Does It Even Work? – Top 9 UX Metrics and KPIs for Success

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    Home / Growth / Does It Even Work? – Top 9 UX Metrics and KPIs for Success

    Nowadays, everybody keeps saying that you should not bother with other people’s opinions. Be who you are, they say, and they are pretty much right, I guess? However, if you have a company, you have to care about what they say and how they react to you.

    Who are they? The ones who shall not be named. According to the legends of a distant land, they are your customers.

    user experience for success

    Now, here comes the million-dollar question. How can you learn what your customers think about you or how do they react to your product? There are two ways that are intertwined – user experience metrics and KPIs. Measuring user experience metrics and KPIs is one of the most important ways to understand your customers. So, it is time to learn how to utilize them.

    Why Do We Measure UX?

    As Alan Moore – the great writer of V for Vendetta and Watchmen comics – once said in V for Vendetta, knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it. That’s the main reason why you should measure UX – knowledge!

    Still, is it all? Can we just clump that into a word? Of course not. Let’s see why you should measure UX metrics.

    1- To Have a Better Grasp of Your Digital Impact

    UX feedback is generally made up of sentences that contain “I wish, or I like” – this is what we call qualitative data. However, by combining this type of data with operational data, you will reach the truth about your company.

    Combining these two types of data will create a reference point for your company to take action to understand whether your users are satisfied with the product and your product works the way it should.

    2- Create a Roadmap

    Once you have the reference point you need, you can evaluate the ups and downs of your application. After that, you can decide if there is room for improvement and the specific improvement’s timespan – whether it is long-term or urgent.

    UX metrics, in this regard, let you be free of your 6th sense. That means you are going to make informed decisions about the steps you should take first. Also, you and other stakeholders will have a dialogue based on the reference point you create; thus, you will find ideas collaboratively.

    This is why it is crucial to have a roadmap.

    3- Testing and Experimenting

    Another advantage of setting up a reference point is to create tests and experiments to investigate how well you and your competitors are doing concerning UX. Each of these two has different benefits for you.

    If you are to test internally – meaning your own product and applications, this will result in a better understanding of how successful you are and what makes you stand out, and what makes you lose to the competition.

    The other way, testing externally, will yield in having a better grasp of the place you are at in the industry and if there is an industry problem that is waiting to be solved by you – in other words, room for improvement.

    4- Customer’s Voice

    Everyone wants to be seen. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to be recognized as the person that they are and not a stereotype or an image.

    Loretta Lynch, former US Attorney General

    Everybody wants to be heard. Your customers are just more than simple numbers and revenues. They are the reason why you are there. You can show you care about them simply by collecting UX metrics.

    This way, you will be able to help them where they need support and make the improvements they wish to see both in the long and short term. Also, you can have engaging conversations with people about your application.

    How to measure UX - 7 steps to create a solid structure

    Now, you should be wondering how to measure user experience in the right way. That’s where we are heading right now. These are the 7 steps to measure UX in a solid way.

    1- Decide What You Want to Measure

    This is the first step. There are lots of UX metrics and UX KPIs out there, and you have to be able to create a subgroup of metrics and KPIs to start. You have to ask yourself four questions in total at this stage. 

    • Which KPIs and Metrics represent UX better?
    • What is your product type – meaning is it a website or an application?
    • Who is in your user group – their ages, job titles, etc.?
    • Which tasks and features do you want to measure?

    This step will make you create a roadmap to measure UX better. Also, the necessary and most important UX metrics and KPIs will be provided later; don’t worry about that.

    2- Methodology

    Every test and every experiment needs a methodology to find the results that are at least closest to reality. However, you have to bear in mind that there are limitations to choosing a method for your measurements. You have to consider the cost of the method, the skill set required for the method, and the tools you will use to get the best results.

    Now, you should be able to figure out the best methodology for your company’s resources. Generally, there are three types of methodologies used while measuring UX. These are;

    • Quantitative Usability. This method involves a set of participants using a system to achieve a goal and researchers who collect metrics that represent the user performance – such as success rate.
    • Survey. Simple, yet effective. You ask questions to learn their behavior, background, and opinions.
    • Analytics. The system automatically gathers the data you need.

    3- First Measurements

    Now, you can start carrying out a pilot study with a smaller number of participants. This way, you can understand what can be your first measurements. Also, this pilot study may show you some of the factors that might affect your data.

    The first thing can be the external factors that might change your customers' behavior or users in general. In an economic recess or summer, no one is going to buy umbrellas. That is counterintuitive to do so. Instead, try to understand these external factors and plan around them to get more stable results.

    Another thing is if you are to do this UX measurement study for the first time, you can test the performance of the industry, your competitor, and the stakeholders’ goal. For example, you can compare the amount of time required to do a task with your product versus your competitor’s product.

    Also, you can check out the industry standards for a metric. Again, it can be the time to accomplish a task in your product compared to the industry standard. Finally, stakeholders may put forward that the task must be accomplished within a certain amount of time.

    Combining these elements to your measurements, in the end, will return in your favor.

    4- Redesigning

    Now that you have the initial basis of how well your product performs, you can try something new with your product. You can keep redesigning the UX and the other details in order to see what is an advantage for you and a disadvantage for you. This period is full of trials and errors.

    The crucial part here is that you should refrain from messing with the good-performing features of your product.

    5- New Measurements

    It is time to bring the novel findings to the table.

    You should always keep in mind that you have to wait, but how long you should wait is not clear at all. It can be four months, maybe six months, it depends. As long as you are not using analytics data, you have to decide how long you should wait.

    Still, you have to give people a certain amount of time since people generally do not respond to changes that well. After a period passes, you can conduct a survey, for example. However, the dynamics can change. Therefore, you have to keep notes of the changing external factors that can impact your product.

    6- Evaluation

    At the end of all the things you have done, you must have two data points or more. In this stage, you will need statistical methods to uncover whether your data has changed due to the real points or just randomly. Otherwise, you would get stuck on a loop based on face values.

    7- Return on Investment

    Although not done by the great masses, this step is also important. You can understand how well UX does if you are to calculate the return on investment values. After that, you can tie the goals and the UX wellness to an actual rate or number.

    9 User Experience Metrics and KPIs for Success

    top 9 ux metrics and kpis

    Before you decide which metrics to use, you should definitely check out Google’s Heart Framework. This way, you can understand the basic areas you can choose metrics and KPIs in order to see your performance. The Heart Framework is made up of five factors.

    • Happiness. This factor is about how the users feel about your app or product. 
    • Engagement. What is the frequency of people coming back to your app and product to use it? 
    • Adoption. The number of people who have adopted the product and use it regularly. 
    • Retention. The percentage of people who are returning to the app. Churn rate and subscription renewal rate are the elements of this factor.
    • Task Success. Can people reach the goal and finish the tasks easily and fast? Search exit rate and crash rate are the metrics we need to calculate regarding this factor.

    Now that you know the factors, you can choose KPIs and metrics from the list below to suit your demands and better investigate how well your product does.

    1- Net Promoter Score (NPS)

    This KPI is bound to three customer types – promoters, who are loyal and enthusiastic, passives, who are happy with your product but not fully satisfied, and detractors, who are unlikely to get any product from you again and maybe discourage people from doing so.

    If we are to create a scale for the customer's happiness, promoters will make up 9-10, passives will make up 7-8, and from 0 to 6 are the detractors. In this KPI, you don’t count the passives.

    So, if you are to find NPS, the formula is to subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. To say, your user base is 80% promoters, 15% detractors, and 5% passives. 80 minus 15 equals 65 – that’s your net promoter score.

    2- Customer Satisfaction Rating (CSAT)

    Generally, you measure customer satisfaction rating on a scale from 1 to 5 – 1 being very dissatisfied, 5 being very satisfied. When asked individually, it is a metric to show if a person is satisfied with your product or not. If you are to sum all those metrics, let’s say for 100 people, and divide them by the number of people, you will have the CSAT for your group.

    3- Task Completion Time

    This metric refers to the amount of time a task takes to complete. This can be for every task you have in your product and app. Generally expressed by minutes and seconds, you can enhance the amount of time in order to enhance the user experience. The best way to calculate this metric is to get the average time of your users.

    4- Error Rate

    Errors are one of the best ways for you to see where your product has deficits. Errors, in this regard, come very handy for you to understand the whats and hows of your product. This KPI can be calculated by dividing the total number of errors by the total number of attempts.

    Let’s say that your users have attempted to complete a task one hundred times; however, they encountered errors twenty times – 20% is your error rate while completing a task.

    5- Navigation and Search

    These two are two of the most important user experience indicators. If your app or product is not easily navigable, your users will use the search option as a last resort. You can calculate these KPIs with the following formulas,

    • Number of tasks completed through navigation divided by the number of the total number of completed task
    • Number of tasks completed through search divided by the number of the total number of completed task

    Then, you can understand how functional your search and navigation features are.

    6- Feature Adoption Rate

    This KPI refers to the number of new users. If you are to find the feature adoption rate, you have to divide the number of new users by the total number of users.

    So, let’s say that you have 100 total users, and 10 of them are new users. The value of this KPI is 10%.

    7- Active Users

    One of the most basic metrics on this list, active users, can be investigated on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It is important to note that your number of active users has to be higher than the number of new users.

    8- Stickiness

    Based on the previous metric, stickiness makes you understand which features of your product keep people stick with your product. You can calculate this KPI with the help of the following formula; the number of daily active users divided by the number of the monthly number of users.

    Let’s say that your number of daily users is 100, and you happen to have 1000 monthly active users – 100/1000 equals 10%.

    9- Churn Rate

    Finally, the churn rate shows you how fast people have left using your product or app. This is highly important for your app since it shows how well adopted your app is among the users. The formula for this KPI is the total number of users at the end of the month divided by the total number of users at the beginning of the month.

    Let’s say that you have 900 users at the end of the month and you have 1000 users at the beginning of the month. If you are to divide 900 by 1000, you will have 90% - the remaining 10% is your churn rate.

    Now you can adopt the UX KPIs and metrics to have a better grasp of your product. After you have conducted the tests and measurements, you can improve your product’s UX.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a KPI in UX?

    KPIs are the indicators of the overall goals of your UX. These goals can be based on user satisfaction, stakeholders, and growth.

    What UX metrics are most commonly used?

    Churn rate, customer satisfaction rating, task completion time, error rate, navigation and search, feature adoption rate are the most commonly used UX metrics and KPIs.

    How is UX design success measured?

    UX design success can be measured by investigating relevant KPIs and metrics. 

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