HEART framework – History, Step-by-step Application

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What is the HEART framework? 

The ‘HEART’ framework is an approach that is used to help a team improve the user experience for their product and understand how updates and changes can affect the user interaction. 

‘HEART’ is an acronym for the user-centered metrics that helps to calculate the overall journey of the user and their engagement with the product. 

H stands for Happiness: This metric determines if the users find the product helpful, fun and easy to use. It is measured by the five-star rating, Net promoter score, surveys, customer reviews, etc. 

E stands for Engagement: This metric is about how the users engage with the product and whether or not they enjoy the content to keep coming back. It is measured by average session length, average session frequency, and the number of conversions. 

A stands for Adoption: This metric determines the value the user sees in the product or its new feature. This is usually measured by download rate, registration rate, and feature adoption rate. 

R stands for Retention: This metric measures how users keep coming back to the product to complete the main action. It is indicated by the churn rate and the subscription renewal rate

T stands for Task success: This metric measures whether users complete their actions quickly and easily. It is measured by crash rate and search exit rate. 

What is the history of the heart framework?

The HEART framework was originally developed as a research publication in 2010 by a team of UX experts from Google. 

The research paper was named, “Measuring the User Experience on a Large Scale: User-Centered Metrics for Web Applications.” The team members were Kerry Rodden, Hilary Hutchinson, and Xin Fu whose original paper states how user experience can be improved by mapping product goals to metrics. 

How is the heart framework applied step-by-step? 

Simplicity is one of the biggest advantages of the HEART framework. It is a very flexible framework and there is no hard-and-fast rule on how to apply this framework to your project. 

In some cases, you may not even need all of the five metrics where only one or two of them would suffice. 

In order to apply HEART successfully to your project, the ‘Goal-Signals-Metrics’ ought to be used: 

Goals

The first step to consider while applying the HEART framework is by understanding the overall goals and all the features of any given product so that specific needs of the team can be understood. 

For instance, you may say, “We want more traffic,” but what you are actually looking for is “We need more sales.” When the goals are understood, it becomes simpler to see what needs fit into the HEART metrics. 

Signals

The second step is to translate the goals of the team into signals. 

Signals are the indicators that demonstrate the success or failure of the HEART metrics. For instance, engagement is signaled by spending more time with the product. 

Similarly, signals need to be identified based on the goals and carefully observed to make the required modifications. 

Metrics

The last step is to filter your goals and signals into metrics. These metrics help you analyze your progress in the long run and understand the user experience

For instance, considering the previous example of engagement and spending more time with the product, time is now defined by the average session lengths or average session frequency. 

FAQs

Q: Who invented the HEART framework? 

A:  The HEART framework was originally developed as a research publication in 2010 by a team of UX experts from Google. The research paper was published under the name, “Measuring the User Experience on a Large Scale: User-Centered Metrics for Web Applications.” The team members were Kerry Rodden, Hilary Hutchinson, and Xin Fu whose original paper states how user experience can be improved by mapping product goals to metrics. 

Q: When should I use the HEART framework? 

A: When you wish to align your product goals along with the customer needs, it becomes crucial to use the HEART framework in order to understand the user experience, engagement, and journey. That is when it is right for you to use the HEART framework. 

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