UX KPI: Measuring user experience
One thing is for sure: User experience (UX) has long since ceased to be a nice-to-have and is becoming more and more important for companies. Eventually, this raises the following question: How can you manage your UX activities in a targeted manner? UX metrics and KPIs are good indicators for measuring this. But how can you find the UX KPIs that make you and your business more successful? What do you need to consider when selecting them? And what distinguishes promising KPIs? We will give you answers to these questions.
What are UX KPIs?
A UX KPI (key performance indicator) is a key figure to measure the success of UX initiatives over a longer period. It shows whether and to what extent a company has achieved its goals regarding UX. Based on the UX KPI, management can evaluate the progress of UX initiatives and derive further decisions.
How do you define your UX KPI?
UX KPIs are a beacon for organizations. You base your decisions on it. You use it to gain clarity on current priorities and to target your resources. UX KPIs are closely linked to the success of an organization and are based on theset UX vision of a company. For user experience design, we at UID distinguish between five basic objectives (see graphic) of how UX can support your company's success.
Always ask yourself the following questions first: What are the goals of your company? And how can UX help achieve these goals? Think about which indicators will show that you are achieving the goal, and determine key figures you can use to measure this. The answer to these questions varies widely from company to company and from industry to industry. Companies can use usability and UX design, for example, to promote innovation in the organization. Here, there are many established metrics already that measure the success of such initiatives – for example, the number of new products per 100 employees. For many companies, however, quality is the most important goal they want to achieve with user experience design. A positive user experience should bring the high quality of the products to the surface. People perceive quality very differently. Tools such as VisAWI or AttrakDiff are useful. With these, users subjectively evaluate the usability and design of the digital product.
Establishing agreement on UX KPIs
Whether promoting innovation, emphasizing quality, or retaining customers – no matter what function usability and user experience fulfills in your company, it is important: All stakeholders must agree on these. Many disciplines such as software, design, and marketing are working to integrate user experience into products and the enterprise. They can only be successful if there is clarity and agreement on the intended UX goal.
What are typical UX KPIs?
You are probably asking yourselves now: "But what standard UX KPIs do we definitely need to keep in mind?" That depends entirely on your UX goals. Example 1: Does your product itself have some compelling USPs? Is UX a hygiene factor for your product, and does it serve to demonstrate quality? Then you can confidently derive KPIs from standard metrics like error rates, conversion rates or the adoption rate of new versions.
If, on the other hand, the UX itself is an essential unique selling point for you, standard KPIs only make limited sense. Because you want to differentiate yourself from the competition. If all competitors in an industry use the same beacon, i.e., the same set of KPIs, then they also make similar tactical decisions. This way, you will never be able to stand out from each other. There is no such thing as "one" user experience. I cannot compare an app for mindfulness with a power plant control, a business software with a control for machines. A user experience always has a specific quality; UX metrics must match that. We therefore take a critical view of the current trend towards standard KPIs. However: We consider standardizing UX KPIs for individual industries and use cases to be entirely possible. However, few companies have any long-term practical experience in this area.
Application of UX KPIs in practice
You should regularly review and flesh out your UX KPIs to best support your overall goals. This is also shown by the following example: Our client was already using usability testing to optimize his/her products. The UX team conducted usability tests and derived stories based on recent findings. To make the anchoring of UX in the organization more measurable, our client established the following KPI: The number of stories that the development team implemented, eliminating operating problems.
The introduction of the KPI had several effects: On the one hand, the quality of communication between teams or departments increased: The UX designers in the company tried to better communicate and prioritize their findings and to highlight the added value or risk. On the other hand, there were also undesirable side effects: Researchers unconsciously tended to progressively define stories shorter. This is because the number of implemented findings increased and the KPI improved. We needed to take countermeasures here. The KPI is now no longer based purely on the number of stories. Rather, we also measure the associated efforts. So, the KPI can no longer be influenced by how small or large the stories are defined. Therefore, you should regularly reflect on your experiences with UX KPIs, optimize them and learn from them for the future.
The path to your UX KPIs
You first need to be clear about which goals
user experience should support in your company? In our workshop “Human-centered
digitalization”, we will get to the bottom of this question. A clear target
picture emerges of what user experience can do for your company. Based on that,
we will outline your UX strategy to help you achieve that goal – including
appropriate UX KPIs to measure progress.