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Is User Experience measurable ?

Many organizations look for tangible numbers to justify efforts and money spent on improving user experience of websites or applications.

Of course, there has to be valid reasons to continue the investment for user experience and surpass the reviews done intermittently on the value it is providing.

Today, it is not enough only to get a subjective confirmation from users on the overall design acceptance and satisfaction.

What does it mean when users mention a website is 'easy to use' , 'it is good', 'that was easy', 'I saved a lot of time' ?

User experience can be measured by quantifying user feedback and efforts put in the design can be validated :

1)  Qualitative Feedback
 This type captures user feedback on usability or user experience statements. A Likert scale is used to capture such feedback. Typically, ratings from scale of 1- 7 or 1-5 are captured. User experience statements could be :
 a)'I found the design simple to comprehend'
b) 'I could locate where I am on pages while doing my tasks'

2)  Quantitative feedback

This type of feedback brings in more numbers to the table for everyone to see some tangible progress/issues on design.

Here are different ways a design team can get active, measurable user feedback on their design.


2.1) SUS Score:

The one number which needs to be mentioned is the System Usability Score or SUS Score .
 This number indicates whether the design in progress is acceptable to set of users and if design is going in right direction. Higher the score , higher is the acceptance of users towards design. Example : a score of 85 out of 100 means users are positive about the new design and will be keen to work on it.

2.2) Task Completion ratio:

Another number which signifies how many critical tasks a user is able to complete from the number of tasks given to perform during usability test sessions.

If 80 % of tasks can be completed by users, it means there are some tweaks needed to complete the other 20 %. But in general the design is going in right direction.


2.3) Time for Task completion

A user taking longer than expected time for a specific tasks to complete signifies there is some problem with either the way information is laid out, naming conventions used or visual clarity.
 This is not to know the exact time in terms of milliseconds, but, to get an overall impression whether the task is getting difficult for users to complete.


2.4) Number of Errors

If user is given 5 tasks and there are 8 errors/issues user comes across while performing or completing them, there is a problem with design.

Minimum number of errors could baseline a design. More number of errors could ask designers to go back to white board to see and analyze what went wrong.


These are some of the numbers which can provide insights on what is going good with design or what are the issues still need to be worked out.

Quality of User experience can thus be measured by both qualitative as well as quantitative feedback.

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