In this edition of #UXchat, we’re discussing all things UX metrics. How do you measure UX? What are the pitfalls when measuring UX? What are the best and worst metrics to use?

You won’t be surprised to find it involves nothing contained in the above picture.

The subject of measuring the success of UX is a thorny one, that comes with a wealth of arguments around subjectivity, objectivity and the value of quantitative vs qualitative data.

I asked the question last month, when I gathered a group of UX professionals together to answer “how do you measure UX effectiveness?” The replies covered a few metrics you’d expect… conversions, average order value (AOV) and the system usability scale (SUS), as well as a few newbie terms (TPI?).

But for this new investigation, we’ve taken to the mean streets of Twitter to ask our social community their opinions on the subject of measuring UX, and the replies cover a much wider ground.

This week’s conversation was hosted by Tom Kerwin, a user experience designer and researcher, who has been passionate about great UX and usability testing for more than 20 years. You’ll find many of his helpful comments throughout the following discussions…

Can we *really* measure UX? 

First of all, let’s get metaphysical…

But hey, we’ll try anyway.

Satisfaction not guaranteed

As Tom exposes below, customer satisfaction surveys – which are assumed to be a good customer-focused method of measuring experiences by many modern ‘customer-focused’ companies – don’t quite cut it. Being as they are merely cloaking qualitative data with fairly meaningless numbers.

So if customer satisfaction scored by survey doesn’t cut it, what are we left with?

What tools do you use to measure UX?

There are tools out there that can help you measure UX – and a blend of many of these will help you create a bigger picture.


If these abbreviations are sailing clear over your head, please read this quick UX metric refresher.

And then hold onto your hats as Tom welcomes you to the world of NES. Don’t get too excited, it has nothing to do with a rotund plumber with a taste for mushrooms.

We may also have another inherent problem with our terminology…

What are the pitfalls and dangers when using UX metrics?

No metric is completely perfect, especially in such an intangible realm as UX. You’ll hear this repeated often enough, but the best metrics are the ones that are decided on at the beginning of your specific project, that cover the goals of your users and your business, and are iterated if any improvements need to be made.

However there are many things you need to be aware of when dealing with real people, offering their own opinions, especially around the areas of avoiding bias in user testing.

A UX Team of One is the loneliest number…

It doesn’t help matters when you have a HiPPO breathing down your neck…

And here are some more handy tips to be aware of when measuring UX, especially when it comes to technical set-up.

Final thoughts

A few final important points from Tom, which can be summed up as follows: your success metric needs to measure user experience and the impact on your business goals, otherwise it’s worthless.

Thanks so much for everyone who took part in #UXchat this week. Please follow us and tune into Twitter every Thursday at 4pm for more insightful UX based discussion.

To understand the current state of UX research in 2018, download our brand new State of UX in the Enterprise 2018 survey report. 
state of ux 2018