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We want to start using metrics to help drive design improvements. I like to tackle things from a high level down approach and I am trying to find some categories of metrics for web apps but not have any luck with this. (Just for the context of why I want these categories: my team is going to start creating a list of the metrics we want our Telemetry guild to gather for us and I want to to categorize these metrics to make it easier to talk about them and prioritize them. I know that categories will emerge naturally once we start listing important metrics but I thought it would be good to get an idea of what the industry is using in terms of categories or metric types at the start as well.) Does anyone have any resources for this? Nothing I Google is giving me what I am looking for - just lots of links to analytics tools.

  • If I understand you correctly, just go to Google Analytics. In the admin area you'll see what you're looking for – Devin Jan 9 at 17:18
  • I realize now I was using analytics when I meant metrics. – Vanessa Scott Jan 9 at 18:26
  • What I meant is that if you check GA, you'll already see a lot of categorized metrics you can borrow for your project. I'm not sure which metrics you need, but unless you're looking for deep psychology, eye scanning or other advanced metrics, I'm pretty sure you'll get some ideas – Devin Jan 9 at 20:02
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Im not sure if this off topic or even something others would agree with, but I recently completed something similar for a webApp where we needed to implement tracking on our platform to get useful metrics and metrics to share with stakeholders to understand the success of key features.

I found GA not particularly useful as its more focused on page metrics and not user events and didn't give the metrics that would inform design decisions. Bounce Rates, dwell times, click through rates weren't especially useful. So we went with MixPanel, which allowed us to create bespoke events to understand specific features more clearly.

This allowed us to see much more specific and useful data. While it did take time understanding MixPanel and how to create meaningful events to track it became a useful tool.

I dont work for mixpanel and there are alternatives that also take a user events approach.

  • GA has very strong user event metrics, specially when mixed with Optimize. You could use Hotjar as well as many other, but it all depends on the kind of data you need. Anyways, I don't think the OP is looking for software recommendations, just a list of categories – Devin Jan 9 at 19:51
  • Perhaps, I misunderstood the question, I was trying to convey that the benefits of being able to create bespoke events or even just pass a js object was more useful in webapps/platforms than what our developers had managed to achieve with GA. Being able to see the types of data or events paths was incredibly useful and perhaps it came down to not being familiar enough with GA. – user2520890 Jan 9 at 20:00
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Seems like you need to work out a measurement plan to figure out what you want to measure and how those numbers will be used in design improvements. From there, you can figure out how to set up your analytics and decide which tool to use.

I found it helpful to start the planning with a bunch of questions: Who is using our app? User demographics What is the context of use - time of day, device type and screen size? How long do they use the app? What do they do on the app?

... and then drill down and then work out the data that needs to be collected and analysed.

  • Yes thank you for your feedback on this. Actually since I posted my original question I have decided to try out the Goals-Signals-Metrics approach which I read about in a few articles. I am currently working on this with a coworker. So really we are doing as you suggested - coming up with a measurement plan. :) – Vanessa Scott Feb 11 at 14:10

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