The Heart Framework is a collection of metrics that gives you a holistic view of how your UX is viewed by users, and helps you make product development decisions.
The Heart Framework is a collection of metrics that gives you a holistic view of how your UX is viewed by users and helps you make product development decisions.
Between product analytics, user reviews, and other tracked metrics, it can be easy to get caught up in all the feedback and not know where to begin. It would be helpful to know right away how to measure the success of your user experience in a holistic, scalable way. That’s how the Heart Framework has helped product teams like those at Google understand their UX metrics.
In this glossary article, we explore the Heart Framework, its benefits, and its component metrics, as well as how to use it.
Table of contents
What is the Heart Framework?
The Heart Framework is a method of evaluating a product’s UX that looks at five metrics: Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task Success.
The Heart Framework was developed by Google’s UX team in response to the realization that there were no methodologies that could measure UX feedback on a large scale. With the Heart Framework, product teams can look at just five quantifiable user-centric metrics.
And then the data they gather regarding those metrics can be used to inform product direction.
What Are the Five Metrics of the Heart Framework?
Each of the five metrics of the Heart Framework is highly user-centric, tackling either the direct response of users to your product or how they use and adopt it. Note that not every metric in the Heart Framework must necessarily apply.
Happiness refers to the sentiment of users about your product and how they feel about it. This is typically gathered at a large scale using surveys, product ratings, and reviews.
Engagement tracks how your users interact with your product. This includes metrics such as session length, visits per week, and the number of actions completed within the product.
Do you know how many new users your product gains over a given time period? Adoption not only measures this but also describes how effectively you are attracting new users. Plus, it describes how easily and effectively you onboard them through your user experience.
Retention is a measure of the proportion of active users who continue to use your product within a certain time period. The inverse of retention is churn—how many users stop using your product and don’t return within a given window. Adoption and retention go hand in hand when it comes to measuring the success of your product.
When completing tasks with your product, how easily and efficiently do users achieve their goals? The many methods you can use to measure this fall under the blanket of task success. You may choose, for example, to look at the percentage of tasks successfully completed, or the rate of errors that users encounter while completing tasks.
How Do You Use the Heart Framework?
To use the Heart Framework, you must separate each category into three components: Goals, Signals, and Metrics. Here’s a simple template to illustrate:
The Goals are high-level objectives for the category. They represent your main objectives for tracking these metrics. For example, a goal for “Retention” could be that you want your users to keep using your website and not switch to competitors.
We recommend that you try not to have more than three goals per category. You don’t want to complicate the process of tracking feedback to make decisions.
Next, you want to fill in Signals; these are actions or states that show that you are achieving your goals. A signal for the “Retention” goal could be that users continue to purchase subscriptions to your product.
It’s important to select clear and trackable signals that correlate well with the goals. Otherwise, you may be tracking signals that don’t make sense towards your goals.
In your Metrics column, you will write indicators of your established signals. These are the specific actions or states that you watch out for. For example, tracking whether users are being retained involves looking at the rate of subscription renewals compared to total users.
What Are the Benefits of the Heart Framework?
Using the Heart Framework provides a lot of context to help you make product-related decisions and improve your user experience, among other benefits.
When using this model, you get a lot of valuable insights into trends about user experience metrics. You’ll learn how users feel about your product, whether they keep coming back, and other quantifiable data. Over time, you’ll discover how their sentiment and behavior change as your product changes. This can help you decide where you need to improve and reinforce your efforts.
Another benefit is that it helps your team narrow their focus to only the metrics that matter. With such an enormous amount of data at your disposal today, it can easily overwhelm any team looking for user feedback. Focusing on the ones that are directly related to your goals can help you track them better.
The Heart Framework: Keeping Your Team’s Eyes on the Prize
The Heart Framework was ultimately designed to help product teams see the impact of their work and guide future product development decisions. That’s why it’s so important to use it in your business. It can inform your strategies and show that your team’s hard work is paying off—as well as tell you where you have areas of improvement. All of these are valuable insights you need to know when you’re creating a product that meets your users’ needs and helps you grow your business.