Measuring success

July 08, 2020

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Experience Designer

Adoption, impact, zooming in & zooming out.

Designs are part of a product and/or service. Products and services are part of an organisation’s offering. In turn, organisations are parts of our society and our world. So, when measuring success we identify metrics that measure the immediate success of the product and the impact it has on its users, and also consider the impact that it could have on the wider business and the world.

To get this holistic perspective we need to be able to approach the solution with both zoom-in and zoom-out perspectives. Zooming in, we get a close look at the detail - product/service features - and by zooming out we can see the bigger picture - how the product/service fits successfully in the business and the world. This allows us to get a wider and more strategic view of what success looks like and drive more conscious, responsible and sustainable solutions. Using this “toggle” view, we can map out project’s milestones by clearly articulating the immediate, as well as long term impact and purpose.

Zooming in.

To measure the quality and success of our design’s user experience, we use the HEART framework. HEART is an easy way to create and use behavioural and attitudinal metrics to predict adoption and usage of the solution. The framework is based on the following five categories and can be applied from a product level to a feature level:

  • Happiness: how people feel about your product
  • Engagement: how many people are using the product
  • Adoption: new users acquired
  • Retention: existing users who use the service/product again
  • Task success: number of users completing tasks

Zooming out.

Zooming out helps us stay focused on the larger principles and our client’s values.

To measure the overall success of the solution, we use the SMART framework to set clear and accountable project goals. With SMART goals teams stay motivated and focused, ensuring projects are on track and in the right direction.


  • Specific, well defined and clear goals have a greater chance on being accomplished
  • Measurable, setting progress indicators to ensure goals are on track
  • Achievable, question if goals are achievable based on project constraints
  • Relevant, consider the business’s mission and see how the goals support it
  • Timely, proactively set goal deadlines

To measure the wider success of the solution, we tie it back to the organisation's values and their wider impact in the world. To do so, we look at the organisation’s Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) which represent the unified direction to be followed, as well as their mission and values.

There are plenty of frameworks and methodologies that can be used to either zoom in or out. Whichever ones used, the importance is remembering to shift perspectives, focusing on both the micro and macro world of the product or service being developed.

We’re always looking to learn and improve our ways of working, and we’d love to hear your preferred methods. Tweet us @madewithreason!