This transformation has provided a new depth of power to my storytelling, with the result that some of my key issues and recommendations have moved rapidly up to the top of our development team’s list of priorities and are now considered key business initiatives. For example, instead of my saying, “Users are confused about creating an account,” I’d instead say, “Users are confused about creating an account, and 36% of them are abandoning the process, causing an estimated revenue loss of $650K annually.”
In this article, which is the first in my series on UX analytics, I’ll define and describe the value of UX analytics and initiate you in this very fruitful approach to UX research.
The Business Impact of UX Analytics
At the heart of UX analytics is business impact. My stakeholders have rarely denied the importance or even criticality of the obstacles and inconveniences that our Web sites present to our customers. But, as UX professionals, our recommendations for usability improvements must compete with other projects that have revenue projections tied to them. My call to the UX community is that we must compete on the same playing field with other projects by aligning our arguments with the same business logic.
The consequence of my doing this level of business analysis is that I am now more deeply involved in projects, I am often consulted by stakeholders, and my participation on a project is integral to the implementation of my recommendations. In addition, I am responsible for the post-implementation measurements, which enables me to recommend further design iterations if both the data and my design expertise indicate there’s still opportunity to improve the user experience.
This approach has afforded me a better platform for advancing awareness of user needs—whether through further usability testing, customer interviews, or redesign efforts that employ iterative prototyping and testing methods. Now, my case might be, “Users are confused about creating an account, and 36% of them are abandoning the process, causing an estimated revenue loss of $650K annually, so I recommend that we do a deep dive, through a series of usability tests, to understand why users are abandoning.”
Another powerful benefit of UX analysis is that my clients are now key advocates for the changes that I’m advocating. They’ve become empowered, engaged negotiators with development teams, persuading them to implement the solutions that best balance user and business needs.
What Is a UX Analyst?
To give you an idea of what my objectives are as a UX Analyst, here are a few bullet points from my newly crafted job description:
- Marry multiple sources of data—such as customer experience management, Web analytics, customer satisfaction, call center feedback, and primary or secondary research—with user-centered design best practices to deliver actionable insights and recommendations.
- Do strategic planning for data gathering and measurement that support Ebusiness initiatives and proactively identify needs for measuring user experiences.
- Clearly communicate the business and customer experience opportunities, and deliver measurable recommendations that increase value to the business and the customer.
- Lead the design of new and evolving UX and Voice of the Customer (VOC) dashboards.
- Draft UX documentation such as wireframes, flowcharts, and taxonomies when useful as a way of supporting recommendations.
Today, I report to our Digital Analytics Director, who was formerly known as our Web Analytics Director and changed the team’s name to communicate that it encompasses both quantitative and qualitative customer behavior research and analysis. My key clients are the Site Managers, each of whom owns of a particular ecommerce Web site and is responsible for its development roadmap, site revenue, and key performance indicators (KPIs). All of these teams reside in Ebusiness.