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How to capture usage insights?

Capturing usage insights is systematically gathering product usage data to identify areas of improvement and make data-informed decisions.


Getting Started

Once a product is released, creators can start learning from its usage to understand how the product is received by the users. This data helps in improving the product and making it more useful.

To understand user response to the product, both qualitative and quantitative research methods are used. 


Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is studying something using numeric and objective data gathered from genuine sources. In the case of product design, this data is collected from actual product usage. 

A few methods used for gathering quantitative data are:

  • Surveys

  • Quantitative benchmarking 

  • Design Analytics

Let’s take a look at one of the most powerful methods, i.e. design analytics.


Design Analytics

Using analytics various insights can be gathered about how people are using a product or service. By understanding actual usage data and how users interact with the product, you can make your product better. 

Some examples of data that are popularly tracked using analytics are as follows:

  1. User flows

    1. Click through 

    2. Conversion

    3. Completion rates

    4. Drop off

  2. Business goals 

    1. Acquisition

    2. Bounce rates

  3. Audience

    1. User counts

    2. Unique users

    3. Returning Users

  4. Funnels

The data clearly shows patterns of ‘What’ users are doing or not with the product. 


Qualitative Research

A qualitative research method is used to find the ‘Why’ or the reason behind the user patterns. This is performed by methods like interviews, usability tests, etc. 

To know more about different research methods, read User Research Basics


Deriving Insights from usage data

By combining different types of data, designers can get a complete picture of how users are interacting with a product and what they need or want from it.


How to?

Monitoring design while it's being used could be done in the following steps

  1. Gather data on product usage with different research methods.

  2. Organize the data in logical groups.

  3. Analyze the data to make sense and find patterns.

  4. Identify problems, gaps, and issues using available data and derived insights.

  5. Prioritize the problems in order of having the most impact on users. 

  6. Share the list with all stakeholders and create a plan to fix the identified issues.

Do’s

Don’ts

1. Have specific aspects noted for monitoring the usage data.

2. Be clear on what to track and observe.

3. Prioritize user stories to track.

4. Use metrics to evaluate.

1. Don’t gather everything.

2. Don’t gather information without evaluating it. 


Suggested Tools 

  • GoogleAnalytics 

  • SmartLook

  • CrazyEgg


References 


Other Related Best Practices

  • How to keep track of what happens to design once it is delivered during execution

  • User research basics

  • How to conduct research and capture actionable insights


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Questions

  1. How to gather usage insights?

  2. What is design analytics?

  3. How to get design data? 

  4. What is tracked in design analytics?

  5. What is data-informed design?