Design KPIs- measuring something intangible such as design sounds like an almost philosophical concept at first. However, it isn’t too different from measuring the performance of personnel or other commonly evaluated intangible factors in organizations.
Measuring design effectiveness not only gives tangible goals to designers but it also helps managers in setting realistic expectations and meeting the spontaneous creative whizzes halfway in terms of strategy and organization. An increase in overall efficiency and output ultimately contributes to consumer experience and sales.
Measuring design effectiveness for B2B SaaS apps
B2B SaaS apps are a niche category of apps that require a more logical, no-frills, convenient design approach at most times. Hence, measurement of UX UI design effectiveness also has to be customized for this category.
Design is the first interaction and experience of a user with your app, and their first criterion for how much they value your app. It stands for your brand vision and brand identity. The question is not why measure design effectiveness? It is how to measure design effectiveness?
It begins with taking stock of three things
- Brand vision and identity
- The problem faced by consumers
- Design aspects relevant to specific goals
Once this is done, benchmarking on the basis of KPIs becomes easier.
The most convenient time to test design effectiveness without doubts of other contributing factors having greater influence is right after a design intervention. There are other ways such as A/B as well.
Now comes the most basic question. What are we measuring? This brings us to the 5 most important design KPIs.
5 most important design KPIs for B2B SaaS apps
Here’s each design KPI explained in brief, along with how to measure it and utilize reports for improved design results.
1. UI enhancements backlog:
This metric is based on the usability principle. Usability is the value provided by your app design to a user in a specific use case. There are various methods for measuring this design KPI, such as this one devised by the Interaction Design Foundation.
Usability is usually measured for UX projects at every stage of the app creation process right up to final development.
A UI enhancements backlog is a design KPI that takes usability one notch higher. You apply the same usability parameters you evaluate features on, to the smallest of UI enhancements as well. Create a UI enhancements backlog from all reviews by all teams, and then apply usability metrics to each one before and after integrating an enhancement.
2. Customer voice reports:
Your organization must conduct a lot of feedback assimilation through advisory boards, A/B testing, sales analysis, field conversations, etc. A key factor missing in your design KPI cohort might be these customer voice reports. These reports take into account usability, brand persona, brand image, UI UX design response, pricing feedback, et al. When these reports are injected into the design process along with product development roadmaps, the design team will automatically keep all expectations in mind for each detail. Customer voice reports are a way of continuous benchmarking from the word go until after the release of the app.
With an audience such as that of B2B SaaS apps, convenience, speed, and efficiency take higher importance as these consumers want specific needs met and don’t have time and patience for design trials. Hence, using customer voice reports in the development phase, and then in limited release tests, A/B tests, and ultimately for post-release enhancements will help your B2B SaaS app gain a highly utilitarian UX UI design.
3. Metrics from app stores:
These are basic metrics that are useful for tracking the design effectiveness of any app from any category. App Store ratings, reviews, and download figures are to apps what sales figures are to FMCGs. These are the ultimate markers of every department’s success. It is important for designers to keep track of changes in these metrics, especially after design enhancements.
App Stores provide their own analytics tools which should be enough for designers to interpret. If they notice a fall or a rise in ratings, browsing the comments section can give them an insight into how much of the design is responsible for the change as customers mostly talk about UX UI design in this section.
Here is a snapshot of the Apple App Store’s analytics section.
4. Customer journey maps:
Customer journey maps are essentially flowcharts that map a customer’s journey right from recognizing a need to fulfilling it with the help of your product. There could be specific journey maps for specific use cases and app features. These maps are a gateway to empathize with customers for designers. There are two factors to measure from these maps.
- The length and complexity of the journey
- The UX UI design interaction value at each touchpoint
There is no standard format for drawing a customer journey map or measuring KPIs on one. You can look at multiple maps and then devise your own by involving both design and product teams. These maps should be the design team’s go-to during the whole development process.
Here’s an example of a generic customer journey map for a B2C app:
5. Scalability tests:
This design KPI is particularly important for B2B SaaS apps. You would want your app’s scalability to mirror that of the business using it. As businesses grow and expand, so must your app. If the design is not scalable beyond a point, it becomes a hindrance to the business and your business customer wouldn’t waste time in switching to a new, more scalable app.
The basic metrics to be taken into account for a scalability test are:
- Response time
- Network usage
- Screen transitions
- Requests per seconds
- Time taken to execute tasks
- Memory usage
There are some efficient scalability testing tools available in the market, such as:
There are also a lot of other open-source tools that can help you to test your app’s scalability and prepare it for clients having businesses of all sizes.
With big-ticket sizes and mature audiences, B2B SaaS apps need to be perfect. Since it all starts with design, so does measurement. So while your design team focuses on what they think is the best UX UI, instill these KPIs into their process for them to get into the customer’s head and design the app they need.