Metrics that matter: How UX measurements drive product success

Service quality plays a key role in user experience (UX) but also in business performance – it is the emotional connection that users feel with a brand, product, or service that allows the business to stay competitive.

In April, we had the opportunity to share our thoughts with a unique audience at UXInsight 23’ Festival in Breda, Netherlands. Our presentation focused on helping designers and non-designers choose the right UX metrics for business or product decisions but also advocating for a more user-centered culture within organizations.

In today’s digital landscape, UX has become an essential factor in determining the success or failure of a product or service. UX refers to how users feel and interact with a solution, and it can be the difference between a loyal customer base and a failed adoption. A person’s experience is a combination of factors that lives in four different time spans.

Understanding experience-market fit

To achieve experience-market fit, a business must recognize that experience success is a comprehensive journey from start to finish that covers before usage, during usage, after usage, and over time interactions with a product or service. Overemphasizing a single moment, such as “during usage,” can be counterproductive – it may lead to underestimating the importance of other time spans that contribute to the overall end-to-end experience.

At Emergn, we strongly advocate that businesses embrace quantifying and measuring user experience to make informed, data-driven decisions that can guide their product and business strategy. User experience is a complex interplay of both pragmatic and hedonic properties. Therefore, we take a holistic approach that goes beyond looking at usability or aesthetics.

Taking a holistic approach to quantifying user experience

Quantifying experiences involves using UX metrics, which are quantitative user experience measurements. UX metrics can help businesses identify areas of improvement, track changes over time, and compare the user experience of various products or features. Businesses can use these metrics to better understand how users interact with their products and make informed decisions. Businesses that overemphasize pragmatic properties create a gap between what users expect and what they perceive as delivered. That is why it is dangerous to only relate to NPS (Net Promoter Score) or app store reviews because the problem with its metrics is like this tornado comic.

Opinions and feedback are often mistaken as interchangeable terms, but they hold distinct meanings. While opinions are subjective views or judgments about a subject, feedback is information shared with the aim of improving an experience. It is common for people to disguise their opinions as feedback, leading to a significant gap between user expectations and their perceived delivery.

At Emergn, we rely on the Gap Model of Service Quality to address this issue, which enables us to identify and evaluate different gaps that arise in a service delivery process. Using this model, we can create an action plan to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty, which is crucial to improve any end-to-end user experience.

With the help of this model, we can bridge the gap between customer or user expectations and perceived service delivery and ensure that our customers or users receive the best possible experience and value proposition. This approach helps us to provide valid feedback, which is essential to make data-driven decisions and improve our products and services to meet the needs of our users. So, how can we measure the perceived satisfaction of a customer or user?

Type of UX metrics to measure perceived satisfaction

There are many ways to measure success as there are to measure experiences. Self-reported, UX performance and issue-based UX metrics are distinct types of UX metrics used to measure several aspects of the user experience. But the efficient triangulation of the three types of UX metrics can give us a complete understanding of how the user behaves and perceives the quality of a product or service.

The first one generates the perceived data – how the user perceives the quality of your digital solution. The last two generate behavioral data from how users interact with your digital solution.

Issue-based and UX performance metrics will be a better instrument within this ocean of data if you connect them to how we arrived at a particular service quality through self-report UX metrics. For example, issue-based and performance metrics can measure the number of first-time signups and give us an idea about the effort required to reach new users. Still, they would not give us any insight into the perceived quality of a new signup. Self-reported UX metrics are our final layer. Although performance and issue-based UX metrics – like task completion time or error rates – have been commonly discussed in our field, self-reported metrics have not had the same spotlight. Its neglect can affect the effective triangulation of these three forms of UX metrics. In sum, self-reported metrics are based on users’ subjective feedback and opinions about their experience using a product or service. This includes user satisfaction, ease of use, and perceived value.

While there is a plethora of UX metrics covering the quality of services, organizations often miss the opportunity to quantify the experience to identify areas for improvement and highlight growth opportunities that stakeholders, product managers, and executives can understand and advocate for. By measuring each of these types of UX metrics, product teams can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the user experience and identify areas for improvement. They can then use this data to make data-driven decisions to optimize the user experience and ensure that it meets and exceeds user expectations. But the hard question is, what can I or should I measure?

Where to start?

To help you determine the most suitable self-reported UX metric and comprehend how to use them effectively, you can use our decision tree. Download the full decision tree and learn how to use it step by step.

The decision tree starts with task-based or study-based evaluation. If you want to collect objective data about your solution, feature, or task effectiveness and efficiency, you can move through a task-based evaluation. But if you are going to collect subjective reactions on the overall satisfaction of your solution, feature, or task, you can move through a study-based evaluation.

UX design leaders can use this decision tree to leverage UX data to create compelling narratives that inform the design process, drive business outcomes, and secure investment from product managers and decision-makers. With a design data-driven approach, designers can gain more strategic influence by moving closer to how to influence product and business decisions rather than just informing how to design. And how to do that?

UX Metrics are one more resource in your toolbox for you to drive change and growth. You can drive change by pointing out the damage from delivering a poor user experience. You can present metrics about how much it currently costs for your business and especially to your users. To drive growth, you can use UX metrics to shift from outputs to outcomes to construct UX success. You will be able to influence executive leadership to keep investing in user research to drive their business toward a more user-centered business model.

In addition to improving the user experience, quantifying experiences can significantly impact a business’s bottom line. According to a study by Forrester Research, improving the user experience can lead to a 400% increase in revenue. Using UX metrics to make informed decisions, businesses can improve the user experience and increase revenue.

In conclusion, quantifying experiences through UX metrics is an essential tool for businesses looking to improve the user experience and make data-driven decisions. By measuring and tracking UX metrics, businesses can identify areas of improvement, track changes over time, and make informed decisions that steer their product and business strategy.
Are you ready to elevate your user experience strategy? Our decision tree is your guide to selecting the most suitable self-reported UX metric and utilizing it effectively. Take this opportunity to optimize your user experience, influence product decisions, and grow your business outcomes.

If you enjoyed the article and are curious about other technology and innovation topics, our Insights are for you! You can start by learning more about How design systems power digital businesses and Strategies to overcome design debt.

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