I got a request from the UX team to put in Google Analytics(GA) into our mobile suite of apps to track different user engagement metrics. The reasoning is that GA is already being used on the web side of things.

Here's what the UX team wants to track:

  • Downloads
  • Session length
  • Number of unique users
  • Number of returning users
  • device information
  • App version
  • location and language
  • Errors
  • User paths within the app
  • Most/Least used features
  • Frequency of use
  • Time of day of use
  • Bounce/Uninstall rate

Having implemented GA in a couple other projects, It does not seem like GA can track all of these without extensive customization. I would like to know if there's something better, or some other "Gold standard" of measuring user interaction with web and mobile.

Is Google Analytics a right tool to keep track of user engagement and potentially do UI/UX research on existing apps?

  • are they looking to drill down to specific individuals? or just overall trends?
    – user5482
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 19:47
  • I'm not sure, but this is a good point - if some issue is identified, it's likely that more specifics would be needed
    – Alex Stone
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 19:48
  • These can be easily tracked on GA. My other suggestion would be Mixpanel - mixpanel.com/engagement
    – Adit Gupta
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 19:55

2 Answers 2


A more advanced user of Google Analytics may know of methods that I am not aware of, but I can speak from my experience here:

GA will allow you to (fairly easily) track behaviour trends, including all the things you mention in your question. Some work out of the box, others would require use of the "Event Tracking" tools.

However, GA seems to purposely make it difficult to track/monitor users at an individual level. There are many, many "Usability Testing/Monitoring" tools, I would start by asking your UX guys what they need to see and then dive in to some research on the available tools.


Remember what metrics are really used for - to gauge the direction and magnitude of change, not the actual UX. That is to say, all metrics are just different pieces of information that the UX designer can use to try and work out if the design changes introduced have the desired impact on the user experience. However, as with any change, it can also affect the way the users interact with the product or service.

Analytics are great to help UX designers make sense of changes and patterns on a large scale. They can then use this information to try and drill down to specific usability or user experience issues that might be isolated to a single page or a particular task.

Ultimately, the best metric of improving user experience is probably the number of new + existing users. Nothing that you do can really argue with the fact that the number of new users are increasing, and the you are retaining the existing users. But all that other stuff will help you work out what you need to do to keep it going.

  • It seems to me that the number of new and existing users can primarily be attributed to marketing efforts. I've seen some analytics tools link UX success to the number of users who accomplish a particular action within an app.
    – Alex Stone
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 18:04

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