Better Design for Productivity

What if product management and engineering in the enterprise world had the chance to quickly evaluate their workflows. Before a product launch, or a sprint commit a quick user test can say a lot about your design direction.Performance metrics are normally used to evaluate products and users when productivity is key.

Task Completion / Success

A measure of whether a user could complete the task or not. You may decide to measure this contextually for each task. These are normally measured as successful and not successful. Though you may also choose to have a partial success state. It is important to define success, failure and partial success for each task.

Time taken 

The time taken to complete the task may be an effective measure. However one must consider what taking more or less time on a task actually means. Not all tasks need to be done quickly. This will depend in the user and the context.

Errors

An error may include errors on the system, no. of times the user had to stop, or time taken on a particular interaction. Measuring the number of errors in a task will help you understand how complex a task might be.

Efficiency

Measure the effort taken to complete a task by seeing the number of actions. Effort is normally of two types, cognitive effort for example is the effort it takes to find an option. Physical effort is the effort taken to click, or move the mouse.

Learnability

This is used to check how your user fares over a period of time. It can as simple as time taken over multiple attempts. It helps you understand any efficiency metric over time.

Performance metrics are powerful tools to evaluate the usability of your products, it can inform key decisions like whether a product is ready to launch. However it is always important to consider who the user is, and in what environment he / she operates in.

A question that normally comes up is does this take time and effort ? Absolutely not! All you need to do is plan and execute usability tests with 5 users. It doesn’t need to take time.

Stay tuned for more.

monsoonfish

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