3 Most Important Usability KPI

It’s fairly easy to get the hang of the basic sciences and basic challenges involved in usability, but you can never truly master these, only come close. But, when it comes to testing and measuring usability, some of the metrics are soft or fuzzy, and there are so many testing methods to measure them that it can just make your head spin. It would be much easier if you had a solid view of usability KPI ahead of time.

The problem is that usability is such a vast, abyssal thing that there’s not really an easy way to boil down all the important metrics and KPI something this broadly encompassing brings about. So, all you can really do is look at sets of basic metrics types, and regard these as basic KPI.

This means I can’t give you a simple and short explanation of how to measure these, nor acquire them, as they’re not singular entities and along with that, there are a lot of very circumstantial things that change how and what you measure within these. And these are things I could not begin to predict.

That said, these are the three basic sets of things to watch.


#1 – Benchmarking

Benchmarking results across target devices is very, very important. Does it function speedily, with smooth transition? Does it refrain from slowing the whole system down? Can the user comfortably operate it on all of the target devices?

These are all benchmarking concerns, and they measure the basic ability for a device to perform with this software. If it doesn’t work, then the usability factors onwards are kind of defeated points, aren’t they?

Yes, yes they are.

#2 – User Input

Ok, specifically, complaints about odd conventions you’re using for layouts, control styles or procedures as well as requests for features that already exist. These show how natural your layouts and navigation are, and it also shows how easy it is for a user to discover all of the abilities the software or web page provides.

You must let users voice their minds and their concerns, in order to truly measure these human factors of engagement and interaction.

You have to sift through a lot of nonsense and useless output to get data from this, but using modern term and keyword tracking technology much eases this.

#3 – Task Performance Speeds

Finally, you need to keep an eye on how long it takes users to perform tasks that they already know how to do, and don’t have to stop and think about. Any slow down (measured in milliseconds) from pointless mouse maneuvering, clicking of buttons and so forth needs to be reduced by making it more dynamic and sweeping per step of use.

If an interface or navigation pattern is too “high resolution” in steps being manual, it will get tiresome to use, and it will cost a lot of productivity and speed loss to this overblown silliness.

These are some of the bigger sets of usability KPI to focus on, but as I said before, they’re merely general categories, as any one of these contains a wide variety of metrics that, again, depend on your situation when it comes to measurement and value assignment.


Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.