UX Metrics: What You Should Measure and Why

July 8, 2024
8
Min read
Content:
Writing team:
Dmytro Trotsko
Senior Marketing Manager
Dmytro Trotsko
Senior Marketing Manager
Oleksandr Perelotov
Co-Founder and Design Director
Oleksandr Perelotov
Co-Founder and Design Director

In today's competitive market, user experience (UX) plays a crucial role in a product's success. Understanding and effectively measuring UX metrics can significantly impact virtually all business vitals. This includes product activation, retention, and referral rates. 

This article delves into what UX metrics are, their types, how to measure them, and how to choose and prioritize the right ones for your product. Let’s dive right in.

What Are UX Metrics?

UX metrics are specific measurements that help evaluate, among other things, the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction of a user's interaction with a product. 

Another way to look at it is to conceptualize UX as a combination of utility, usability, and desirability. As such, a UX metric would be qualitative or quantitative as to how much utility, usability, or desirability there is in a product.

It’s important to note that UX metrics do not exist in isolation; they are closely linked to higher-level product metrics, particularly those in the AARRR (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue) framework. These metrics have different weight depending on the industry. For example, for SaaS UX, retention is key for sustainable business growth.

An illustration of a funnel that shows the path from acquisition, activation, retention, revenue and lastly referral
Source

UX metrics primarily impact activation, retention, and referrals, although they also influence other metrics indirectly.

Now that we know what UX metrics are, let’s briefly go over why they matter.

The Shift to PLG or Why UX Metrics Matter

Coined in 2016, the concept of product-led growth has been steadily gaining favor. The term was developed in opposition to sales-led growth (SLG). SLG entails the typical division of roles among marketing, sales, and product teams. The way things have always been.

Three pillars of PLG: build with end-user in mind; provide value before requiring it; be data-driven in all things
Source

On the other hand, the concept of PLG stipulates that product is what does the marketing and selling. Great products, according to the PLG principles, spread via word of mouth and convert users via exceptional UX. 

This approach necessitates a deep understanding and meticulous tracking of all product metrics by UX designers.

Types of UX Metrics

UX metrics can roughly be categorized into three main groups: performance metrics, self-reported metrics, and business metrics. Additionally, we’ll talk about more strategic metrics that are impacted by numerous factors and not only UX.

Types of UX metrics: strategic, performance, self-reported, business

Performance Metrics

Performance metrics are tied to usability and are typically measured through usability testing. Key performance metrics include:

  • Task Success: The percentage of successfully completed tasks.
  • Efficiency: How quickly users can complete tasks.
  • Time on Task: The amount of time users spend on tasks.
  • Learnability: How easily new users can learn to use the product.
  • Error Rates: The frequency and types of errors users encounter.
A list of performance metrics: task success, efficiency, error rates, time on task and learnability

The list is not comprehensive. You’re welcome to come up with your own metrics that make the most sense for your product.

Self-Reported Metrics

Self-reported metrics are based on user feedback and can be gathered through various methods such as user interviews and satisfaction surveys. Important self-reported metrics include:

  • Likert Scale Ratings: Users rate their experience on a scale, typically from 1 to 5 or 1 to 7.
  • Open-Ended Questions: Qualitative feedback on user experience.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures user loyalty and likelihood to recommend the product.

Usability testing aside, you may also gather usage metrics for things like drop-off rates, page dwell times, etc. In isolation, these may not offer a lot of insights, however, they are important clues to get you thinking in the right direction.

Behavioral Metrics

Behavioral metrics are less commonly used but provide valuable insights into user interactions. These include:

  • Eye Tracking: Analyzes where and how users look at the screen.
  • Click Heatmaps: Shows areas of the screen where users click most frequently.

Business Metrics

While not exclusively UX metrics, business metrics like conversion rates, time to first purchase, and lifetime value are significantly influenced by the user experience.

{{case-study}}

How to Measure UX Metrics

Performance Metrics

To measure performance metrics, conduct usability testing sessions. Analyze recordings of these sessions to establish a baseline and track improvements over time.

Self-Reported Metrics

Incorporate self-reported metrics into regular processes. Use qualitative interviews to stay in touch with user needs and employ Likert scale questions to gauge satisfaction.

Behavioral Metrics

Although setting up behavioral metrics like eye tracking can be challenging, the insights they provide can be invaluable for refining the user experience.

How to Choose the Right UX Metrics for Your Product

Selecting the right UX metrics involves aligning them with strategic, higher-level product metrics. For instance, if data shows that Slack users who invite at least five team members are more likely to convert to paying users, optimizing and tracking this behavior becomes a priority, especially if better conversion is among the strategic goals of the product.

Strategic goals aside, let’s cover performance, self-reported, and behavioral metrics.

Performance Metrics

Performance metrics require little prioritization. Their value is in creating a baseline for further comparison and in evaluating usability for newly designed flows. As outlined in the previous section, here are a few common performance metrics: task Success, efficiency, time on task, learnability and error Rates.

Self-Reported Metrics

Embed self-reported metrics into your internal processes. Regular qualitative interviews and Likert scale surveys are essential for maintaining user satisfaction. The question is what you should ask. 

It’s typical to integrate NPS surveys into the product experience. This should also ensure you’re getting a good number of answers across time. 

Behavioral Metrics

While more complex to implement, behavioral metrics provide deep insights into user interactions and can guide significant UX improvements.

How to Prioritize UX Metrics

With UX metrics, the approach we suggest is to prioritize them bottom-up: starting from basic usability and then climbing all the way up to strategic goal. In a nutshell, there’s little sense of long-term strategic decisions without having the basic usability ensured.

Usability Metrics

Prioritize usability metrics first, as a product must be usable before addressing other aspects.

Business Goals

Once usability is ensured, focus on business goals such as profitability and customer retention.

Strategic Goals

Align your metrics with strategic goals that support your business objectives. For instance, if new competition emerges, focus on metrics related to customer retention, such as repeat purchase rates.

Conclusion

In summary, understanding and effectively measuring UX metrics is crucial for any product aiming for success. By categorizing and prioritizing these metrics, and aligning them with broader business goals, you can create a user experience that not only satisfies but delights your users, driving long-term growth and success.

Verida
Data Wallet Design Case Study

We helped raise $50 mil. in funding and won 2 design awards. Here's how.

Preview of the case

Frequently Asked Questions

No items found.
This is some text inside of a div block.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Just a heads-up: we use cookies to help make our website more exciting.
You can find details on the Privacy Police page.
This is some text inside of a div block.