User experience metrics aren’t just about conversions and retentions. They show us behaviors, attitudes, emotions — even confusion.

That’s partially why UX metrics are so complex. They can be both subjective and objective, qualitative and quantitative, analytics-based and survey-based.

Like QA results, UX metrics are aimed at uncovering user experience issues before a customer brings them to your attention so you can adapt and improve your product.

Since 67% of consumers churn due to a bad customer experience, these complicated metrics are extremely valuable. In 2017, Gartner forecasts that a whopping 50% of product investment projects will focus on improving the customer experience.

Leading tech companies use UX metrics to make decisions focused that put the customer first. Here’s how:

Metrics that deserve your attention

Just as CTR and bounce rate are the peanut-butter-and-jelly of the digital marketing world, there are some basic UX metrics (and metric categories) that can make or break an app’s success.

Engagement

Analyzing how users are engaging with a product is an absolute must. Number of visits per user per day would be a critical engagement metric for a social media app, while number of tasks completed would be a better indicator for any kind of automation platform. Other companies may choose to measure engagement in terms of time. How long are users staying in-app or on-site?

Efficiency

Time also comes into play when measuring efficiency. UX teams should know how long it takes to complete key tasks like:

  • Entering billing information
  • Customizing a profile
  • Filling out an in-app support ticket

The entire onboarding process must also be measured. How long does it take users to signup and complete their first task?

UX teams can use this data to reduce the amount of steps for a given task and simplify the design as much as possible.

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Efficiency metrics can be especially insightful after pushing out a design update. Is there a dip in efficiency as users get accustomed to a new process for transferring money? Or does the change immediately speed up the task for users?

Performance

We rely on our smartphones every day — even when we don’t have our chargers nearby. If you’ve ever uninstalled an app because you realized it drained your battery life, then guess what — so have your customers.

Performance metrics like load speed and battery drainage are easy for teams to measure. Testing platforms can deliver behind-the-scenes data that really enhances the customer experience.

Usability

Engagement and efficiency are definitely part of usability, but let’s take a second to talk about use and user flows. Are users recognizing the app’s cues? Are they able to follow along quickly with walkthrough steps?

One example of poor menu usability is if users are routinely relying on search navigation because they can’t find what they’re looking for in the menu.

But usability metrics can be simpler than that. The task success rate is an important metric that shows how many users can achieve what they set out to do.

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In 1986, the System Usability Scale (a 10-part questionnaire) was introduced, and it’s still used today. The survey can help support in-app analytics with real psychometric data for a more complete customer view.

Choosing the right UX metrics and understanding signals

Signals are often ambiguous. A long amount of time spent in one feature may be a positive, while in another feature it’s a clear negative. Let’s say a lawyer is uploading files to a firm management platform. There should be a set goal for upload speeds in a range of file sizes.

If file uploads keep taking users longer than desired, it’s worth looking into.

But a media or entertainment app will see high length of time spent as a good sign.

Because metrics mean something different to each product, no team should start with metrics. Instead, you must start with goals. Here’s the flow for tracking metrics strategically:

  1. Start with a goal
  2. Turn the goal into a signal
  3. Turn the signal into a metric

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Follow this process for every goal (including important basics like performance or task error rate) to come up with the UX metrics that will have a real impact on your product.

Boosting customer satisfaction with combined metrics

The 10-part SUS survey is only the beginning when it comes to subjective UX data. Because user experience needs to incorporate emotions and satisfaction, more customized surveys are a must.

Without incentives like discounts or prize draws, pop-up surveys have an average response rate of <3% while email surveys have an average of <10%.

Making your survey as unobtrusive as possible helps up the rate of response.

There’s a reason why two-question, two-step surveys are so common inside apps. When users are asked multiple questions, they’ll click away. But if you ask them something simple like, “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?” and then provide a scale of 1 – 10, then you’ll get more feedback and can then follow up with an additional question — which may or may not get answered.

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UX analytics and survey data should be combined with QA results for a full view into the user experience. QA gives insight into what improvements should be tackled first. QA results can help explain the “why” behind low-performing metrics and help teams triage.

The most immediate goal for tracking UX metrics is to fix problems before customers complain, so integrating with QA is a no-brainer. A combined analysis (including UX metrics, customer surveys, customer support conversations, and QA data) can impact large, long-term product decisions.

User experience metrics are becoming more sophisticated as companies continue to invest in improving the customer experience. Advancements in tracking are currently aimed at uncovering not just interactions but perceptions. Undoubtedly, adoption and innovation with UX metrics are on the rise.

Testlio provides comprehensive software QA services with a global team of skilled testers who are focused on customer satisfaction. To increase the impact of QA for your team, get in touch with us.

Dayana is a QA engineer turned technology writer living in Milan, Italy. She's always down for a smoothie.
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