Our latest State of UX survey asked 100 UX, design and product development professionals working in the software industry to share their approaches and attitudes to the user experience. The results confirmed what we suspected; while most executives and leadership teams across an organization recognize the value of UX (81%), too few can effectively measure it (59%).
Traditionally UX design metrics have been overlooked and difficult to measure. Most data capture occurred after a product went live, limiting UX design metrics to useful feedback vs strategic UX research intelligence. Fortunately for design teams today we’ve got more access to rigorous UX metrics than we’ve ever had before. In an instant, we can see how user engagement, usability and adoption metrics can impact revenue.
Committing to five simple habits that measure and communicate key UX design metrics can have a huge influence on how much your business partners value good design and the impact it has across the business. The following are five habits your team can embed in your process:
Habit #1: Create user stories business partners can’t ignore
People pay attention to what is relevant to them, so invite leadership stakeholders within the business to watch user stories that directly relate to their responsibilities. For example, if you want to gain buy-in from customer support teams and your business model is subscription-based, measure specific experiences that contribute to renewing or cancelling subscriptions and show the team exactly where the user experience works and where it falls short.
Habit #2: Provide clear and digestible insights
Measuring UX can quickly overwhelm product and development teams because of the sheer amount of data pouring in all at once. Rather than triggering analysis paralysis, take the time to organize key data into digestible chunks that are relevant to each stakeholder.
Once you’ve got metrics organized, commit to making sure each stakeholder understands what they are looking at. Rather than letting them make their own assumptions about data visualizations, take the extra step to brief them. For example, your marketing team might think that a short amount of time spent on a page indicates limited engagement. Help them understand that it may also mean that the experience is great, and that users are efficient in their tasks.
Habit #3: Make metrics less intimidating and more accessible
People feel empowered when they can access information and understand it. A great way to get your teams comfortable accessing UX metrics is by sharing those that are simple and interesting. Starting with positive metrics can boost morale and reinforce the fact that not all metrics require resolution.
Once you’ve got the team wanting more, you can share the bigger picture and explain how metrics are affecting Objective Key Results (OKRs) or how research findings are influencing upcoming designs. Imagine simultaneously congratulating the dev team on a job well done while boosting competitive sales intel. In one presentation you could simply share outcomes of the latest product sprint by summarizing the key features users loved most in the next release.
Habit #4: Continuously monitor your metrics
Goals can and do change quickly, especially in an agile environment. This is precisely why metrics should be a movie, not a snapshot. Continuously monitoring metrics over time helps uncover whether you’re on the right path, or whether you need to pivot. In addition, consistently monitoring a combination of metrics organized within a comprehensive framework can generate a more meaningful view of projects.
Habit #5: Invite business partners to champion a user’s voice
User-centred design can feel like a solo responsibility, but the earlier you invite business partners to champion the user’s voice, the more ‘skin in the game’ they’ll have when it comes to making decisions and supporting design improvements. For example, let’s say a development team wants to strip down a feature that doesn’t seem worth the build. If you have a product owner in the room who has seen a relevant user interview, you can ask them to share their point of view and help reinforce reasons to rally around the build vs. reasons to retreat.
Now is the time to create habits that de-mystify user experience metrics and make them easier to access and understand. When your team can do that, you’ll empower your partners and impact the business in extraordinary ways.