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Web-based logs contain potentially useful data with which designers can assess the usability and effectiveness of their choices. Most guides to World Wide Web (Web) design derived from artistic or usability principles feature no empirical validation, while empirical studies of Web use typically rely on observer ratings. Several sources of unobtrusive usage data are available to Web designers, including Web server logs, client-side logs, and other data. The naturally-occurring traces recorded in these logs offer a rich data source, amenable to normative use assessments and to experimental research comparing alternative Web designs. Identification of types of Web server logs, client logs, types and uses of log data, and issues associated with the validity these data, are enumerated. Finally, frameworks that outline how sources of use-based data can be triangulated to assess Web design are illustrated, and an approach to experimentation that overcomes many log data validity issues is presented.