Hey product leaders and product managers! Only a few days ago I completed my 1st year working in Vietnam as a Product Design Leader for a tech startup based in Hanoi. I was thinking what is the one thing that UX designers and product managers struggle with the most? I could think of several challenges but I couldn’t understand how we can evaluate UX designer’s work and the metrics to measure these micro successes?

It’s a great way to learn from other large corporations and how they operate. I remember something that Jack Mau said in his video to give advice to young people. “Start with a startup to learn about everything. when you work for a large corporation you learn efficiency”. This quote in the challenge of figuring out KPI

What is KPI?

KPI refers to Key Performance Indicators. Designing being as subjective as it is and startups having flexible goals makes it super hard for product managers, HRs alike to. Key Performance Indicators stabilized criteria to measure progress toward strategic goals or the maintenance of operational goals. KPIs help inform design decisions along the way and measure results of the UX efforts.

Why focus on UX designers?

Well, UX designers at a staff level in a company’s hierarchy take have a direct effect on the company’s product. How? Let’s say your website converts visitors into paying customers by making a call to your sales team. If the UX of finding that information or making that call isn’t designed well, the business suffers drastically. Of course other members like front end engineers, UI designers, researchers, product owners and other team members also play a vital role in the execution of the final product.

What makes a successful measurement?

There are 4 key things you need to keep in mind when creating and analyzing metrics for UX design progress.

  • A timescale
  • A benchmark
  • A reason to be reported
  • An associated action

Let’s break down each of them one by one to understand their importance and how to tackle each of the steps.

1. Setting up a timescale

Research or analysis can’t go on forever. You have to stop and see what has changed over a period of time. You can either take the time frame to be based on a week, a month or several quarters. Larger, more established companies definitely have longer timelines than startups. Startups are usually restricted by their lack of resources and must have clear short term goals and expectations from the product and people who are working on making the product a success. How do you choose a timeline?

2. Setting a benchmark

What is it that we are aiming for? Where do we setup the benchmark? Is certain % conversion rate good? or is it too low? What’s the standard for my industry? Can i surpass my competition and industry standard? Knowing all this vital to know if you’re going in the right direction or not.

What to do when getting started from scratch. When you are getting started from scratch it’s nearly impossible to know if the data set that you’ve is actually useful in showing what needs to be done and what’s going wrong with your product. So for that I highly recommend looking at diib’s tool (can be used at diib.com). It’s easy to use and only takes about a minute to get setup. It links to your google analytics account and helps you understand what can be improved. The bite size actionable report helps you understand where you’re loosing against your competitors. This really helps when your online website or product has been setup for quite a while and has a decent amount of traffic coming in. Diib tells the user in plain english what is goin on with the website. This type of tech used to cost tens of thousands of dollars, just a year or two ago.

I tested my UI Design Template website UeyeDesign.com for reference and I could instantly understand what’s can be done and where I’m losing out.

3. Reasons to be reported

Why one metric is being reported over the other? Metrics must align with your company or product’s vision and business goals. If the goal is to increase number of registered users you want to make sure you focus on that aspect of your product and not look at alot of vanity metrics instead.

If the reasons for collecting that data is to find areas of improvement and increase revenue, you might want to study the conversion and bounce rate on your sales and checkout stages fo the website or app.

4. An associated action

Let’s say the traffic for the website is too low or the app doesnt have enough downloads in the first place. It’s important to have an actionable plan on where the resources should be focused. For example: if the bounce rate on the contact form is too high, you want to tweak the contact page little by little and observe changes in your data. Running a couple of A/B tests at this stage would be a good idea to nail down what works the best for your target audience.

So, What to consider when setting up metrics for UX?

Traditional Metrics

  • Conversion (sales / visits)
  • Product page conversion (sales / visits to product page)
  • Funnel analysis
  • Basket abandonment
  • Bounce rate
  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Subscribers
  • Unique visitors
  • Returning visitors
  • Page views per visit
  • Visit to order ratio (how many people visited your website and ended up becoming a paying customer)
  • Load time (speed speed speed)
  • Successful Registrations
  • Visit/session length
  • Page views per visit
  • Time spent on the page (To analyze a specific set of pages)
  • Time on site (overall)
  • Form abandonment
  • Failed internal search (results not found matching the search term)
  • Referring pages / links
  • Geographic locations

Financial / sales / business

  • Average order value
  • Basket value
  • Profit margin
  • Average sales price
  • Cross sell
  • Gross margin
  • Category margin
  • Cost per lead
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Lifetime customer value
  • Average customer value
  • Membership / subscription churn

If your business is heavily dependent on customer service or sales calls then here are something you need to keep an account of when calculating the metrics.

Call / customer contact centre

  • Average call length
  • Support vs sales calls
  • Inbound vs outbound calls
  • Web generated calls (unique number on website)
  • Web fulfilled information calls

Speaking of internal searches in the traditional metrics for UX.

Internal search

  • Search no results
  • # Search 1 to 10 results
  • # Search 10 to 25 results
  • # Search over 50 results


The metrics presented in this article will bring power to your team and create a clear direction for the product in terms of usability testing. Knowing what to improve is the first step of actually improving something.

Ashish Yadav

Author Ashish Yadav

More posts by Ashish Yadav

Join the discussion 4 Comments

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