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In our previous post we highlighted the benefits of UX benchmarking, and why executives should be vocal advocates of measuring and monitoring usability KPIs.

While we mentioned that KPIs could be measured via a UX benchmark on sites and apps we didn’t go into the specifics of what can be benchmarked. We hear that question a lot and have good news – it’s more than you think.

Where to UX Benchmark: Desktop, mobile and multi-channel

For starters, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a desktop site, a mobile site, a native app or a combination of the aforementioned – anywhere your users and customers are accessing your site or product online you can and should conduct UX benchmarking.

This applies to external sites as well as internal sites or intranets, because you want to ensure your online properties are as streamlined and optimized for your internal-facing users as they are for your customer-facing sites and external users.

Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Tracking KPIs over time is the core of UX benchmarking. The basic idea is that by quantifying baseline usability statistics, there is a standard which can be used to gauge the effectiveness of iterations by re-measuring the same usability stats and tracking the changes over time.

The typical baseline usability KPIs are task success rates, time on task, number of clicks, and unique page views. This gives researchers a big picture look at how easy it is for their customers and users to use their product or service and highlights areas for improvement. For example, if there is a high number of page views and clicks for a task it might highlight a need to refine the site’s taxonomy. 

These KPIs can also serve as a framework to build out more granular benchmarks to further hone in on specific aspects that need improvement. Here are examples of more specific KPIs to track along with the typical task-based KPIs above:

  • Trust
  • Security
  • The amount of help / guidance provided during a process oriented task
  • Clarity of content
  • Presentation of information
  • Perceived length of process
  • Ease-of-use
  • Satisfaction ratings

Not all KPIs have to be task-based, either. Companies could also track Brand and/or Call to Action KPIs such as brand attitude / perception, likelihood to return, request a quote, etc.  

Benchmarking Multi-Task Processes

It doesn’t have to be a single task that is benchmarked, either. There are likely processes that are vital to the success of your business such as registering a new account, getting a price quote, completing a checkout, or scheduling a visit with a doctor. These are multi-step tasks that can all be baseline measured and optimized to make the collective process better for your users.

Competitive UX Benchmarking

Finally, it’s worth noting that with advanced software you can also conduct competitive UX benchmarking which allows you to compare the results of your KPI tracking against competitors by testing the same task(s) and collecting the same KPIs on other sites.

This allows you to gather key insights into the competitor’s product strategies and get metrics on how users perceive your brand and product offering differently to ultimately gain a competitive edge.

Conclusion

The spectrum of what you can UX benchmark is vast and encompasses channels, multiple devices, single or multi-task processes, KPIs ranging from task-based to brand perception, and even comparisons between direct or indirect competitors.

Of course, with all this research firepower it might be hard to figure out what KPIs to track and when. Relax, we’ve got you covered. Join us next time as we discuss how to choose which KPIs to measure.