How To: Measure UX Efficiency
As companies settle to online platforms, it is no longer a matter of just products/services’ properties and positioning that companies should consider investing into. The importance of UX/UI design can hardly be overstated when it comes to creating customer-friendly and efficient ecosystems for websites and apps. Design can build a bond with client, influence the decision making process.
That said the more essential UX becomes for digital products, the more crucial it gets to develop metrics to measure design efficiency. That’s where the scope of approaches leaves much room for experiments and unconventional points of view.
In this article, we’ll optimize our experience and common practices into a universally adjustable set of solutions. And before we jump to further detalization, it’s critical to set one thing straight. Any performance indicators, any metrics are futile unless you: a) can actually measure your chosen data, b) develop a system of goals to identify success. In his 2015 article, ex-google designer Kerry Rodden offered an easy-to-use toolkit of goal’s assessment Goals-Signals-Metrics:
Focusing on the outcome of UX design arouses a simple, yet significant question: what is the ultimate goal of this or that design feature? What is the feature’s global task? Not in terms of increasing any rates, but rather what it ensures content-wise, user-wise. However difficult it is to set the right goal for elements of UX design or product properties, it may be useful to star with global scope, and if necessary – break it down to simple task. It allows you to get a clearer image of results you desire to achieve and see the progress.
After you set your global goals, you have to identify the point where these goals are reached. Every goal should determine user behaviors that act as a signal for that particular goal. For example, whether visitors engage with Cadabra’s blog content, read this article to the end or even go deeper in blog. Considering you’re an app developer, a failure signal for your UX design can be browsing into general screens, but avoiding any call-to-action elements. These set of signals is bound to indicate behavior of users and allow adjustments on a more global scale. Whether your target audience is more likely to follow the custom website/app logic or bounces at some particular screen.
While there is a staggering number of potential signals you might implement, not all of them are actually relevant for your case. But once you fix the signals’ toolkit, it’s important to research how you can track them and analyze. One of the obvious outcomes of goal-signal-metrics approach is the possibility to adjust the UX design and increase efficiency. Bearing that in mind, signals should indicate the attributed performance regardless of changes in design.
Signals might seem an already comprehensive set of tools to value your goals. Yet, however useful, this data can be refined further. From failure/success system, you can deepen into details of the performance results. To analyze Cadabra blog’s engagement we might go from the number of articles read by visitor to percentage of articles unread per day.
Detailed or providing a more vague insight, Goal-Signal-Metrics approach is bound for just one thing – help you make a decision over creating or adjusting your UX design. Considering this task, you have to beware of excessive measuring detail and unnecessary large set of tools.
Now that we set critical conditions for adequate UX design evaluation, it’s important to outline 3 main types of methods we utilize for measuring UX efficiency:
Today we will focus on two major methods: Customer/client behavior and Financial. This will give you an essential grasp of how you should maintain control over your UX design. We’ll cover marketing metrics for UX evaluation in one of our next articles.
Tracking user’s behavior
Obviously enough, the easiest and most logical way to evaluate any design or implemented feature is to receive feedback from the target audience. Whether it’s a matter of subjective reviews in form of surveys or actual user data. While you might tend to disregard subjective data as misleading or divisive, a well-crafted survey can point out the flaws in UX elements. It’s by no means an ideal tool, but rather a valuable add-on.
What is much more important, when you build your KPI (Key performance indicators), is to balance both objective and subjective data. You cannot make decisions solely on numbers or indicators; you need impressions to make a coherent analysis. For example, your site stats show you how users avoid a certain tab when browsing the site, yet this information is useless, unless you consider users’ direct opinions, to eliminate any bias.
Essentially, to keep the balance of measurement and analysis, there are two main levels of UX metrics, KPI’s: low and high levels. Common low level metrics are those traceable indicators include:
Pageviews is the number of pages viewed by a unique user
Uptime is the percentage of time the website or app is accessible to users
Latency is the amount of time it takes site or app to response user’s action
Bounce rate is percentage of a single-page sessions on your site
Daily active users is the amount of unique users interacting with the site or app within one day
Opponents of the traditional low level metrics claim that this approach can and should be adopted to the manipulative internet reality. We’ve chosen 3 of the interesting enhancements proposed. Listed below, they are intended to provide a deeper insight into user’s interaction with site or app:
Similar to bounce rate, this metrics is more targeted as it tracks bounces not over one particular, but different pages, creating a route of user’s pageviews, before user decides to go back to where he started the site or app experience.
Engaged pageviews per visit
According to Ezoic blog, engaged pageview is the one where the user has spent a reasonable amount of time “engaged” to the page. That said, user is not “engaged” if he is scrolling elsewhere but on the site’s pages, or app’s screens. This metrics will allow you to understand how much changes in your page design influence user’s attitude and involvement.
Copy/Paste per page
This metrics becomes useful if your main product is information. Moreover, the information you are eager to share with your users for free. At least some part of it. Getting people to like your article is good enough, but making them want to share its bits with others – this is a success story. Of course, social media shares matter and are easily traceable, but also easily manipulated with set of promotion tools. Copy/Paste per page metrics provides a much deeper approach. Opposed to the low level metrics, high level deals with user’s attitude and behavior on a larger scale. We’ve talked about the impressions and opinions part earlier – here it is. It might be a combination of survey approach and site/app monitoring. Traditionally, one of the most common UX measurement toolkit for high level metrics would be HEART metrics:
Happiness – the overall attitude, satisfaction user feels regarding your product
Engagement – the degree, user is involved in your site/app: visits, actions, etc.
Adoption – the number of times new feature was used within a certain amount of time
Retention – the number of users loyal to the site or app within a certain time frame.
Task Success – while latency provides a particular technical indicator, Task Success covers a broader scope of tracking metrics for user’s action. How well the task is completed, time required, amount of errors occurred.
From feature to revenue: ROI in UX design
Once the client-oriented strategy is done, UX design optimized for the best engagement an metrics are set, it’s the very time to answer the question, how exactly this whole system will convert implemented features into dollars. Actually, this question is one of the first to be asked by any entrepreneur before even starting the business. Yet in terms of UX/UI it all comes to three main metrics, according to UX Planet:
This metrics is the first KPI you should include in your UX financial efficiency toolkit. As simple as it sounds, this metrics allows you to receive a rate of users who, let’s say, subscribed or bought your product comparing to the overall number of visitors who browsed through.
Although you might get the impression it’s the product that attracts user, this concept is inaccurate and misleading. Because the conversion rate is calculated and measured from the company’s site activity, UX affects conversion rates immensely. Brand elements, usability and accessibility are all related to the UX strategy. Conduct user tests to understand why certain components of your UX support user’s decision to accept your offered products/services, or in other cases drives user away. Such tests can be performed at UserTesting.
As explained earlier, this metrics is crucial to measuring UX design efficiency and understanding user’s behavior. In terms of financial indicators, bouncing rate allows to build a proper conversion funnel on the website or app.
Single Usability Metric (SUM) To Record Errors
Remember how we stated that data, however compelling cannot provide you with answers. To understand the best way of designing effective UX and drive users into your conversion funnel, you need to interpret analytics correctly. It’s not the advantages of your UX you should be analyzing, but the errors and means to avoid them.
One of the most effective ways of measuring UX design errors Single Usability Metric (SUM). Standardized SUM measures task completion rates, task time, user satisfaction and error counts. You can easily calculate SUM via such services like measuringu.com. MeasuringU takes your site/app usability indicators on a task-by-task basis and converts them into a SUM score with confidence intervals.
Things to keep in mind
– While the temptation of sticking to marketing and financial metrics, headed by conversion, is high – it’s a misleading concept, that doesn’t give you the whole scale.
– Ratios are more effective than numerical indexes
– UX design is a constant improvement. Keep UX efficiency measurement running to maintain control over your audience
– Focus on both low and high level metrics. It’s the combination that gives you the correct vision
Developing a set of metrics for your product or service is a challenge in itself. Tracking them can become a cornerstone of the whole measurement process. With a broad scope of web analytics platforms and apps, you can easily get lost. But we won’t let this happen, so here’s a short list of tools to overview your UX design efficiency:
Google Analytics (Mobile and Web analytics). Arguably the best website analytics tool, one of GA main advantages – it’s free and it’s advanced. Too advanced for an average user. Setting it up is sometimes an unnecessary challenge. Which is here are the best alternatives.
Heap (Mobile and Web analytics). Possibly one of the best subsitutes to Google Analytics. Almost perfect in terms of set up, it allows you to examine the most crucial data on your website and build your won system of metrics.
Clicky (Website analytics). It’s not radically different from Google Analytics, however it’s biggest advantage is accessibility, capturing essential set of features and facilitating their utilization in real time.
Localytics (Mobile analytics). A great freemium multi-platform tool with advanced segmentation and easy-to-use features.
UXmag: Evaluating UX by measuring task efficiency
GV Library: How to choose the right UX metrics for your product
ConversionXL: 8 Effective Ways of Measuring UX
The Interaction Design Foundation: Google’s HEART framework for measuring UX
UX Planet: How To Calculate the ROI Of Your UX Activities
Ezoic Blog: UX Metrics That Are Changing How We View Visitors
UserZoom: Top User Experience (UX) Measurements, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) & Usability Metrics
Nielsen Norman Group: Translating UX Goals into Analytics Measurement Plans