Measuring the value of design

Bryce Thompson

Something that always eluded me as a young designer was generating outcomes for my UX work.

I always thought in terms of my partners and their metrics (I.e. - traffic or active users). These business metrics are very laggy so you could influence these metrics, but you might not be around to see them to fruition!

Very frustrating as a designer.

Here’s how you can start to measure, with or without business guidance starting today.

If you’re familiar with HEART, this should be a good refresh.

1 / Happiness
When someone is using the prototype, are they leaving satisfied? We can measure this using a NPS score from 1-10 after task completion.

2 / Engagement
Are they interacting with the prototype or spending longer periods of time in the prototype? We can measure this with time on page and bounce rate %.

3 / Acquisition
After we’ve presented a value proposition or earned their input, do they sign up or convert? We can measure this with conversion % and analyzing click data for intent.

4 / Retention
This is a little trickier depending on the context but do they want to come back to the app? Do they want to use it everyday? A question we might ask is similar to PMF where we prompt “If you were unable to use this application, how disappointed would you be?”

5 / Task completion
When looking at prototype click data, are people clicking into the right areas? We can measure this by defining a successful task while also observing participants actual clicks and what they expected to have happen.

When you as a designer can generate data (even if it’s a small sample) you are creating a different kind of conversation with your team at the decisioning level.

Not only that, but you can’t wait and wait for design to go into production to get these measurements because that increases the risk of the solution.

So it’s important in your design cycle to get measurements at the end of your first week on a problem so that the team can make a decision on what will drive the most value.

Without that data, the team regresses back to their individual experiences to drive a decision.

Plus, prototype data is looking into the future, not the past to drive decisions or build confidence. If you’re an innovative company, usage data and past expertise are actually ways of perpetuating the status quo.

When in reality, the growth opportunity might be in the unknown. These methods of measuring help you de-risk and maybe even, triple down on a big bet.