In the past few years, I have sifted through more trace data than I care to remember. By trace data I mean logs of actions taken by users on Internet sitesmostly aggregated data from many users, but sometimes data from single users, such as search query logs. Why all this immersion in activity logs and trace data? When designing and developing any kind of technology, data is useful for many reasons, some of which are: evaluation and understanding, using summative methods. Did feature X or service Y get used? And if so, what happened just before or just after…
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