Category: OKR Examples.

We live in a world that is focused on setting and achieving goals. While the world of design is creative, the business and “practical” side means that it’s not just about creating fabulous designs. It’s also about creating amazing designs that fill a business need.

With the subjective nature of design, it can be challenging to create individual and team OKRs successfully. Still, the OKR framework is an essential part of managing goals and growth within a company. Familiarizing yourself with OKRs, best practices, and reading some great examples of goals you can set on your own design team is a great way to get started with OKRs.

Design Team OKRs

OKR is an acronym for “objectives and key results,” and is based on a management system created by Intel’s former CEO Andy Grove. Design OKRs are specific to their design objectives and the results needed to meet those objectives or goals.

Objectives are the overall goal, or “what you want to achieve.” Like any practical goal, the objectives need to be achievable, but still challenging. They should also be time-bound, giving a specific deadline or timeline that they need to be completed on.

The KR, or key result, is “how you’ll measure your progress towards your objective.” Great key results are either measurable or trackable, and their completion should directly contribute to the success of the objective. It’s a best practice to have between three and five key results per objective. Together, your key results should undeniably fulfill your set objective.

Objective

David Griffin

Improve brand consistency through entire organization

19%

Target Date: Annual-2021

Visibility: All Employees

key-iconKey Results

All design team team members are coached on new branding guidelines

Annual-2021 flag-icon Design Learning
0% 100% 30%

55 5555 55

30%

Update 15 landing pages with new branding guidelines

Annual-2021 increase-icon Update Landing Pages
0 15 3

20%

All materials created for social media meet branding guidelines for 12 weeks

Annual-2021 increase-icon Branding Guidelines
0 Week(s) 12 Week(s) 1 Week(s)

8%

Design OKRs take the company objectives like building brand awareness, improving the customer experience, increasing sales to a membership program, and break them down into measurable outcomes that help guide work throughout the quarter to achieve the objective. For example, more key results that could contribute to building brand awareness include:

  • Creating new branding guidelines
  • Developing a media kit for the website based on the new guidelines
  • Redesigning the company website with the new branding
  • Developing social media templates for social media managers to use showcasing the new look

Design Team OKRs Best Practices

OKRs are developed based on a company’s vision, values, and strategy. Once business leaders understand what their most important goals are for a given quarter, they can share their top-level OKRs to help guide lower-level OKRs within departments and teams.

Businesses can write OKRs for individual company areas like the sales team, marketing department, or human resources department. Design teams must align with other departments and levels within the organization when creating their OKRs, because the trajectory of their work and their most important goals for the quarter will be informed by the needs of other departments.

One of the best ways to achieve success when creating OKRs is by focusing on the collaboration. OKRs are traditionally based on the bigger picture; the corporate or department goals, and not specific to the design team only. Designers must work together to create OKRs that address the needs of their department and the needs of the company as a whole.

Here are four key steps you can follow to create solid OKRs:

  • Define the objective (based on personal, team-specific, or company-wide OKRs.)
  • Choose 3 – 5 specific, measurable key results.
  • Share the OKRs with the relevant personnel and teams.
  • Keep track and report the progress weekly or monthly progress on achieving the OKRs.

OKRs by Department with Examples

Objective

David Griffin

Increase company brand recognition

34%

Target Date: Q3-2021

Visibility: All Employees

key-iconKey Results

Increase pay-per-click free consultation calls scheduled by 15%

Q3-2021 increase-icon Pay-Per-Click
0% 15% 7%

47%

Increase social media engagement by 10%

Q3-2021 increase-icon Social Media Engagement
0% 10% 3%

30%

Receive and promote 4 positive reviews from high-profile customers

Q3-2021 increase-icon Positive Reviews
0 4 1

25%

Objective

David Griffin

Improve overall product usability

32%

Target Date: Q3-2021

Visibility: All Employees

key-iconKey Results

Increase core feature adoption rates by 3%

Q3-2021 increase-icon Core Feature Adoption
0% 3% 2%

67%

Increase primary subscription retention rate by 30%

Q3-2021 increase-icon Retention Rate
0% 30% 6%

20%

Decrease number of support requests about feature use by 25%

Q3-2021 decrease-icon Support Requests
50% 25% 48%

8%

OKRs for Individuals with Examples

Objective

David Griffin

Boost referrals from social media

32%

Target Date: Q3-2021

Visibility: All Employees

key-iconKey Results

Increase number of bio link clicks by 3%

Q3-2021 increase-icon Number of bio links
0% 3% 2%

67%

Increase free consultation appointments scheduled by 10%

Q3-2021 increase-icon Consultation Appointments
0% 10% 3%

30%

Double landing page click-throughs from boosted Facebook posts

Q3-2021 increase-icon Update Landing Pages
0 2

0%

Objective

David Griffin

Create a weekly newsletter for marketing leads

8%

Target Date: Annual-2021

Visibility: All Employees

key-iconKey Results

Maintain an average click-through rate of 40% for each newsletter

Annual-2021 control-kpi-icon Click-through Rate
20% 60% 31%

2%

Convert 15% of newsletters opened to free consultation appointments

Annual-2021 Increase-icon Consultation Appointments
0% 15% 3%

20%

Maintain at least 8% customer conversion rate for leads from newsletter free consultation appointments

Annual-2021 control-kpi-icon Customer Conversion Rate
4% 12% 5%

2%

How UX Designers Create OKRs

It can often be challenging to create OKRs. Ensuring that your Objectives are ambitious, yet focused, and your key results are outcomes rather than simply tasks to be completed can be difficult– especially for UX designers, who have project-driven workdays.

So how can UX designers create strong OKRs?

1. Identify your high-priority goal

In UX design, the first step to successfully creating OKRs is to identify your starting point. Design, especially UX design, isn’t as quantitative as other business areas, because design is inherently more subjective and project-based. Design projects are always one piece of a larger puzzle involving the products, company reputation, pricing, and much more.

This makes it challenging to define as a starting point; however, focusing on a single most important project, problem, or goal is the best place to start when creating OKRs.

2. Establishing The Results

Next, because milestones or key results need to be measurable, it’s crucial to clarify how these outcomes are measured. For example, the sales objective is to increase sales by 3% in the next quarter. Likewise, the UX design key results include reducing abandoned carts by 2.5% by creating a more user-friendly shopping cart experience. This key result ties it into a specific activity (updating the shopping cart experience) with an actual, measurable number found in real-life statistics. Ensuring key results are measured or tracked with quantitative metrics can help strengthen the quality of OKRs.

3. The Numbers

Lastly, reporting and providing feedback are part of the OKR process. At the time the OKRs are established, they are communicated to the affected team members. Then, as work continues, weekly check-ins carefully track progress, plans, and problems that teams might be facing while fulfilling a certain outcome.

UX designers must be able to connect their work directly with important key performance indicators (KPIs) so they know the extent of their impact. The key result metrics need to be relevant, clear, and easy to process.

Here’s an example of a UX design OKR

Objective

David Griffin

Improve User Experience

19%

Target Date: Q3-2021

Visibility: All Employees

key-iconKey Results

Increase task success rate from 70% to 90%

Q3-2021 increase-icon Task Success Rate
70% 90% 76%

30%

Achieve system usability scale of at least 80 (with a min. of 10 participants)

Q3-2021 control-KPI-icon System Usability Scale
40 120 60

8%

Assess usability of product A

Q3-2021 Milestone-kpi-icon Usability Study
0% 100% 20%

555555

20%

Admittedly, transforming the unique world of design into specific, measurable objectives and key results is challenging for most designers. But with these best practices in place and examples to follow, it makes the design process easier to quantify and justify the impact of the design team on its bottom line.

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