The five fundamental steps to measuring UX more effectively

In part one of this two-part series, we discussed the importance of creating company-wide OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to align your organization and teams to a set of prioritized objectives and measurable key results to improve your products, services and customer experiences. Once organizational objectives are created and communicated, each team will work together to define a set of accountable OKRs that supports the broader company goals. Tailoring OKRs for teams and individuals provides opportunities to focus on outcomes that are clear, transparent and measurable, creating alignment across regions, time zones and organizational departments.

In part two of this blog series, we will discuss how to measure what matters with new customers, subscribers and users. We’ll also outline the five fundamental steps to creating a measurement framework, along with additional tools and resources to collaborate more effectively and align to your company goals. Using these steps as a starting point to create your own framework will help your teams become more customer-focused.

Step One: Create a Team OKR that maps to your company OKRs and scales easily

The purpose of an OKR is to create an Objective (O) that is simple, clear and specific to enable teams to develop a series of Key Results (KRs). Because CX can positively or negatively impact several touch points across the organization, it is important to ensure that your objective resonates with your stakeholders, and is measurable. For example, take this company-wide objective from Part One: “Achieve Greater Scale by Increasing New Subscription Accounts.” It is easy to see how this objective can easily scale across product, user experience, engineering, security, brand marketing, sales and customer support centers.

A team Objective (O) that maps to the broader company goal would be, “Improve the Customer Experience to Increase Growth.” Key results could then include some of the following:

  • Increase new account creation by >40%
  • Increase return user transactions by >50%
  • Reduce false positive MFAs for return users by >20%
  • Reduce password reset requests by >50%
  • Reduce cart abandonment rates caused by authentication by >30%

Pro Tip: Implementing shared OKRs across an organization allows each team to identify where they can improve the customer experience to increase growth, loyalty and satisfaction.

Step Two: Align a cross-functional team of stakeholders that are customer-focused

It’s important to establish a cross-functional team of stakeholders who are invested in this collaborative exercise to identify as many touch points and CX friction points as possible. Once you have identified your stakeholder team, you can begin discussing how to improve the journeys by reducing unnecessary friction for the first-time and returning users caused by identity and security steps.

Pro Tip: Look at the different dimensions of the customer journey including onboarding, return users, product experiences, marketing and support centers to better understand your customers.

Step Three: Create effective CX Journeys to better understand your customers

The third step is to create a set of Core CX journeys that define customer pain points to better understand first-time and return customer needs. User and Customer Experience Journeys help to shape and clarify where your immediate efforts should focus and prioritize areas that benefit from an improved experience that creates business value and maps to the OKRs. There are a lot of online resources to help create your core journeys, and a great place to start is with the Nielsen Norman Group where there are different articles, templates and videos to help guide you through the process.

Pro Tip: It is important to ensure that your teams work together to identify opportunities that will benefit the customer, and even validate hypotheses using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Step Four: Establish scorecards that identify gaps and friction points

After defining your top customer journeys, teams should work together to identify gaps and where improvements can be made. Throughout this process, it’s important to begin developing scorecards for first-time (new) and return customers by assigning values to each action identified. A great example of this is to identify each step, field or scenario that challenges your customers whether that is their first visit or their 50th visit.

Here are examples of scorecards that illustrate some common friction points for new and returning users.

Pro Tip: Identify how many customers are on mobile versus desktop, and whether there are additional steps for individuals who engage across multiple devices, locations and geographies.

Step Five: Align on measurements and impact to deliver outcomes and opportunities

The final step is to align on measurements that deliver positive outcomes and create opportunities. Identifying baseline measurements while establishing scorecards drives transparency and cross-functional visibility within the UX and CX. Real-time product analytics are preferred, along with dynamic dashboards that visualize the data and can be easily shared across the company—from an IC to the C-Suite. As each team will have a different focus, it is important to review the scorecards and data daily to provide a more complete picture of customer experience.

Click here to use the calculator shown below and measure how UX friction is impacting your business.

Pro Tip: Prioritize for challenges and patterns in your CX data that impact multiple areas and/or provide opportunities for continuous improvements for users, the business and brand.

The most important step: Always focus on the customer

Every company and organization is different. It is important to work together to develop a series of OKRs, scorecards and measurements that focus on the customer and create value for the business through transparency, accountability, and shared goals.

For more information about measuring friction in your authentication process, please read our previous blog post here.

OKRs align teams that are critical to customer success

At a recent CXO conference, we had the opportunity to poll top marketing and user experience leaders with a series of questions about their biggest challenges with user friction and security. Our questions uncovered some interesting results and concluded that most organizations do not have effective OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and measurement frameworks to identify, track and reduce friction caused by security for new customers in the areas of account creation and first-time purchases.

One of the most significant poll results found that 80% of leaders stated there was “little to no” interaction between their UX and security teams. Separately, 70% did not measure the business impact of user friction on the experience, and 65% only tracked users after they had logged in.

As an executive leader in the Design and Product development space, I can attest to the challenges that many organizations face, no matter their size. In today’s digital world, organizations are moving fast and focused heavily on actions to get their launch, iterate and evolve their products quickly. As a result, many do not take the time to establish a set of clear OKRs and scorecards to evaluate customer impact on their acquisition and business during launch and following their product release to market.

OKRs have become widely adopted by many of the largest companies in the world including Google, Netflix, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon, to achieve ambitious goals for the organization, teams and individuals. OKRs are effectively divided into two parts that align objectives with measurable outcomes.

  1. Objectives should define what you want to achieve. They should be clear and concrete, action-oriented and challenging to ensure that everyone is aligned.
  2. Key Results should express how the objectives will be achieved by the organization, team, or individual to create a measurable outcome that is time-bound and challenging.

Now you may be asking yourself, how are OKRs different from KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)? Simply put, OKRs help to establish and set measurable goals for performance and a defined set of actions that lead to outcomes that can scale more broadly and effectively across the entire organization. KPIs are generally a set of metrics used to assess the performance of ongoing activities, features and processes. When developing company-wide organizational OKRs it is important to remain inspirational at a high level in order to define key priorities for the organization. In doing so, it allows managers and team members to set their own OKRs that best align with the company’s objectives and creates both flexibility and autonomy through transparency and accountability. 

So, how can you create shared OKRs to measure the impact of security friction on your customers and business? It starts with the UX and Security teams working together with a cross-functional group of product, engineering, marketing and business leaders to identify areas within the journeys that can be improved or eliminated. Every company is different in how it will score and measure friction through qualitative and quantitative methods; however, what is most important is gaining alignment between teams that are critical to the customer experience through a set of shared OKRs.

Here are two examples that will help with context and guidance for you and your teams when creating corporate and cross-functional team alignment.

Example 1: A new fintech company that focuses on wellness apparel, equipment and content is launching a new product that includes retail and subscription services.

Objective (O): Launch a new minimum lovable product for web and mobile users.

  • KR1: Get 250,000 new account subscribers in the first year.
  • KR2: Get 25% of first time users to make a purchase within 7 days of account creation.
  • KR3: Maintain an App Store rating of > 4.5 stars.

Example 2: An online retail company wants to increase monthly subscriptions that convert into higher transactions and return-users as they shift primarily to online digital versus traditional.

Objective (O): Achieve greater scale by increasing new subscription accounts.

  • KR1: Gain >50,000 new subscribers per month.
  • KR2: Increase first time purchases by 20% per month.
  • KR3: Achieve a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of >65%

In order to be successful in this rapidly changing world where customers are at the heart and soul of your company’s success, it’s important to ensure alignment, consistency and transparency through cross-functional company collaboration and goals. When you’re ready to implement OKRs, these three keys will help create positive results for your customers and business.

  1. Encourage teams to work together to create a customer-centered approach.
  2. Define a set of company-wide OKRs, scorecards and measurements for success.
  3. Ensure collaboration, communication and transparency to prioritize customer needs.

Having the confidence and intelligence to better understand your first-time customers before they reach your site or application, and super-serve your returning customer needs, yields two significant outcomes. Not only does it build trust in your brand, but also creates a more meaningful user experience that lowers acquisition costs while increasing customer satisfaction (CSAT) and lifetime value (LTV).

Ready for some more UX nuggets? Check out Part Two of The UXtraordinary Experience: “Measure What Matters.”