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DesignOps Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success

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William Griffiths
DesignOps Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success

DesignOps Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success

Within a DesignOps team, it’s always important to have structure - as we’ve alluded to before. There needs to be a clear ideology and the proper framework to allow you to succeed in the long term. Of course, putting everything down on paper is one thing, but then you have the execution. It’s about seeing projects and plans through, and from that point, you can really begin to see the fruits of your labour.

That’s where metrics and KPIs come into the mix. Yes, it’s an accomplishment to build the right DesignOps team and get your work out there for everyone to see, but it isn’t the absolute end goal. You must be able to stare at some facts and statistics, analyse the data, and recognise where things are going wrong - and how improvements can be made.

So, today, that’s where we want to put our attention. We want to understand why looking at the metrics for DesignOps is so crucial, and we want to provide some tips on how to get it done in the most efficient way possible. With that being said, let’s get to it.

The REACH framework

Within the DesignOps world, following a set of guidelines or a particular framework can always be good. REACH aims to give you a method to identify and triangulate relevant metrics, taking a closer look at the overall goals of what the team is trying to accomplish. When you break it down, it makes a lot of sense.

As you may have been able to guess by the capitalisation, in this instance, every letter of ‘REACH’ stands for something. R = Results, E = Efficiency, A =Ability, C = Clarity, and H = Health. Are the designs still operating at a high level, are designers spending their time on valuable tasks, are the required skills and knowledge present in the team, is everyone in the team on the same page, and is the DesignOps team (as a whole) happy both personally and in their work.

There’s a lot to get through, and we can understand some may see it as unnecessary, but in reality, taking the time to check in could make all the difference.

The challenges in measuring DesignOps

We aren’t going to pretend that following this structure will always be a walk in the park because it isn’t. Some challenges come from measuring DesignOps; not all are easy to solve. Firstly, a lot of the roles are pretty solitary. Because of that, communication between team members can often be difficult, which is a big red flag in itself.

In addition, the lines can quickly become blurred concerning the overall objective. This is why you must stay one step ahead by constantly keeping in touch with your team and motivating them. It’s especially difficult if you have designers from across the globe because, as wonderful as technology may be, it isn’t always the most reliable.

In a field like this, it’s all about the grind. You can’t afford to take your foot off the gas for even a second because when you do, complacency won’t be too far behind it. The design game is constantly evolving, too, so from the designers’ point of view, ensuring those who aren’t as ‘in the loop’ are updated on the latest trends is vital.

The biggest KPIs for design teams

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical when measuring what’s going right and, perhaps more importantly, what’s going wrong within your team and the practices in place. While there are many KPIs out there to keep an eye on, we’ve decided to list a couple that we consider to be absolutely essential as your design team continues to grow and improve.

User satisfaction

Whether your designers believe they’ve made a great product or not, it comes down to what the user believes. Their satisfaction levels should always be seen as the prevailing view of importance because, let’s face it, they’re the target audience. You can gather online feedback, conduct surveys, and even look at how long they spend consuming different pieces of work.

Design consistency

Within every DesignOps team, there are going to be specific standards that need to be met. It’s about looking at and following the guidelines, allowing for creative freedom. If you consistently strike the right tone every single time, consumers will build a familial connection with the brand.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate refers to the percentage of users who complete the goal you’ve set out - whether buying a product, signing up for a service, or even just clicking on a link. That’s perhaps the most prominent way of finding out just how successful your designs are from top to bottom, and over time, it’s always fascinating to see how these trends shift.

Meeting deadlines

This one goes without saying, but you really need to maintain your focus with this one. If you have a set amount of work to complete, and the same goes for the rest of your DesignOps team, it’s good to keep track of who is getting it done on time - and to what standard. If you fall behind, battling back against a backlog can be stressful, time-consuming and incredibly anxiety-inducing.

Influencing brand perception

How are the designs that are being made influencing the perception of the overall brand? It’s a question that should be asked pretty frequently, in our view. Your target audience means everything to your success, and if the perception of your brand is going up based on good designs, that can genuinely be a complete game-changer. It creates a feeling of loyalty that doesn’t go away overnight.

The benefits of tracking KPIs

There’s so much to be said for keeping track of your KPIs and how useful they can be for your own business. From pillar to post, there’s something so honest about looking at your work and understanding it from a personal point of view. Within an entire team, there’s a feeling of transparency and accountability that you shouldn’t dismiss, mainly because that layer of respect can go a long way to improving workplace cohesion.

It may be frustrating sometimes to see that things aren’t working out as you intended, but instead of dwelling on it, you can create an environment of continuous improvement. With every sideward step you take, you’re putting the pieces in place to ensure your next move is forward. It sounds a bit cringeworthy, but it’s true.

From a business standpoint, the quicker you can break everything down, the sooner you can avoid negative press. If your form is dipping and you aren’t there to pick up the slack, it won’t be long before your competitors overtake you. That’s an outcome nobody wants to see, so tracking KPIs should be at the top of your priority list.

Our final thoughts

When integrating KPIs with OKRs (objectives and key results), you can maximise the impact of your initiatives and align them with your company’s goals. After all, this is being done in a way that aims to accomplish the vision your team has put forward. It’s about taking an idea and turning it into a success story, and in our view, it truly does take a village.

That’s why design teams are so essential. We all know the unbelievable talent and ability that resides within a group of designers, but beyond that, they need a way to distribute and really stay ahead of the game. When you add developers, organisers and an entire squad of committed individuals into the mix, you get the perfect DesignOps blend.

Here at Hatchly, our speciality focuses on unlimited graphic design - and we pride ourselves on having a group of world-class professionals ready to complete any design requests you have. If you’re interested in learning more, please check out our website or get in touch!

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