This is written specific to web sites, but it reminds me a lot of the safety metrics situation, where we measure things because they're for reasons other than their meaning (i.e. convenience, cost, regulatory drivers, etc.). There is more valuable content in the complete article.
Translating UX Goals into Analytics Measurement Plans
by AURORA HARLEY on May 14, 2017
Summary: Focus on UX goals to drive analytics measurement plans, rather than tracking superficial metrics. Identify the core goal of a design to meaningfully measure it.
??Do not solve the problem that??s asked of you. It??s almost always the wrong problem.?? ?? Don Norman
Designers have often been told to focus on outcomes, not features, so that they solve the right problem instead of building the wrong thing. While this rule has been accepted and practiced within UX design and product planning, it is too often forgotten when it comes to digital analytics. Just as building a feature to address the wrong problem will surely fail, tracking the wrong metric will prove meaningless.
Always Ask ??Why???
When determining what to measure on an ongoing basis, it is imperative to fully understand the ultimate goal of the design to be sure you choose an appropriate metric. If you don??t clearly define the goal, it is impossible to determine the best method to track performance or user experience.
Just as we should ask ??Why??? when someone suggests a new design feature, we need to question and probe more deeply before deciding to track or report on a certain metric. What do we really want to know? What action could we take if we knew that number or rate? So much time is wasted on merely reporting metrics. There are countless things to track, and, without honing in on the true goal of measurement, no metric is likely to provide a meaningful or actionable insight.
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