It’s so easy to get caught up in what are known as “vanity metrics”. You know the ones, page views, sessions and even new users in some cases. While these look great on paper, especially when showing the board members how well your project is going, these metrics are very easy to move while not necessarily producing actionable results. Actionable results are metrics that, by changing, you create meaningful change for your project/company. I’m not saying this is always the case, but you need to be careful with them.

Be very careful not to fall into the trap of focusing on good looking metrics and ignoring the important, actionable numbers.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Perhaps your marketing team has just launched an awesome new campaign, you see an huge spike in new users across the board. Everything is coming up Milhouse. But what if none of those new users are converting to paying customers. While the marketing campaign was great, you haven’t actually made any money yet.

That’s a bit of a problem.

Ok, so those new users are converting to paying customers, but for some reason your revenue is not going up much. Maybe, with all this effort you are putting into gathering up new users, you have completely forgotten about your existing users. So while the new people are getting on-board, all of your loyal customers are slowly getting over your platform and moving on to greener pastures.


Seeing the forrest for the trees

It’s incredibly important to really understand how your users are acting at every stage of their experience with the product. From first sign up, becoming a paid user, right through to making a real investment in your product and becoming a habitual user.

This is know as the Customers Lifetime Value (CLTV). To understand this will give you an amazing insight on the points where users are not engaging with your product as well as they could be.

Knowing this allows you to focus on the areas of your product that need it most.

What’s the point?

It’s super easy to raise the hits on your website by dumping a whole stack of money on google ad words or a creating a witty Facebook ad campaign, but what’s the point if no one is re-engaging with the product after that? It’s wasted money.

By focusing on actionable metrics that really matter, your product will be more sustainable and in a better position overall.


Alex Knight

UX UI Designer – Tokyo