How do you measure the success of a rock concert?

Knebworth Park, North of London, England, 1986. The very last Queen concert. 120,000 tickets sold. It’s a kind of magic.

Most people respond to this question by saying, “ticket sales”. And that’s great and true. Selling out tickets is an excellent success indicator. But that happens before the actual concert started. Before the band went onstage, before the fans entered the venue, before anyone experienced anything (except for the experience of purchasing tickets).

UX metrics for rock concerts

Measuring different UX metrics during a rock concert sheds light on the actual user (or fan) experience. UX metrics provide a quantitative score for a specific, important, and actionable phenomena related to using a product or service. Here are some examples:

  • Level of noise fans make in decibels.
  • Their heart rate.
  • The number of pictures taken per minute per fan.
  • The ratio of time people stand (or dance) to the time they sit in their chairs.
  • Mean time people leave before the end of the concert.

These are all indicators for the success or failure of the concert experience.

UX metrics precede business performance

While metrics such as sales and revenue are tangible signals for success, UX metrics precede and even predict business performance. If UX metrics paint a negative experience, the next time that rock band is in town, ticket sales are not going to be that high.

I’m not against business metrics. I think they’re great. Some of my best friends are business metrics. You should always carefully track business performance. In the same time, UX metrics give you a more complete understanding of success or failure. Combined with qualitative insights, they become even more actionable and powerful.

What do you measure during your rock concert?

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Head of User Research & Metrics at Goldman Sachs, Author of Validating Product Ideas and It's Our Research, Ex-Google, Ex-WeWork, WWE fanboy. 2∞&→