Today, Facebook’s UX research team came to Georgia tech to talk about their thoughts on ‘the loving and tumultuous marriage of Big Data and UX’. I agree with the speaker that people seem to have a metrics fetishism. It might be easier to measure how successful a retail company is by looking at their ‘sales per store’, but it is more complicated to define the profit metric for Facebook, Google or Twitter.
I like and agree with his suggestion that design should be informed by metrics but not be driven by it(metrics fetishism). This is exemplified by the behavior of Facebook ‘likes’ because people use Facebook like button to mean different things in different scenarios. For example, a ‘Like’ can signify that I agree with someone, or that I empathize with someone, or that I approve of someone, or that I want to like something because all my friends liked it. So then how can we determine a general metric for Facbook ‘Like’? If I give a lot of ‘Likes’ does that mean I am more happy or satisfied? It is, therefore, important to not only to determine the no.of likes but also to understand the deeper social meaning behind each of those likes.
The researchers concluded by saying that ‘Data is not enough’ reasoning that it will put UX designers at the mercy of the engineers who implement the logging functionality. I agree with them that UX researchers and designers must look at behaviors that are meta and harder to quantify.