In his Beyond Engagement: the Content Performance Quotient presentation at An Event Apart in Chicago, Jeffrey Zeldman introduced a new metric for tracking how well Web sites are performing. Here’s my notes from his talk:
The number one stakeholder request for Web sites is engagement: we need people using our services more. But is it the right metric for all these situations?
For some apps, engagement is clearly the right thing to measure. Think Instagram, long-form articles, or gaming sites. For others, more time spent might be a sign of customer frustration.
Most of the Web sites we work on are like customer service desks where we want to give people what they need and get them on their way. For these experiences, speed of usefulness should matter more than engagement.
Content Performance Quotient (Design CPQ) is a measure of how quickly we can get the right content to solve the customer’s problem. The CPQ is a goal to iterate against and aim for the shortest distance between problem & solution. It tracks your value to the customer by measuring the speed of usefulness.
Pretty garbage: when a Web site looks good but doesn’t help anyone. Garbage in a delightfully responsive grid is still garbage. A lot of a Web designer’s job is bridging the gap between what clients say they need and what their customers actually need.
Marlboro’s advertising company (in the 50s) rethought TV commercials by removing all the copy and focusing on conveying emotions.
They went from commercials typically full of text to just ten words focused on their message.
Mobile is a great forcing function to re-evaluate our content. Because you can’t fit everything on a small screen, you need to make decisions about what matters most.
Slash your architecture and shrink your content. Ask: “why do we need this?” Compare all your content to the goals you’ve established. Design should be intentional. Have purpose-driven design and purpose-driven content. If your design isn’t going somewhere, it is going nowhere.