9 user experience (UX) metrics you should know

Posted on April 4, 2024
9 min read

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Product designers know how important it is to create a seamless and satisfying user experience (UX). But what is the best way to measure success? Choosing the right UX metrics to track is crucial for sustained product success. By conducting user testing and analyzing hard data about the customer experience, designers can harness actionable insights to drive product improvements and foster user loyalty. 

Whether the product in question is a website, a mobile app, or a software platform, the user testing metrics a product team chooses to measure determine how the product will perform and evolve over time.

What are UX metrics?

UX metrics, also known as user testing metrics and usability metrics, are measurements that help assess and evaluate the overall quality of a user's interaction with a product or experience. These metrics provide insights into how users perceive and interact with a product. The goal of analyzing UX metrics is to identify areas for improvement and to empower the product team to make data-informed decisions to enhance the user experience.

Quantitative vs. qualitative metrics

Quantitative and qualitative metrics serve distinct purposes in assessing the user experience. Both types of metrics are essential for a comprehensive UX evaluation, as they complement each other and provide a holistic view of the user's journey with a product.

Quantitative metrics

Quantitative metrics center around numerical data, providing a clear and objective picture of user behavior and interactions with a product. Analysts often view quantitative metrics as statistical analysis, which allows them to compare data precisely and identify trends or patterns.

Metrics such as conversion rates, task completion time, error rates, and page load times are quantitative in nature. Quantitative metrics provide concrete numerical data and are useful for benchmarking, A/B testing, and tracking changes over time. These numerical metrics are highly scalable and collect data from a large number of users or interactions.

Qualitative metrics

Qualitative metrics are descriptive in nature and are typically collected through open-ended feedback, surveys, user interviews, or observational research. They involve words, narratives, and opinions. These metrics capture subjective insights, including user perceptions, emotions, and opinions about the product. They help uncover the "why" behind user behavior. Qualitative metrics are valuable for gaining a deeper understanding of user needs, pain points, and preferences. They can reveal issues that quantitative data alone might not uncover.

User satisfaction, user feedback, and usability testing observations are examples of qualitative metrics. These and other qualitative metrics provide context and depth to quantitative data, helping to understand the user experience from the user's perspective. 

Top 10 most common types of UX metrics

The specific user testing metrics a product team should track will depend on the nature of the product, its goals, and the aspects of the user experience that are most important to the design team. By collecting and analyzing these metrics, designers, and analysts can gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects that contribute to a successful user experience. 

Below are the 10 most common categories of UX metrics, including examples of each.

1. Usability metrics

Usability metrics are crucial in evaluating how easy it is for users to accomplish tasks with a product. These metrics focus on the efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction of user interactions. Usability metrics include:

  • Task success rate: This metric measures the percentage of tasks that users successfully complete. A high task success rate indicates that users can efficiently achieve their goals within the product.
  • Time on task: This measures the amount of time users take to complete a specific task. Shorter task durations often signify a more efficient and user-friendly experience.

2. User satisfaction metrics

User satisfaction metrics provide insights into how users feel about a product. They help assess overall user contentment and the likelihood of users recommending the product to others. Examples of satisfaction metrics are:

  • Net promoter score (NPS): NPS gauges user loyalty and willingness to recommend the product to others. NPS measures customer satisfaction and categorizes users into promoters, passive users, or detractors based on their likelihood to recommend.
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score: Measuring CSAT allows users to rate their satisfaction with the product on a scale. This metric provides a quantitative measure of user contentment.

3. User engagement metrics

User engagement metrics track how actively users interact with a product. These metrics help evaluate the product's "stickiness" and the frequency of user interaction. Engagement metrics may include:

  • Number of sessions: This metric counts the instances when users open and engage with the product. A higher number of sessions may indicate strong user engagement.
  • Session duration: This measures the time users spend in a single session. Longer session durations can imply that users find value in the product.
  • Frequency of use: This measurement assesses how often users return to the product. Frequent use indicates that the product remains relevant and useful to users.

4. Conversion rate metrics

Conversion rate metrics are especially relevant for e-commerce and marketing websites. They measure how well a product encourages users to take specific actions, such as making a purchase. Some conversion rate metrics are:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of users who click on a specific link, such as an ad or a call-to-action button. A higher CTR suggests effective design and messaging.
  • Conversion rate: The conversion rate tracks the percentage of users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase. A high conversion rate indicates a successful user journey.
  • Abandonment rate: With this metric, the product team can assess the percentage of users who started but didn't complete a conversion action. Reducing this rate can lead to improving user satisfaction and conversion rates.

5. Retention rate metrics

These metrics measure how well a product keeps users coming back. High retention rates indicate that users find value and satisfaction in the product. Common retention rate metrics are:

  • User retention rate: This metric measures the percentage of users who return to the product after an initial interaction. A higher user retention rate signifies product stickiness.
  • Churn rate: This is the opposite of user retention rate, measuring the percentage of users who stop using the product. Reducing churn is vital for maintaining a healthy user base.

6. Error rate metrics

Error rate metrics help identify issues within a product that may hinder the user experience. Monitoring and reducing error rates can help improve a product's usability. Error rate measurements include:

  • Error frequency: This tracks how often errors occur during user interactions. Reducing error frequency enhances user satisfaction.
  • Error severity: This metric measures the impact errors have on the user experience. High-severity errors can lead to frustration and abandonment of the product.

7. Task completion time metrics

Task completion time metrics evaluate how long it takes users to complete specific tasks within a product. Faster task completion times often mean better usability. Some task completion time metrics are:

  • Average task completion time: This measurement calculates the average time it takes users to complete a specific task. Reducing this time can improve user efficiency.
  • Percentile task completion time: This metric can provide insights into task duration for different user groups. Identifying and addressing outliers is necessary for a smooth user experience.

8. Accessibility metrics

Accessibility metrics assess how well a product accommodates users with disabilities. Inclusivity is not only essential from a legal and ethical standpoint but also enhances the user experience for a broader audience. Important accessibility metrics may include:

  • WCAG compliance: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set standards for accessible web content. Measuring WCAG compliance confirms that users with disabilities can use the product.
  • Screen reader compatibility: This metric helps ascertain that all users can access the product and use it effectively. Product teams can measure this by testing their product with screen readers and other assistive technologies.

9. Loading time metrics

Tracking loading time metrics is imperative for web-based products. Slow loading times can significantly impact the user experience, leading to frustration and abandonment. Some measure loading time via:

  • Page load time: This metric measures how long it takes for a webpage to fully load. Faster load times lead to a smoother and more enjoyable user experience.
  • Response time: This measures the time it takes for the product to respond to user actions. Reducing response times improves user engagement and satisfaction.

How to choose the right UX metrics for your product

Selecting the right UX metrics to measure for a specific product is a must to understand and improve the user experience. To choose the best metrics to track, a product team should consider several factors. 

Understand the product and goals

The team should start by gaining a deep understanding of the product's purpose, its target audience, and the goals the team wants to achieve. Is this an e-commerce platform aiming to boost sales or a content site looking to increase engagement? The product's unique characteristics and objectives will guide the team's choice of UX metrics.

Identify user journeys

An organization should map out the different user journeys within the product. This could include actions like signing up, making a purchase, or searching for information. Teams should recognize the touchpoints within these journeys and the specific tasks users need to accomplish.

Prioritize user needs

The team should consider what matters most to the product's users. Which aspects of the user experience are critical to their satisfaction and loyalty? For an e-learning platform, it might be seamless content navigation and course completion. For a social media app, it could be user engagement and sharing. The UX metrics the team chooses to track should align with the product users' priorities.

Set SMART goals

The product team should create specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for a product. SMART goals help the team define the specific outcomes it wants to achieve and the corresponding metrics that will measure success. For example, if the goal is to increase user engagement, a metric like session duration or click-through rate could be relevant to track.

Consider industry benchmarks

The organization should research industry benchmarks to understand how its product compares to competitors or similar products. Benchmark data can help a team set realistic targets and identify areas for improvement.

Test and iterate

The team can start by selecting a set of initial UX metrics that align with the product's objectives and user needs. Then, they implement these metrics and continually test and iterate. Over time, analysts may find that some metrics are more informative than others, and the product team can refine its UX metric tracking accordingly.

Leverage user feedback

No organization should underestimate the power of direct user feedback. Users can provide valuable insights into their experiences, pain points, and preferences. Teams can use surveys, interviews, and user testing to gather qualitative data that complements the quantitative metrics.

Stay agile and flexible

The digital landscape is dynamic, and user expectations evolve. Any product team should be prepared to adapt its UX metrics as needed. What's relevant today may not be important tomorrow. Teams should regularly assess the relevance of the chosen metrics and adjust them as the product—and the audience—evolves.

Getting the most out of UX metrics

Choosing the right UX metrics for any product is a strategic process that requires a clear understanding of the product, its users, and the organization's goals. UserTesting's Human Insight Platform combines both quantitative and qualitative metrics, giving product teams a comprehensive view of their products' strengths and weaknesses. Adding qualitative context to quantitative data enables teams to make informed decisions and continuous improvements that cater to their users' needs and expectations. Ultimately, effectively tracking and analyzing UX metrics can lead to a more user-centric, efficient, and satisfying product.

By assessing the right metrics, considering important factors, and staying open to adjustment, any product team can make data-informed decisions that drive product improvements, enhance the user experience, and ultimately lead to greater user satisfaction and product success.

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