Ceci n'est pas une KPI

Session Title

Ceci n’est pas une KPI


Livia Labate, Comcast / IAI

Session Type: Presentation

“What are the Key Performance Indicators of a succesful user experience?” asked the business stakeholder, “It depends” answered the wise interaction designer…

Inquiries about measuring or managing anything seek to answer an underlying question: How do we know we are doing a good job?

(So, how DO you know you are doing a good job in the work that you do?)

While many UX practitioners like to answer this question with ‘when we achieve our goals’, we have struggled as a community to identify and articulate approaches and measures to assess how successful our solutions are.

(Oh great, yet another talk about ROI you say… But no! Let’s get past that!)

Individually, we have been succesful serving our clients and end users, but collectivelly we have been unsuccesful in establishing ways we can talk to each other about what success means for our practice.

In this session I will revisit some of the different ways I learned the community has explored (and exploited) approaches from other domains and industry (and tried to invent our own) to convey what ‘success’ means to UX.

(This is a new talk, but you may know me from such talks as The UX Health Check and Reframing IA Practice amd Strategy in Turbulent Times)

We’ll review what can be valuable to leverage from other domains and what ends up hurting us more than helping.

(I will point out pros and cons based on some analysis I have been doing along with observations about distinct language used to express same concepts in different industries)

We’ll also discuss and try to distinguish what is enough measurement to be helpful and useful and what is fluff, overkill and designer infatuation with business analysis jargon.

(I hope to offer the audience enough baseline about the differences between success factors, performance indicators and metrics to facilitate a discussion about what we might be lacking and what we are could be employing more)

By the end of this session the audience should have been exposed to diverse approaches and ideas to ask better questions to help them articulate “how do I know I am doing a good job?”


Livia Labate is a user experience designer practicing in Philadelphia at Comcast Interactive Media. She also currenty on the IA Institute Board of Directors and co-chairing the 2010 and 2011 IA Summits. In other words, she loves the UX world and enjoys giving back to the community.