Supporting Web analytics by aggregating user interaction data from heterogeneous devices using viewport-DOM based heat maps

  • Fabrizio, Lamberti; Gianluca, Paravati; Valentina, Gatteschi; Alberto, Cannavò

  • IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics (Volume: 13, Issue: 4, Aug. 2017)


  • 25 January 2017


The players of the digital industry look at network Big Data as an incredible source of revenues, which can allow them to design products, services, and market strategies ever more tailored to users' interests and needs. This is the case of data collected by Web analytics tools, which describe the way users interact with Web contents and where their attention focuses onto during navigation. Given the complexity of information to analyze, existing tools often make use of visualization strategies to represent data aggregated throughout separate sessions and multiple users. In particular, heat maps are often adopted to study the distribution of mouse activity and identify page regions that are more frequently reached during interaction. Unfortunately, since Web contents are accessed via ever more heterogeneous devices, region-based heat maps cannot be exploited anymore to aggregate data concerning user's attention, since the same Web content may move to another page location or exhibit a different aspect depending on the access device used or the user agent setup. This paper presents the design of a visual analytics framework capable to deal with the above limitation by adopting a data collection approach that combines information about regions displayed with information about page structure. This way, the well-known heat map-based visualization can be produced, where interactions can be aggregated on a per-element basis independently of the specific access configuration. Experimental results showed that the framework succeeds in accurately quantifying user's attention and replicating results obtained by manual processing.