Success Metrics

30 Apr 2004 - 3:14pm
12 years ago
1 reply
918 reads


1 May 2004 - 1:38am

Hi Whitney

Well said. I think we're in basic agreement. I was thinking of success metrics for a product, which could encompass both business metrics and usability metrics. Of course, usability metrics do indirectly contribute to the business metrics.

BTW... It was Frank Ramirez who said most of what you attributed to me.


Whitney said:
Success metrics for a business should metrics. They tell us WHAT the business wants to accomplish. (The same holds true for non-profits, gov't and fun sites, but their metrics might look very different. For example, one US government web manager said "the ultimate success for our department is to improve the health of the American people.")

Usability metrics tell us HOW we can design the site to meet those business goals.

-- Is working quickly important? Then, let's have efficiency metrics around how long a task takes.
-- Is finding, ordering and receiving the right product important? Then lets have effectiveness measures around success in going from vague desire to product in hand.

-- Does the task help users do something hard or unfamiliar? Then lets have ease-of-learning metrics.

-- Are we trying to persuade or convince? Sounds like a measure of how engaging the site is.

And so on.

Seen in this light, usability (and its user analysis and evaluation techniques) is a lens that helps us understand how to design to help users meet their the business can meet its goals.

It's all that stuff about understanding the specific users in a specific context doing something specific. Which is why there is not a single great design that we should all copy, and why usability is about understanding what "it" depends on.

And why no design can be properly evaluated without understanding the context.

Whitney Quesenbery
Whitney Interactive Design, LLC
e. whitneyq at
p. 908-638-5467

STC Usability SIG:


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