User experience is the concept of gauging the satisfaction or frustration of your users while they interact with your product/service. Optimizing the user’s experience throughout their journey is one of the best ways to improve your brand image and secure lasting engagement.
Before you can improve your offering, you must develop a deep understanding of where you can improve their experience. To do this, you need to analyze some key metrics and KPIs to gain a holistic view of your customer experience. That way, you can accurately measure user experience with data points.
This article will outline some helpful metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can use to help measure and improve your user experience.
Why UX strategy is important
You might think that improving your experience is simply down to improving your product where it’s most lacking. While this might correlate with your customer’s needs, there is much more to building a UX strategy than product changes.
You need to make UX changes based on metrics, internal constraints, and brand positioning to effectively target the customer’s needs. This means considering what service your brand is providing, what resources the business is allocating towards this issue, and what kind of experience the user expects.
As you create a UX strategy, basing your decision on key metrics and business restraints will guide you to the best possible solution. You can’t create a good UX strategy in a day. It takes planning, careful consideration, and efficient design work to ensure that you will secure a solid end product.
How are UX metrics and KPIs different?
You need to measure metrics and KPIs to balance your UX strategy effectively. But what is the difference?
UX metrics are measurements that help establish users’ satisfaction, frustration, and feelings towards your product/service. They are usually subjective measures of the user’s opinion and therefore relate heavily to the perceived efficiency of your service. Additionally, you cannot apply UX measures to your entire brand or multiple experiences because they’re strictly associated with a specific task or journey.
A KPI (Key performance indicator) is a quantitative measurement that defines success for a given criteria. For example, CAC (customer acquisition cost) is one of the most common KPIs for a growing business. This measures how much they spend for each customer they acquire. The important thing to remember is KPIs are always data-driven, while UX metrics can be more subjective and opinion-based.
Important metrics to measure user experience
Customer satisfaction is one of the most important metrics to track when improving your user experience because it shows how many people’s needs are being met. In a field that is very opinion-based, this metric provides a quantifiable measure for a given experience.
Traditionally, you determine customer satisfaction through a survey (or an interview) at the end of the customer journey. The average of all the answers will be shown as a percentage representing the overall customer satisfaction.
While this test is helpful, it’s only a starting point. This is because it measures general satisfaction and the end of the journey and doesn’t measure the relative efficiency of the previous touch-points during the user’s experience. You can circumvent this by providing multiple questions within the survey to get more nuanced data. However, it’s important to keep this in perspective when analyzing your customer satisfaction score.
Your product abandonment rate or website bounce rate is an excellent way to measure the opposite of customer satisfaction. This measures how many people visit your product or website and leave soon after without redirecting further into your product.
The abandonment rate is a helpful metric when looking into product design and engagement but is especially useful for online retail businesses.
Single Ease Question (SEQ)
The SEQ is similar to the customer satisfaction metric but is a one-time question asked immediately after a task is completed during a moderated or unmoderated usability test. It traditionally asks users to rate the previously completed task’s difficulty from 1-7.
The SEQ is a good way to analyze an individual task’s difficulty when separated from the rest of the experience. This is something that the customer satisfaction score struggles to accomplish because it is a more holistic analysis.
You should note that this metric, while getting close to an objective analysis, can still be slightly subjective due to the relative task difficulty. Some tasks will be inherently more difficult than others, so regardless of their optimization, they might score lower than an area that needs improvement.
While subjectivity will always be a hurdle, SEQ helps locate areas where users experience significant friction, which can be extremely helpful when creating a UX strategy.
Important KPIs to measure user experience
Task success rate
The task success rate is a KPI that measures the number of users that accomplish their goals in a given workflow. This essentially measures the people who finish their task, regardless of experience, and those who complete it successfully. There is a key difference between successfully completed and finished. It can mean it was easy to complete, or it’s important enough that they worked through the experience to the finish.
Tasks that have an apparent beginning and end are the best areas to implement a task success rate KPI. This KPI is beneficial for locating places where users experience increased difficulty, but it isn’t great at diagnosing that issue. Once you find out where people are bailing on their tasks, you need to develop an understanding of why to solve the problem.
Task time is a KPI that measures the average amount of time users take to complete a given task. Similar to task success rate, it’s easiest to implement this into a flow with a documented start and end so you can accurately track their journey.
In most cases, a shorter task time will be better because it means people complete their tasks more efficiently. In most areas, shorter task times will align with greater satisfaction, with the exception of social media/entertainment viewing.
One additional metric you can look at within this KPI is after analyzing the total average task time, look into the task time for only those who completed their task successfully. Understanding how the successful, average, and unsuccessful task times differ can help understand where exactly people lose patience in their journey.
The error rate tracks the frequency of user errors during their given task. This is an effective KPI to gauge how efficient their experience is, and a lower error rate will usually indicate that their tasks are easier to complete.
Analyzing the error rate is helpful because it sheds light on many possible factors. These include:
- Does the user need additional information before beginning?/li>
- Is the design interface challenging to use or confusing?
- Did you lay out the task inefficiently?
- Are we missing any critical components to their success that they expect to be present?
Adoption & retention rate
Adoption and retention rate are two similar KPIs that can be very effective when optimizing your onboarding experience. They are similar to the abandonment metric but focus on the number of people entering the platform and filtering those who find lasting engagement.
The adoption rate is the number of new users onboarded during a specific period of time. It’s not restricted to users, however, and can be applied to a new feature you roll out. Both new features and new users are a good place to focus when analyzing the adoption rate to see how successful the cutting edge of your business is.
The retention rate is a different KPI that measures the number of users that find long-term value in your product. You calculate this statistic by measuring the daily new users vs. the daily active users. It’s up to you to determine what qualifies as a “new user” or an “active user,” and you will need to determine what time frame you’re conducting your analysis within.
Overall, the retention rate of your product helps clarify what areas need prioritizing and how your roadmap should look. If you need to collaborate visually on your roadmap or customer journey, you can use this free storyboarding template here.
When building an effective UX strategy, you need more than just assumptions to create it properly. These seven metrics and KPIs help measure your user experience and are a great first step to moving your product forward.