Purpose Driven Design, How Metrics Shape User Experience

Hyder Jaffari
November 20, 2023
Purpose Driven Design, How Metrics Shape User Experience

User Experience (UX) design involves creating and improving the usability, accessibility, and overall experience of using a product or service on the web, for an app, and even for physical products.

Designers use market research, user feedback, prototypes, and even test variations before implementing a final design approach.

While a lot of academic and online content provides various core components of UX, we will focus on one area today: Goals.

UX Goals via Metrics

The biggest question in any UX exercise is the question:

"What goal are we trying to achieve?"

Designers address this by analyzing lots of data to determine a course of action. These data points are measured via metrics that help collect insights into how it supports the users in completing tasks and creating an overall pleasant experience.

Let's look at some of the goal-oriented metrics used to design a better UX.

1. Task Success Rate

Your website or app would have a certain number of tasks that a user would have to perform to make use of it. The metric here measures how well the design supports the user in achieving the goals at the end of each task, measured by the percentage of users who complete a task.

For example, you see a success rate of 90% on your checkout page, indicating that the design supports the goal of an efficient payment experience.

2. User Engagement

Engaged users are more likely to complete a task and accomplish whatever they are on your product, service, or site to do. The metric provides a general overview of the user experience.

For example, users tend to stay longer on your service site browsing for information, indicating a positive overall experience.

3. Time on Task

While designing an experience, the app's or website's usability will shorten or lengthen the time the user takes to complete a task. If you notice that users are taking longer than expected, designers must address this usability issue. If they perform the task quickly, this suggests a higher efficiency with goal completion.

For example, your users could quickly move from your navigation to find the necessary pages they were looking for, which shows that the design is user-friendly.

4. Goal Completion Rate

The entire premise of UX is to facilitate the most pleasant experience to complete a task. Your current design should allow your users to achieve their intended goals in as little time as possible, which means your design should actively align with the users' goals on your site.

For example, your site has a lead form and has achieved a high percentage of users submitting their information through it. Your design has successfully allowed them to offer their data easily.

5. Error Rate

During your design phase, measure how often a user encounters errors or faces usability issues while performing tasks on your website or app. The higher your error rate, the higher the chances that they won't accomplish the goals set out for your design.

For example, your login page shows errors during password entry, impacting user experience and their goal to log in.

6. Retention Rate

When user experience succeeds, your user continues to find value in your product. Continuing to use it over time is an excellent indicator that the UX has provided them with a pleasant experience and a successful goal implementation on your end.

For example, a consistent percentage of users continue to use your service or product over a measured period, indicating that your UX design has provided a positive experience.

While there are many more goal-oriented metrics you can monitor, measure, and implement to enhance your UX design, selecting the metrics you need for the goals and objectives of the project on hand is far more important.

For UX designers, the job doesn't end with just one iteration of these metrics; it is an ongoing task requiring regular monitoring and analysis.

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