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Types of UX metrics and their importance

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When people think of User Experience (UX) research, most would probably pivot towards the design thinking process, such as conducting user interviews or usability testing UX which are geared more towards the ideation stage of new features or products. But what happens once the product has been launched? Do designers no longer need to conduct research on the product?

What many newer UX practitioners fail to realise is that the UX process is one that is iterative and constantly evolving. User behaviors on products are closely monitored to gain insights that allow the company to release new updates or features that are more relevant to their users. For example, Youtube recently released new usability features such as pinch-to-zoom or precise tracking. These features offer users with better experiences by allowing them to easily pinpoint to specific parts of the video they want to view easily, rather than having to struggle with the scroll bar.

In fact, having an active user base means that companies are able to better track user behaviors on their product through digital analytics. That is where metrics come into play. Metrics allow UX designers to continuously measure data in user behaviours and attitudes after using the product. Through this, UX designers are able to continuously reiterate the product and provide the best user experience.

How to measure UX?

So how exactly does one measure something abstract like user experience? In this case, two different categories of UX metrics are often used – behavioural metrics and attitudinal metrics.

Behavioural Metrics

Behavioural metrics focus on how users interact with your digital product through factors that examines product usability. This accounts for how users see or feel when using the product. In essence, it is measuring what users do.

Product usability is an important factor as it is directly correlated with the ease of users in achieving their goals through the product. This can be achieved through the measurement of key metrics such as:

1. Average session length

The metric measures the average length of each session on an app or website, which is usually a strong indicator of user engagement. The amount of time users spend on the product correlates with their enjoyment of the experience.

2. Time on task

Zooming down to a more granular level beyond overall session duration, we can look into time spent on individual tasks. This metric is useful in providing various insights across different features. For example, more time spent on a shopping page might mean that users are taking their time to browse, whereas a longer time period on a checkout page might mean users have trouble entering information.

3. Conversion rate

Aside from user engagement, conversion rates can be a good indicator of overall UX. Following the previous example, optimising the checkout page to help users easily key in their information can improve the conversion rate. This can be used as a good measure to see if such UX optimisations have been successful in delivering overall impact.

4. Abandonment rate

In addition to the conversion rate, it is also important to measure users who fail to convert and end up abandoning the product instead. A vital example of this is the cart abandonment rate, which looks into users that leave the site before completing the checkout stage, which means that the company has failed to secure actual sales. Thus, this metric is helpful in identifying key gaps in the user’s experience throughout their user experience journey and more importantly, in the conversion stage. A high abandonment rate in a specific screen signals UX-related issues that may be preventing users from fulfilling their objectives.

5. Error rate

Lastly, the error rate looks into the frequency with which the user makes mistakes on a task, such as filling in a form field incorrectly. It measures by taking the number of attempts with errors, over the user’s total attempts. A page or feature with consistently high error rates may signify that there is a problem with unclear instructions or user interface.

Attitudinal Metrics

On the other hand, attitudinal metrics explore how users perceive and feel about the product. This approach gathers the user’s perspective and thoughts through a quantitative survey approach rather than measuring certain actions. It aims to answer questions centered around the areas of user satisfaction, loyalty, and credibility, such as:

  • Are users enjoying our product?
  • Will users use our product again?
  • Do users trust the product and team?

Let’s take a look at attitudinal metrics that are commonly used:

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

To put it simply, NPS gauges how satisfied users are with the overall experience of using the product. It usually prompts users through a simple survey at the end, with questions like “How likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?” Based on their ratings, users can be classified into different categories as shown in the diagram below. Essentially, this metric allows the monitoring of overall satisfaction and loyalty.

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2. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a good indicator of how well your users enjoyed the overall experience, and if it met their expectations or fulfilled their needs. Aside from measuring overall loyalty like NPS, CSAT can be more useful in measuring customer satisfaction with specific parts or features of the product.

3. Active Users (Daily or Monthly)

Tracking active users is a good measure for user retention. A good user retention behaviour is when the number of active users is higher than new users. This would mean that the day-to-day experience of the product is able to engage users and draw them back to it. For example, Instagram’s explore and daily feed features are effective in drawing users back to the app by promoting new content that is relevant to their interests. Being able to retain users on a daily basis consistently is crucial for a product’s longevity.

All in all, there is no hard and fast rule to choosing metrics to follow. Metrics should be analysed against each other, rather than viewed independently, so as to provide clearer context on the situation. When used properly, metrics can be a powerful tool to measure UX, pinpoint gaps in UX across the product, and generate a strong impact. Thus, such tracking processes should be incorporated into every user experience strategy.


This article provides a short glimpse Into how UX metrics can be used to improve and iterate on digital products. If you find such information insightful to you, be sure to check out our other articles as well. Additionally, if you’re looking to transition into the field of UX, be sure to check out CuriousCore’s 4-month UX Career Accelerator Course, where students get a chance to work with real clients and products.