Leadership teams in organizations need ROI data to make business decisions. However, UX is subjective and accurate measurement does not exist. How does someone measure intuitive design, ease of use, brand recall and satisfaction? Emotions and Cognition that a user experience triggers are even harder to measure and quantify.
What are UX Metrics afterall?
â€‹â€‹UX metrics (which combine some Usability metrics) are considered to be measurements of how users engage with the products and services offered by a business. Some organizations define their own methods and scales for measuring UX. However, copying those metrics and methods of measurements in another organization or product would not be acceptable.
Furthermore, UX metrics feed into a number of other metrics used to measure business performance against business goals. User Experience does not provide all metrics required to set a business KPI. UX Metrics may not provide an exact monetary value, they may be related to an estimated increased revenue, decreased costs, decreased dropouts or increased sales.
UX metrics help to measure success of an action undertaken by the UX teams, even during product development. Selecting suitable UX metrics also depends upon the purpose of the project. For example, a UX benchmarking project would need different UX metrics to justify the investments in comparison to another which is about conducting a series of exploratory research.
Types of UX Metrics
The most common classifications of UX metrics are behavioral (based on user actions) and attitudinal (based on users' feelings).
Behavioral UX metrics are more accurately estimated in a Test environment as compared to doing so based on all traffic (including visitors, intendors and buyers) on a LIVE product. While analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, etc may give clearly measurable metrics, specialized Usability testing tools provide accurate and relevant behavioral metrics such as Task Success, Time on task, Steps to completion, most preferred path to task completion, Clicks/Taps, etc. These are often referred to as Usability metrics.
Attitudinal UX metrics are based on what users say based on what they feel about a Design, product, service or a brand. These metrics are clearly quantifiable and count on larger sample sizes. However, their accuracy is often in question because what people say vs what they do may not be the same. The answers that people provide are based on recall which is not the same as during the use.
What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things.”
â€• Margaret Mead
These UX metrics can be collected using several methods e.g. online surveys, part of usability testing - both moderated and unmoderated, or any other form of intervention. System Usability Scale (SUS), Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Standardized User Experience Percentile Rank Questionnaire (SUPR-Q), USERindex and UEQ (User Experience Questionnaire). These metrics tend to be signals of a product performance post-launch and that can give mixed information about UX. Traditionally, some of these metrics (e.g. NPS, CSAT) have been used by marketing departments and there is a growing mis-perception of measuring UX using these metrics.
None of the metrics described above on their own are perfect to measure the impact of UX for all environments and organizations. It is recommended to select which metrics are relevant to your project, business and organization. The UX metrics could be used to drive design decisions throughout the course of product development. Unless mapped to design efforts, using UX metrics is less useful in retrospect and more useful towards measuring UX during product development and also used to convince stakeholders. Various forms of proactive UX research is needed to understand the impact design decisions can have on a business.
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