Measuring success is one of the challenges in leading a modern Product Design team, which encompasses roles like Product Designer, UX Researcher, and UX Writer.
Knowing what to measure can be difficult. You can’t track everything. Even if you could, where do you get the data? While every company, and every department, will have its own goals and ways of tracking performance, when thinking about UX team performance, there are three main areas that should be monitored.
- UX / usability of the product, reflecting the product’s ease-of-use and the user’s satisfaction.
- Impact of specific design initiatives the team has undertaken, to ensure they align with the desired outcomes
- Performance and productivity of the team to keep the design process effective and ensure the team is happy and operating well
Each of these domains requires a distinct set of metrics, to inform decision-making and drive continuous improvement. Let’s take a look at some of the specific metrics that are typically used.
Note: I took some of these suggestions from Gitlab’s UX department performance indicators, which are freely available online, thanks to Gitlab’s policy of radical transparency
Product Usability Metrics
Here are some fundamental UX metrics:
- System Usability Scale (SUS): A quick-and-dirty, but reasonably reliable tool to measure the usability of any system or interface
- Total open SUS-impacting issues by severity: Monitors the volume and the severity of open usability concerns with the existing product
- Usability Test Metrics: Measure the performance of specific areas of the product, or of proposed designs, through usability testing. Usability metrics may include:
- Task Success Rate: Measures how successfully users complete tasks
- Time on Task: The time it takes to complete a task
- User Error Rate: Monitors errors made while interacting with the system
Design Impact Metrics
These are usually specific to particular projects or initiatives with a significant design component that have already been implemented, and relate to the goals of those projects.
Examples of outcome measurements might include:
- User Engagement Metrics: e.g., page views, session duration
- Conversion Rate: Reflects on design’s impact on user actions
- User Retention Rate: Indicates if design changes keep users coming back
Team Performance & Productivity Metrics
- UX Writer Revision Rate: Tracks volume of revision requests made by UX Writers.
- Product Design volume: Tracks the volume of contributions by designers, e.g. number of Jira tickets worked on
- UX Team Member Retention: Measures team stability and satisfaction.
Modern UX performance metrics are pivotal in evaluating and enhancing software product usability, as well as improving the performance of both individuals and the team.
While you may only employ a handful of the metrics suggested above, it’s important to pick some metrics that can provide actionable insights, so that you can effectively manage both your team and your product.