OKRs Examples

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Design

OKRs for Design Teams

Why use OKRs?

Most designers are embedded in functional teams, and their focus aligns with the priorities of the group. Are they in a Marketing team? Then they're mostly working Acquisition. Are they part of a Product team? They're surely tackling Activation and Retention problems.

It's safe to say that designers can work on any part of the user journey.

But you can also consider Design as its own function, and think about how they can improve things across the entire organization. A goal-setting framework like OKRs can look inwards to enhance processes or outwards to bring consistency across all experiences.

Key questions:

How efficient is our design process?

Do we offer a consistent experience across our tools and services?

How close are we to our customers?

How to write OKRs for Design?

Step 1. Understanding OKRs vs. Projects

Before jumping into the OKRs process, it is essential to understand the difference between Objectives, Key Results, and projects:

  • Objectives: what do we want to achieve next quarter?
  • Key Results: how are we going to measure progress?
  • Projects: what are our best bets to get there?

Having this set of questions in mind will help you ensure that you're not mistaking projects for Key Results or Objectives.

A good Objective should be inspiring and easy to understand by anyone in your org. You can be more specific in the Key Results, but the Objectives should help every function understand the current focus and how they can contribute.

A good Key Result should follow the rules of the SMART framework. In particular, it should be relevant to its parent Objective, measurable through the quarter, and time-bound. A good test is to ask, "would we do things differently if this KR goes off-track?". If the answer is negative, then you need to refine your OKR.

Finally, your projects are the things that will move the needle on your Key Results. They're bets that you make with the team. Some will work—double down on it. Some will fail, and it should be okay to stop and move on to the next idea.

Step 2. Narrow down your focus

OKRs are all about focus, but it can be hard for Design to isolate themes given that they often work across a large set of projects and functions.

One option is to look into other framework such as Google's HEART method to identify a set of priorities.

Step 3. Write your plan

Start with the Objectives and make sure that everyone on the team understands what they mean. You want them to be concise, but also precise enough that they give a clear sense of direction.

Avoid general statements like "Create great experiences" and instead focus on the expected outcome, "Users engage with our platform more often".

You'll see some examples below, and here's a guide about writing OKRs if you're just getting started.

Example of Design OKRs

OKRs for Design Systems

Objective

All teams can rapidly build consistent UIs

Key result

100% of UI components can be found in the Design System guidelines

Key result

All form items are included in the Design System UI Kit

Key result

80% of the teams are using the UI Kit to build new features

See more Design OKR Templates →

OKRs for Design issues

Objective

Reduce significantly the UX issues found in production

Key result

At least 20 design tests are run every month

Key result

UX issues represent fewer than 20% of new bug reports

Key result

100 users have signed up for our early-access program

See more Design OKR Templates →

OKRs for branding

Objective

Build a strong, consistent brand

Key result

Our brand guidelines cover 100% of our public facing assets

Key result

80% of people can clearly identify our brand vs. other competitors in blind tests

Key result

All websites/emails/keynotes are using the new brand guidelines

See more Design OKR Templates →

OKRs for UX feedback

Objective

Develop a voice-of-the-customer program

Key result

Recruit 100 users for our UX lab

Key result

Conduct 5 UX tests per week

Key result

Achieve 70%+ open rate on our customer feedback newsletter

See more Design OKR Templates →

How to track your Design OKRs?

There are many options available out there but we're generally seeing 2 categories of products emerging.

For teams getting started: Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are a great way to get started with OKRs. They're flexible and familiar, and they reduce the amount of learning when you're still getting comfortable with the Objectives and Key Results process.

But, you'll probably start to feel some friction as adoption grows. The lack of check-ins workflows and trends makes it hard for spreadsheet to be a long-term solution for OKRs.

For seasoned OKRs team: OKRs-tracking software

If you're looking to simplify your OKRs process, then a dedicated goal-tracking platform is best to keep track of your OKRs at scale.

A platform like Tability will automate the check-ins reminders, provide progress charts and dashboards out of the box, and make the whole experience more collaborative.

Focus tip:

Frequent check-ins are the key to staying on track with your OKRs. Checking progress early and often will tell you what you should and shouldn't focus on. Make check-ins a part of your weekly ritual with Tability →

What other Design metrics can you use?

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some example of metrics that can be relevant for your Key Results.

UX tests

Tests run to validate existing and proposed user experiences.

Engagement

How people engaged with your app, websites and services.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Measures how likely users are to recommend your product.

Activation rate

How many evaluators turn into active users.

Retention rate

How many users come back to the product.

Number steps for X

How many steps it takes for a user to do X

Open/closed rate of design issues

What the ratio of open to close issues related to design

Task churn

How many users abandon a task before completing it

Stop wasting your OKRs. Focus on the right work and accomplish your goals.

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