How To Measure Your Design Work Using One Method

I worked in the design area for a long time. There are a couple of interesting things happened in the area. We are from the graphic interface designer to the user experience designer, and then people like to call themselves product designer.

It might be a proper evolution process. Designers are from thinking the visual interface to the user experience, and then they think about the prospect of the product with marketing, commercial canvas.

So how to judge the design is good or not, is no longer just according to their visual effects, experience flow, we also need to know the reaction when we delivered the product to the user.

Usually, people would say
“Oh yeah, the reaction from the user is the data. How many people used it, how’s the engagement of the point/flow/feature/app/platform. How much of the MAU or DAU growth…”

Right, you found the key, but not exactly. When you release a new app, how many new users coming is not only rely on the visual or function, it also will relate to the promotion channel, promotion style, and the status of the market, etc. How many engagements the feature created is also not entirely because of your UX design, the platform is already in an environment. Different user groups, different user base, different limitations, they are all the environment context of your app. So the data is not the only thing, a good design is reflected in every aspect.

So, how to find the critical thing to measure your design is an essential skill throughout your career. Don’t use the unclear or incorrect data; it is not going to be the bonus point for you.

Here’s one way to help you figure it out. You can try to follow the process to go through your work.

The circle is your project. It is an ideal form now. The answer to a problem or the way to achieve it.

project type.png

Now we break it down into the three dimensions. Because these three dimensions will reflect your thinking of the product, logical about UX, visual design skill and data analyze ability. They are the primary abilities a designer should have.

your project.png

Of cause, if you have some front-end coding skills or have a unique way do data collection (e.g., Web Crawler), they are going to be a shiny point of you.

There are some essential elements for assessing each dimension. Let’s talk about it one by one.

Product design:

  • How did you do the research? 
    User interviews or questionnaires are the most common research methods. But what we often see is the results of the survey are always the same as ours guess. And you will receive thousands of ideas from the user feedback. Actually, user interviews are mostly more appropriate for ToB products, because those users are a unique group, they usually have to use this product, their feedbacks will be more targeted. The questionnaire survey is more suitable for describing the characteristics of the user, and it needs to reach a certain number to be convincing.
    So do we have another way to do the research? On the internet there’s a bunch of open data resource can help you do that. Google more, Bing more, Baidu more, you will find them. Here’re just some examples: App Annie (app), Alexa (web), TooBigData (content) etc. And don’t forget to keep tracking the user community like Google+, App reviews.
  • Is the product’s goal really from research and analysis? Does it solve the user’s problem? What’s the key numbers in the goal.
  • Can the MVP design help us confirm that this is effective? Is there continuity in ideal design and minimization design? Is there a AB/AA test?


UX design:

  • Is this flow the shortest design? If it is a long flow, do you help users manage anxiety and other emotions? Is the user clearly understand the purpose of each step?
  • Did you think about the transition? Did you make the prototype for testing? Is the hierarchy set clear?
  • Do you have a unified visual style? If you tried Tik Tok app, you will see it has a strong Glitch Art. They applied the style to all details.


Data feedback:

  • That is most interesting part. We should define what the data is by ourselves. It is not only from the data platform but also from the user testing, user’s feeling, user’s feedback. Such as ToB product, sometimes the engagements does not accurately describe your design. Because people have to use it. The reduction of operation times, efficiency improvement are the key factors to solve user problems.
  • When you got a result from the data, how do you know it is better or worse? Try to sort out your data in terms of conversion, retention, and hot maps. And don’t forget process data. Sometimes they are more important than result data.
    Learn the Python to make a crawler is a good way to help you collect data.

So, that’s all elements I wanna mentioned, maybe I lost few things. I list many questions to ask you, just want to make sure you know the reason for your design. And try anyways to understand more information context about your product, you will find the big view of the product, market. That is also a good habit to help you make a good design.