Measuring Usability
Quantitative Usability, Statistics & Six Sigma by Jeff Sauro

10 Ways to Measure & Manage the User Experience

Jeff Sauro • December 20, 2011

Improving the user experience means starting with the right measure or measures to manage.

Here are 10 of the more common ones I've written about in 2011.

  1. SUPR-Q: The Standardized Universal Percentile Rank-Questionnaire is a 13 item instrument for measuring website usability, credibility/trust, loyalty and appearance. Scores are based on a database of 200 websites from tens of thousands of users across dozens of industries.

  2. Net Promoter Score Benchmarks:  How likely people are spreading a positive message about your software is a good indicator of future growth. It's even better to know how your product's NPS compares with the industry.

  3. 10 Essential Usability Metrics: Know these metrics, use them and improve them to make a better user experience.

  4. Completion Rates: The fundamental usability metric. If a user can't complete the task not much else matters.

  5. Disasters: The only thing worse than task failure would be when a user fails a task but she thinks she completed it successfully. This is a disaster and across 174 tasks I've seen up to 30% of user task-attempts end in a disaster. Don't let this be your task.

  6. Task Times: OK, actually the worse thing would be a user taking a long time to think he completed a task he actually failed. Task times are the quintessential efficiency measure (and usually better than clicks).  Time is money, and users are money. Waste the former and lose the latter.

  7. Usability Problems: Low task completion rates, high task times and abundant disasters are usually caused by problems in the user interface. Find them, fix them and prevent them.

  8. First Clicks: If a user clicks down the wrong path, less than half eventually complete the task successfully. If the first click is down the right path, 87% succeed.

  9. Usefulness: If it's not useful then it won't get used and there will be no user experience to measure. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is a questionnaire for measuring usefulness. Usability itself is actually a good predictor of usefulness in the TAM (when a product is easy to use it suddenly becomes useful: think TiVO).

  10. System Usability Scale (SUS): The most used questionnaire for measuring the perceived ease of use for software, hardware and mobile devices is the System Usability Scale.  This 10 item questionnaire provides a measure of perceived usability that can be a great benchmark, especially when compared to a database of 500 other product tests.




About Jeff Sauro

Jeff Sauro is the founding principal of Measuring Usability LLC, a company providing statistics and usability consulting to Fortune 1000 companies.
He is the author of over 20 journal articles and 4 books on statistics and the user-experience.
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Posted Comments

There are 5 Comments

April 12, 2012 | Jeff Sauro wrote:

@Jocelyn Thanks! Just fixed that. 


April 12, 2012 | Jocelyn wrote:

Great post!
Typo on 9 usefulness. "The Technology Access Model (TAM) is a questionnaire...". TAM should be "Technology Acceptance Model". :-) 


January 11, 2012 | Yogi Triharso wrote:

Great, thanks! 


December 27, 2011 | Mark Di Sciullo wrote:

This has got to be the most valuable post ever published regarding measuring UX. You boiled it down to the key facets. Thanks Jeff for sharing your knowledge with us! 


December 21, 2011 | gusoto wrote:

Awesome and very useful post. Thanks a lot! 


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Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User ResearchQuantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research

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Excel & R Companion to Quantifying the User ExperienceExcel & R Companion to Quantifying the User Experience

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A Practical Guide to the System Usability ScaleA Practical Guide to the System Usability Scale

Background, Benchmarks & Best Practices for the most popular usability questionnaire

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A Practical Guide to Measuring UsabilityA Practical Guide to Measuring Usability

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