IT Operations Blog

3 Critical End User Experience Metrics for Application Performance

Stephen Watts
3 minute read
Stephen Watts
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The popularity of web-based applications increases every year. And the percentage of companies that run most of their processes through software as a service (SaaS) products is predicted to increase from 38% in 2016 to 78% in 2022. Web-based applications are therefore fueling the growth in cloud services, with SaaS responsible for almost 70% of overall public cloud market share.

This trend shows an unstoppable shift in how organizations and individuals use applications every day. From consumer apps on smart devices to enterprise SaaS that powers a global workforce, web-based applications are quickly becoming the default way we work, communicate, and interact.

Employees and consumers want to make the most of these applications. Correct development and implementation of SaaS applications will maximize productivity, minimize operational costs, create a competitive advantage, and make it easier to scale.

Measurement, analysis, and improvement is critical to how well web-based applications function, and has a direct impact on user satisfaction, interaction, and output. Users want SaaS products that are reliable, fast, and easy-to-use. Translate each of these into a metric you can measure, track, and improve and you have three critical end user experience metrics: availability, responsiveness, and usability.

1. Availability—App Is Available When Users Need It

The most basic requirement of all is the app is available and working when employees or consumers need to use it. The availability of an app relies on several different areas working together correctly to provide a reliable end product.

  • Map the IT Elements That Deliver a Working App
    Map and audit all of the various areas that an app relies on. This includes local and cloud-based infrastructure, backend, middleware, and frontend.
  • Understand Interdependencies Between IT Elements
    An app relies on many interdependent systems. Understand the links between these systems and how failure in one area can create availability issues elsewhere.
  • Use Availability Incidents to Resolve Underlying Problems and Risks
    Identify and resolve system failures, then use a robust problem management approach. This will identify the root cause and resolve underlying issues to prevent incidents from recurring.
  • Create Robust Resilience, Recovery, and Failover Options
    Create fast, comprehensive plans for restoring availability quickly if you have an outage. For especially critical systems, implement complete failover systems for continual availability.

2.Responsiveness—App Is Fast and Reactive Across All Devices

Next to availability, the speed of your app is just as critical. Apps that are slow to react will impact productivity and create end user frustration.

  • Measure App Responsiveness Across Multiple Use Cases and Devices
    Various devices, use cases, and scenarios can impact on response times. Test your app across all devices and configurations to ensure a fast and satisfying end user experience.
  • Align Response Times with Demand and Capacity Management
    Demand and capacity management are two crucial ITIL disciplines for maintaining good response times in apps. Get an excellent understanding of likely future demands on web-based apps and have proactive capacity management in place.
  • Monitor Response Times Throughout the IT Ecosystem
    Monitor speed and responsiveness across all systems and interdependencies, similar to how you measure availability. Expand responsiveness monitoring across your wider IT networks, as events throughout your IT ecosystem can impact your app’s responsiveness.

3.Usability—App Is Simple and Easy to Use

Good apps are simply a pleasure to use. The design, interface, navigation, and features of an app must come together to provide an outstanding user experience.

  • Learn How Users Navigate and Interact with Your App
    Set up monitoring throughout your app. Explore how long users spend in certain parts of the product before they move on. Analyze the entry and exit points in the app and get insight into how users engage with the product.
  • Ask Users What They Think of the App
    Use technical insight into how users interact with the app to guide questions and feedback. Set up focus groups with different types of users. Ask these users what they do and don’t like about the app, and the improvements they would like to see.
  • Baseline, Improve, and Re-measure
    Establish a strong baseline for how users interact with the product. Make changes to enhance the app based on metrics and user feedback, then re-measure to see if engagement improves. Carry out split-testing in the app to learn how effectively the product meets user needs.

Detect and Resolve Application Performance Management Issues 10x Faster

Availability, responsiveness, and usability are key metrics to measure for improving your end user experiences. But how do you make changes to each of these areas to enhance productivity, satisfaction, and engagement?

Start with our groundbreaking application performance management (APM) solutions, which leverage artificial intelligence to help your IT organization better manage the performance of business-critical applications across your multi-cloud infrastructure. These solutions use application-centric infrastructure and end user monitoring, along with deep-dive diagnostics, to ensure that you’re efficiently finding and resolving availability and performance issues in real time.

In particular, TrueSight AppVisibility drastically helps your IT operations team improve overall application performance—and your end user experiences—with machine learning and advanced analytics.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Stephen Watts

Stephen Watts

Stephen is based in Birmingham, AL and began working at BMC Software in 2012. Stephen holds a degree in Philosophy from Auburn University and is currently enrolled in the MS in Information Systems - Enterprise Technology Management program at University of Colorado Denver.

Stephen contributes to a variety of publications including CIO.com, Search Engine Journal, ITSM.Tools, IT Chronicles, DZone, and CompTIA.