User experience (UX) research differentiates your brand from competitors. All other things being equal, if you can improve engagement and usability, you’ll gain more conversions and keep site visitors coming back for more.
When it comes to UX research, many different variables factor into the big picture of web design. Fortunately, some key performance indicators (KPIs) stand out as crucial while others just refine the project.
We’ve narrowed the selection of UX points you should focus on to eight key metrics. Study these factors and follow the tips to improve your conversion rate and customer loyalty.
1. Time on Page
Time spent on the page is an important indicator of whether your content is hitting the right points. It can also inform whether marketing is targeting the correct audience. If people come to your page and spend five seconds before leaving, you may have a content issue or marketing problem.
People are busy with short attention spans. You have to grab them to keep them on the site. More time spent may not indicate the full value of a site. You can get your point across quickly and the user might move to the next stage of the sales funnel.
Take the time to dig into the full analytics of user behaviors once they land on your site. Do they only spend three seconds on the home page but then go on to read several articles? If some topics are more popular than others, you can move them above the fold for easy access. If people keep clicking on different areas looking for a topic, additional content may help.
Spending time on the site or a page may mean the user is engaged but might also indicate confusion about where information is.
2. Task Rate
UX research can also include the task rate, especially for apps or sites that need the user to perform a set of tasks. Looking at the average length to complete set tasks. Does it match up to how long it takes your internal testers to complete?
If you notice some tasks take a longer time or are left incomplete, you should revisit that point in your user experience and see if anything needs to be adjusted. Perhaps the call to action (CTA) isn’t clear enough. A longer job can be broken into multiple steps to move the user along and make the process less complex.
To get your task rate, look at how many users successfully complete the item compared to how many abandon the process. Digging deeper helps you understand why some elements are more difficult than others.
3. Error Rate
You can access your error rate in a variety of ways. Most web providers offer a website error rate. For example, you might have a starting page for your pipeline that has a complex name. People may type it in wrong and get 404 errors.
However, you should also look at errors within the task itself, which can be measured via software or simply by looking at bottlenecks in the system.
When mapping your customer journey, pay attention to the number of errors divided by the number of task attempts. Multiply by 100 to get the percentage of errors.
Keep in mind that modern customers may use multiple channels and zigzag through their journey like a bumblebee flying from flower to flower. Recognize the difference between leaving your site and never returning and accessing the information from a different device.
Customer surveys are a key indicator of what needs to be changed. Take the time to ask people what part of the process is unfriendly for them. You can’t fix a problem until you know it’s there, so gather feedback and work on solutions.
4. Conversion Percentages
When conducting UX research, look at the percentage of conversions. How many site visitors stay on your page long enough to convert into leads? What percentage of leads become customers?
Knowing where in the journey the customer leaves the page makes a difference in improving conversions. Usability combines many different factors. Something as simple as changing the color of a CTA button might improve conversion rates and UX.
Keep in mind how many people access their computers via mobile devices today. Are buttons large enough to tap with a thumb on a small screen? Forms should be short or auto-populate from social media data. Keep things as easy as possible for the best UX and your conversion rates will naturally improve.
5. Customer Satisfaction Metrics
It costs brands about 11 times more to attract a new customer than to retain one. Make sure you keep your current clients happy so they ignore competitors. Give them zero reason to leave you.
You can measure customer satisfaction via surveys and reviews. Take the time to send out regular surveys and find out what you’re doing well and what needs improvement. One key to using happiness metrics is acting on negative comments.
It’s painful to hear you are failing in some way. Take personal feelings out of the equation and focus on the complaint as a problem to solve. Once you know customers are dissatisfied with some aspect of their experience, it’s time to figure out how to fix the issue.
Monitor social media comments. Unhappy customers will sometimes leave and then blast a brand on social platforms rather than trying to resolve the issue. Search frequently for mentions of your name and immediately respond by contacting the person and offering to fix the problem. User experience is closely tied to website and app design but extends into follow-up communication and whether the person feels seen and heard.
The happier your customers are, the more likely they’ll recommend you to family and friends. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools you have to grow your brand. Recommendations of others can make or break your growth.
6. Accessibility and Usability Scores
Consider what type of UX people with disabilities experience on your site. How usable is your search feature for someone who can’t type? Is there enough contrast for users with less visibility? The first step is to put yourself in their shoes. Look at your site and what might limit someone other-abled.
Next, you can install a plugin or run the site through an Americans with Disabilities Act checker to ensure you’re fully compliant. If not, you may need to make some adjustments to your site code or add plugins to ensure everyone has a similar experience on your site.
Conduct a heuristics evaluation to find problem areas using rules of thumb. If you know some of your users are color blind, what is the most common color combination that might cause problems? You can also view your site through a color blindness checker to see how the site looks to different users.
7. Adopt Design Thinking
Some measures of your site’s usability are more of a gut check than anything else. Technology is changing rapidly, with brands and individuals adopting artificial intelligence (AI) for many tasks. Staying on top of innovations can change your design for the better.
One study of teams using design thinking techniques shows they reduced design time by 75% and saw a 301% average return on investment. Changing their outlook on UX design created higher efficiency and more innovation.
8. Social Media Saturation
Another measure you may not have considered is how many shares, likes and mentions you’re getting on social media. People who have an excellent user experience are more likely to spread the word about your brand.
We mentioned before monitoring for negative comments and fixing them, but you should also pay attention to positive mentions. Knowing what you’re doing right allows you to shift your focus to adding new elements to your design and giving users additional value.
To figure out your saturation rate, look at how many organic mentions you get versus sponsored. Pay attention to metrics such as engagement, reach, shares, impressions, and conversion rate.
UX Research Tweaks
Technology continues evolving rapidly. As soon as you find the UX research to help your brand thrive, something new will come along and you’ll have to change your process. Be open to pivoting to take advantage of AI advances and finding new ways to improve your customer experience. If you keep your focus on the user, your design will be better and you’ll convert more shoppers into buyers.