Usability Testing: Usability Metrics you need to measure.

LAST UPDATED: May 14, 2021

Emamuzo Okerri

Usability Testing: Usability Metrics you need to measure

The Usability Metrics you need to measure to ensure happy users.

Owning a product that people love and make a part of their everyday life is the dream of any founder, creator, and product team.

However, actualizing this ultimate goal can be challenging, especially when the questions “What do they (users) want?” and “How do they (users) respond to what we give them?” have no answers.

Thankfully there are ways these questions can be answered, and in this article I will be talking about one method that has proven to increase acceptance and lovability of products; USABILITY.

Usability refers to the ease with which a person accomplishes tasks while interacting with a product or service. It has become so crucial in today’s tech world that it is clear between a successful product and a failed product.

Measuring product usability

The usability of a product is best measured using a prototype rather than a launched product through Usability Testing Sessions. Doing this provides the opportunity for changes to be made early in the product’s life-cycle, thereby drastically reducing development costs and customer/user satisfaction.

Before engaging in any form of usability test, there are things to be put into consideration.

Define the purpose:

You need to know or define why the test is carried out, what insights you intend to gather and the impact these insights will have on the product. In answering these questions, you would be able to decide on the usability metrics to be used and the pattern of testing that is most suitable for your goals.

Decide the metrics to use:

Based on the kind of insight you wish to gather from the test, you can pick from a number of usability metrics to measure that will give you what you want.

Usability Metrics

Usability evaluation metrics span qualitative and quantitative spectrums of analysis and can be very useful in determining the success of a product. When a person can achieve his/her goals quickly while interacting with a product, the product has a high probability of success.

We can use the following evaluation metrics in any combination, depending on what you are looking to get out of a usability test session.

Completion Metrics

Completion metrics focus on how and if a person completes a given task while interacting with a product. This metric answers questions such as Does the person complete the task? – Which accounts for Fails and successes – and Does the person follow the designed path or follow an alternate path? – accounting for Direct and Indirect success.

Duration Metrics

Duration metrics provide insight into the time it takes to complete a given task. Duration metrics are dependent on the scenario and objectives of the test and can be either measured as Time on Screen or Time on Task.

A high Time on-screen score can be either positive or negative depending on the goal scenario of the task. For example, when someone spends more extended time on a blog post, it indicates engagement (which is positive), whereas it can indicate confusion on a booking app.

Error Metrics

This usability metric focuses on how many times a person clicks or taps – depending on the device of focus – the wrong Call To Action (CTA) indicator during interaction with a product.

This usability metric is usually measured as Misclick Rates provides insight on whether a call to action indicator gives the correct notion of its intended use.

Satisfaction Metrics

Satisfaction metrics focus on how a person feels about a product. We can obtain this metric through questionnaires taken after a task or test session or through observation – noting the participant’s reactions to events during interaction with the product.

A great way to gather satisfaction metrics is by using a System Usability Survey to get the System Usability Score of a product. This approach can be used when a product is live or before production and is a quick way to evaluate a product.

Further reading

  1. Usability Metrics
  2. Usability Metrics – A Guide To Quantify The Usability Of Any System.
  3. Measuring user experience with usability metrics (maze.co)


Choosing the right usability metric for usability evaluation sessions is very important and requires a knowledge of the kind of insight you would want to get from the session.

After deciding on the kind of insight you want to get from the session, the next step is to decide how the test will be administered to participants.

Here a choice between moderate and unmoderated, and remote or physical sessions is to be made. A combination of any of the stated methods can be used but are totally dependent on budget and goals.

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