Empirical Measurement of Product Usage

The designer does not begin with some preconceived idea. Rather, the idea is the result of careful study and observation, and the design a product of that idea.

Paul Rand

“Empirical measurement of product usage” is a fancy way of saying how user-friendly is the product (Baxter, 2015). Is the product easy to learn? Does the user know its effects? Will they be able to use the product error-free? 

These are all questions that UX designers need to think about, and the best way to do that is by testing prototypes. The designers might think they have a great product that the public will love to use over and over again, but it might not be what they actually need. These prototypes give designers great insight into how they can improve a product in a way that they would never expect. UX design hasn’t always been perfect, but it leaves a lot of room for new research, ways of thinking, and impacts the design process (Law, 2013). 

There are a couple of different ways to gain feedback about a product. Self-reporting questionaries and journaling can supply great input about a product (Ram, 1990). Social media and analytic software can also provide useful information (Shleyne, 2020). It is then up to the research team to go back through the design process to implement the feedback into the new design. 

Without proper care, the original feedback could be distorted, depending on your background. The design team might see one error, but the marketing team and development team might see another.  

It is always important to collect information that is clear and descriptive, and even then, the outcome could be something the user was not expecting. 

References:

Baxter, K., Courage, C., & Caine, K. (2015). Understanding Your Users A Practical Guide to User Research Methods, Tools, and Techniques (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Elsevier Science & Technology.

Law, Lai-Chong & Schaik, Paul & Roto, Virpi. (2013). Attitudes towards user experience (UX) measurement. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 72. 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2013.09.006. 

Ram, S., Jung, H. The conceptualization and measurement of product usage. JAMS 18, 67–76 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02729763

Shleyner, E. (2020, March 17). 19 Social Media Metrics That Really Matter-And How to Track Them. Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-metrics/

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