HEART + GMS Framework

Explanation

The HEART + GSM framework is Google's most famous high-level UX measurement method

It was developed as a study  in 2010 by Kerry Rodden, Hilary Hutchinson, and Xin Fu at Google for the purpose of relating UX metrics to business metrics within UX usertesting. 

It can give companies a roadmap of actionable and measurable items that improve a site or app in order to increase revenue or save cost. But the method is not easy or fast.

HEART stands for Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention and Task Success. GMS stands for Goals, Signals and Metrics.  

Google’s HEART + GMS framework relates UX metrics to business metrics.

Examples

Everyone interprets the method a bit differently

These adaptations look similar, but the pudding is in the detail, so to speak. I find myself often going back to the original research paper, simply to see where the original ends and the interpretation begins.

Google HEART + GMS framework and a couple of interpretations

How-to Guide

This is a step by step instruction that I use as guide in my workshops

It’s basically the original study, with a couple of optimisations, hints or tips I found useful. I’m using a Time Timer. The length of the time slots depends on the size of the group and how much they are in sync with their company’s business goals.

List 5-10 goals for an app or site 

Business and marketing goals. Ideally 3-5, then once those are in control, repeat for the next 5. 15 is already unrealistic, because of goal tracking effort over time.  

Goal example

Become the leading app for photo sharing

Goal example

Increase customer satisfaction with our product

Goal example

Increase revenue through the site by 10%

Goal example

Users upload and share more photos

Goal example

Gain 100.000 new users this year

Goal example

Save internal cost by 20% 

Prioritize the list

A test of the team’s united vision for the business. No agreement after an hour? Reduce project scope (e.g. “HEART study on products a and b”, or “HEART study on enlarging user base”, then adapt goals.

Goal example

Become the leading app for photo sharing

Goal example

Increase customer satisfaction with our product

Goal example

Increase revenue through the site by 10%

Goal example

Users upload and share more photos

Goal example

Gain 100.000 new users this year

Goal example

Save internal cost by 20% 

Sort goals into 5 UX criteria: Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, Task Success

This is where what a company wants (catch a bird) is translated into what users want (bird seed, a nest). Not all criteria need to be “filled” with a goal.

A variation of the 5 criteria: HEARRRT by Trent Mankelow (Happiness, Engagement, Audience, Retention, Referral, Revenue, Tech) based on the Startup Metrics for Pirates by Dave McClure  (Aquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue)

Goal example

Become the leading app for photo sharing

UX criteria

Happiness

Goal example

Increase revenue through the site by 10%

Users upload and share more photos

UX criteria

Engagement (frequency, intensity, depth of interaction with product / service over time)

Goal example

Gain 100.000 new users this year

UX criteria

Adoption (# of new users)

HEARRT Variation: Audience (people coming from different channels)

Goal example

Increase customer satisfaction with our product

UX criteria

Retention (prevent churn, existing users return)

UX criteria

HEARRRT Method Addition: Referral, trackable with SUS or NPS

UX criteria

HEARRRT Method Addition: Revenue (Goals related to users paying somehow)

Goal example

Save internal cost by 20%

UX criteria

Task Success (efficiency, effectiveness, errors)

HEARRRT variation: Tech (Improve the way things are done under the hood)

Define signals

Any feature on the site that can be tracked over time and that would show that a goal was met. Important: needs to be measurable. 

Goal example

Become the leading app for photo sharing

UX criteria

Happiness

Real Signals

# of subscribers

Goal example

Increase revenue through the site by 10%

Users upload and share more photos

UX criteria

Engagement (product / service use)

Real Signals

# of photos uploaded

#of photos shared

Goal example

Gain 100.000 new users this year

UX criteria

Adoption (# of new users)

Real Signals

# of new subscriptions this year

Goal example

Increase customer satisfaction with our product

UX criteria

Retention (prevent churn)

Real Signals

Churn rate, 

# of subscription renewals

Goal example

Save internal cost by 20%

UX criteria

Task Success (efficiency, effectiveness, errors)

Real Signals

# of users editing their data,

# of support tickets

Define metrics

The methods we can use to track the signals.

Goal example

Become the leading app for photo sharing

UX criteria

Happiness

Real Signals

# of subscribers

Action metrics

 Web analytics, focus groups

Goal example

Increase revenue through the site by 10%

Users upload and share more photos

UX criteria

Engagement (product / service use)

Real Signals

# of photos uploaded

#of photos shared

Action metrics

Upload statistic

Goal example

Gain 100.000 new users this year

UX criteria

Adoption (# of new users)

Real Signals

# of new subscriptions this year

Action metrics

User data

Goal example

Increase customer satisfaction with our product

UX criteria

Retention (prevent churn)

Real Signals

Churn rate, 

# of subscription renewals

Action metrics

NPS, Surveys

Goal example

Save internal cost by 20%

UX criteria

Task Success (efficiency, effectiveness, errors)

Real Signals

# of users editing their data,

# of support tickets

Action metrics

Crahs rate, search exit rate

Evaluation

Do you agree? Have you used this method? Did it work? 

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