How Should Developers Measure User Experience?

User experience is more important than ever.

By 2020, customer experience will pass brand and price as the most influential brand differentiator.

UX has a major role to play in creating a positive impression.

The downside is, user experience is incredibly subjective.

Finding meaningful metrics for evaluating UX is one of the biggest challenges facing developers today.

Fortunately, the increased emphasis on UX has generated some updated guidance.

Here are the user experience metrics developers should be tracking and the ones that aren’t as helpful as they seem.

Instead of Pageviews, Track Search Function Usage by Page

Pageviews are the average number of pages viewed by a single user in a single setting.

Traditional thinking held that the more pages a user looks at, the more excited they are.

In reality, a user who looks through a large number of pages may be frustrated and unable to find the information they need.

Pageviews are mainly helpful when they’re very low and conversions are also very low, which shows a lack of excitement.

Search function usage monitors which pages users navigate from using links and where they use the site search.

Ideally users should be able to navigate a site easily using links.

Outside of e-commerce sites, users won’t often resort to the search bar unless the feature they’re looking for isn’t obvious.

If a page has an unusually high search bar usage, it may be a good idea to reassess the design.

Instead of Average Time on Site, Track Engagement

Average time on site calculates how long a user spent on a site or in an app.

It’s misleading for a few reasons.

Like pageviews, it could reflect frustration or boredom.

Modern users also tend to keep several tabs open while doing something in another tab. This practice artificially inflates Time on Site.

Engagement measures how active the user is while they’re on a site.

It includes actions taken, visits per day or week, and linked social media accounts.

High engagement means users find the app functional on a daily level.

Besides increasing revenue through purchases and advertising, it drives new users since happily engaged customers act as brand ambassadors.

Read this blog post on how to keep mobile app users engaged for more tips.

Instead of Uptime, Track Retention

Uptime is the percentage of the time app or site is functioning and available to users.

While it is necessary for IT to monitor uptime to address technical issues in a timely manner, uptime reveals nothing about user experience.

The site being available doesn’t mean people are using it.

Retention tracks users who are still using the software after a specific time frame.

The common baseline for retention counts the number of users who return at least once within 30 days.

The average app loses 80% of its users within the first month, and the reason is often poor UX.

90% of users won’t return to an app if they have a bad first experience.

Most of these users won’t call support or submit help tickets; they just stop using the app.

Retention happens when users are generally satisfied and find that the app meets their needs.

That makes it a telling indication of user experience.

Instead of Revenue, Track Completion Rates

Revenue encompasses both earnings from in-app features and sales originating on an app or through a site.

It’s critical for accounting, but not the best measure of user happiness.

Good marketing and fads can drive revenue for short periods of time.

Eventually, though, poor UX will smother a trend early and discourage users from returning for future campaigns.

The “Completion Rate” tracks how often a user can successfully finish tasks. Tasks can be:

  • Register an account
  • Link a payment method
  • Make a purchase
  • Submit a help ticket
  • Share a product

Completion rate is simple, easy to measure, and directly assesses how well each particular feature is designed.

It’s a way to find a specific UX problem suggested in general terms by other metrics.

Building for and measuring UX is a complex process. Concepta’s experienced developers have a proven track record of creating attractive, easy to use apps and websites. Reach out for a free consultation on your next project! Request a Consultation