Approaching design in a holistic and user-centered way is one of the key goals of user experience (UX) design. It helps tackle all major aspects of user-company interaction and create products and services that are elegant, efficient, and easy to use. For UX design to be meaningful and relevant, a company should be able to assess user experience accurately. However, this task is easier said than done, especially for newbies in the tech market. If you are one of them and want to expand your knowledge of UX measurement, this article is for you!
Evaluating User Experience: Learning the Basics
Most people are unaware of the backstory to every successful product or service. It’s a common misconception to think that the work is done once the product is out there. Of course, creating something new from scratch will probably take a lot of effort, time, and expertise. However, it also takes an ability to improve after the launch and embrace continuous development as a business philosophy.
Imagine you create a new service. You’ve invested all you had in making it perfect, and you feel relieved to cross the finish line finally. You launch the service and prepare for success. However, it would be a huge mistake to let things drift at this stage. Experienced UX professionals know that this is when things become interesting, as now you should measure how well users accepted the service. To do that, you need to examine UX metrics and see how the service lives up to your expectations in terms of performance, efficiency, and quality.
Tip #1: Determine Why You Need the Metrics
UX metrics is an invaluable source of information about your product. It can do the following things:
- Explain what customers are doing and how they are interacting with the service
- Show how long customers engage with each task
- Demonstrate how search and navigation are used
- Evaluate error rate and ease of use, etc.
- A/B testing helps determine whether the selected UX design is better than its alternatives
In other words, metrics are essential for UX designers to rely on facts rather than their subjective and, let’s admit, often erroneous perceptions of what works and what does not work. But how exactly can one measure user experience? Here are some hands-on tips to guide you through this task.
Tip #2: Find a Strategy that Works
Never dive into the task before you know what you are doing and why. Start by determining what metrics you want to measure (preferably quantitative and qualitative) and set the timeframes. We recommend looking at both short-term and long-term metrics to understand how user experiences change.
When it comes to metrics options, you are free to choose from the following:
- Task success rate – how many users finish a task (measured in percentages)
- Task completion time – how much time it takes for each task to be completed
- Conversion rate – how many people perform a particular task
- Retention rate – how many customers continue to use the service/product
- Satisfaction – whether people are happy with the service/product
- Error rate – how many bad entries are there
It’s best to use at least several of these metrics to understand what happens when users engage with your product or service.
Tip #3: Don’t Get Obsessed with Data
If you think that more data is always better, you cannot be more wrong. Adding many metrics options to the analysis is not necessarily better for your product, and it certainly won’t help you better understand how users respond to it. UX data are open to misuse, and there is always a risk of cherry-picking findings and overlooking important things. The key here is to know what metrics you need to inform decision-making. This is exactly what transforms data into valuable knowledge and helps you improve the product more effectively.
Tip #4: Go to the Source
Numbers can be tricky, as they do not show how people truly feel about the product or service. To learn more about this aspect of user experience, you need to collect qualitative data. You can conduct surveys, focus groups, or interviews with users, depending on how much data you need and what exactly you want to learn. For instance, if you are curious about users’ detailed accounts of how they utilize your product, interviews are the best option.
Tip #5: Read into Data More
UX measurement is not what you need to get over with as soon as possible. Be ready to do the thinking as well. Try to understand what went wrong if some metrics are alarming and decide what you can do to improve. If you feel that you lack a broader picture, seek advice from other managers in the company. The better you understand how the whole mechanism works, the more informed you are when it comes to interpreting and applying UX measurement data.
Tip 6: UX Measurement Is Not a One-Time Thing
UX measurement is not something you do once. Be prepared to collect and analyze the data regularly, especially after launching updates and adding new features. Create a schedule (e.g., once in two months) and stick to it diligently. The good thing is that you will get better at this task with time, making UX measurement more meaningful and efficient.
Tip 7: Rely on Professionals
Feel overwhelmed by these recommendations? Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Find a reputable UX design agency to conduct UX measurement. They will ensure that the work is done quickly and efficiently and that your human and financial investments in the project pay off. With experienced UX experts at your disposal, you won’t have to worry about anything.
Measuring UX experience may seem very difficult, given the number of metrics and techniques and conflicting recommendations available online. However, with best practices becoming more accessible, it is now possible to learn from the most successful players in the market. Use case studies, UX resources, and professional help to get the most out of your measurement. Don’t forget why you embark on this task in the first place, and you’ll find meaning and, hopefully, pleasure in evaluating user experience.