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Making GTM better

A few tweaks from Google would really improve my day.

Google Tag Manager is a strange beast. Its purpose is essentially abstraction -- to provide a layer between a website and multiple types of site measurement. It’s been used brilliantly, loosely, badly and plain-old abusively in many cases, but it is trying to make it possible for non-developers to (for instance) be able to quickly set-up Google Analytics tracking on a button, as well as experts to set up more in-depth measurement. But like all interfaces that try and simplify things without losing complex functionality, it can quickly dissolve into very domain specific language that seems unintelligible from the outside.

And that’s where I am at the moment, using GTM to try and build logical tags of reliable data from horribly un-semantic, React-built spaghetti-code web sites that needs lots of custom JS in GTM to interpret them.

Because I was a front-end developer in a previous life with some UX background, I understand that no UI/UX is perfect and there is always more that you learn the more you fix it. I’d like to think I could make a few suggestions to the GTM team at Google that would make my day (and hopefully yours) much easier:

The edit-preview-edit round trip (sorry, you’ll need sound -- haven’t captioned it yet)

The preview button and preview refresh link if no changes since the last refresh.

Suggested preview button and refresh link style if updates have been made and not yet previewed.

Suggestion for the a "reload" button in the debug panel to be aware of preview refreshes, prompting you to re-load the page to see the update.

Highlighting items that have recently been updated to make them easier to return to in a long list.

I wish every time I came back to this list, it was still sorted as "last edited first".

The Variables panel -- split into "Built-in" and "User-defined". My nemesis.

The "usage number" in the trigger list. Could we have this in the Variable list too?

I wish I could inspect without spending the next two minutes clicking buttons.