connect custom reports to the reporting tab using shortcuts I don't quite understand why this differentiation is still made. In my opinion, custom reports would be a perfect fit below standard reports in the left navigation.


Real-time reports are no longer in beta though unfortunately no additional metrics and dimensions have been made available. I'm curious to see whether Google will expand this feature and show for example real-time conversion data.

Overall I appreciate the new structure because it's easier to jump between standard reports and dashboards or real-time data. Another pain used to be the date reset when moving to another tab. Now the selected data range persists even between Reporting and Customization tab.

More flexible and powerful dashboards

Dashboards are extremely useful for keeping an eye on key performance indicators at one glance. In Google Analytics v5 the dashboard functionality was already expanded allowing to create more than one dashboard per login.


Now dashboards have seen another overhaul. What I find most valuable is the possibility to apply advanced segments to dashboards. I use advanced segments all the time and for me they unleash the full potential of web analytics.


Their layout is no longer fixed but users are more flexible in choosing a layout that suits their needs.

Google Analytics new dashboard layout options

Dashboard widgets were furnished with two additional widget types: Geomaps and a bar widget with sophisticated options.

Google Analytics new dashboard geomap widget options
Google Analytics new dashboard bar widget options
Google Analytics new dashboard geomap and bar widget output

More profound updates ahead on the road to Universal Analytics

The structural makeover makes the navigation more coherent and the dashboard benefits from a range of additional options. This update has been a rather small one on the road to Universal Analytics that will be gradually rolled out this year and that I will cover in another post.


What do you think about the changes and have you spotted any additional modifications? Please let me know in the comments.


Katrin Mathis, UX Konzepterin und Service Designerin aus Freiburg

Katrin Mathis
MBA in Service Innovation & Design und BSc in OnlineMedien berät seit über 10 Jahren Unternehmen, die digitale Transformation zum Nutzen ihrer Kunden einzusetzen.