I was reading this article by Avinash Kaushikin which he states that bad KPIs will lead to bad user experiences. A very good article. But it got me thinking about the following question:

When in a site design process would you define the site KPIs?

  • When there is a complete solution to set the right (and possible) KPI:s or
  • before we have a full picture of the solution (such as when defining the site goals) to frame the solution.

Kaushik lists 6 metrics, 5 of which apply to websites and can only be applied to functioning websites. The whole article is talking about analyzing up and running websites or software.

Having an understanding, before or during the design stage, of how the website will be measured, might have some value, but my guesstimate is that it's of marginal value. If you have any experience in this business you already know things like task-completion-rate is more important than time-on-site. Of course it doesn't hurt to have that spelled out so everyone involved understands it, but I wouldn't wait for KPIs to be determined before starting designing and implementing.

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