Jan 17, 2021
User metrics - Signals and Metrics
After your team drafted the vision statement. You shouldn’t stop there.
You should start to define metrics you can track to see your progress toward that vision. By the way, expect to change the metrics from time to time, especially in the early of your product discovery. For example, you might not be sure what impact the users due to limited knowledge about the problem space in the beginning. As you pick up new insights, you might want to revisit them.
You can start thinking of what metrics you can track, but I find people often trap and stuck because they tend to think of the typical metrics right away. Uh, Activation? Retention? For that reason, I like to start with the signals because it triggers what the condition we want to achieve, not metrics.
For example, if our vision is to make a practical education system to prepare university students for employment. The signal could be:
- More students employed compared to last year
- Student get employed after graduate quicker
Signals are like indication. It gives your team a sense of what the concrete impacts will be made. You can start with probing question like: “If we achieve our vision today, what will be the direct impact we want to see to students?”
Now you should ask your team: How will we track the signals? Using our example, we can have metrics like:
- Employment rate from xx% to xx%
- Time gap of graduation to employment from xx% to xx%
Note: Your next step should create a definition of that metrics. This will be a discussion with the team. Product managers will be a great partner on this.
After you have the high-level user metrics. This will balance out some of the typical product metrics. Your team can answer: How far are we delivering the value, and how far our product benefits the business. You can utilize the user metrics as your north-star. Put an ambitious goal on it.
You can use HEART framework from Google to help you inspired the type of metrics. But I generally keep it pretty loose to avoid people get fixated on the framework.