Success Criteria

Success Criteria

Success criteria are a set of agreed metrics that are measured to evaluate the success and impact of a project.

This is typically done at the implementation stage of a service and should be an iterative process of feedback and evaluation.

How to define success criteria

Before you start measuring anything, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your service design project. Together with the team, you need to:

First, define your desired outcomes:

After having conducted user research and analyses, your team should spend time reflecting about your desired outcomes. Ask yourself:

  • What do we want to achieve with this project/redesign?
  • What is the expected long, medium and short term impact?

Second, define a set of metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your desired outcomes:

The KPIs should encompass a range of both quantitative and qualitative metrics to provide a comprehensive view of the project's outcomes.

You need to define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals and metrics that align with your service vision and strategy.

Lastly, define a strategy for collecting and measuring the defined success metrics/KPIs:

Once the success criteria are defined, it’s also important to identify a strategy for their measurement (how data is collected and when), keeping in mind the importance of accessing that information in several moments of the process, and being able to use it to adjust the workflow and features developed.


Examples of success criteria

Depending on what you have defined as KPIs or success criteria, there are multiple ways in which you can measure them:

  • Task success
  • Conversion rates
  • Time spent on page
  • Net Promotor Score (NPS)
  • Customer reviews
  • Service costs
  • Service complaints
  • Costumer support requests


Ways to measure success

When measuring the success of your service design project, you can use various methods and tools, depending on your goals and metrics.

  • Surveys and feedback forms are simple and quick ways to collect quantitative and qualitative data from users and stakeholders.
  • Interviews and focus groups are more in-depth, interactive methods to gather insights and opinions.
  • Observations and ethnography provide an immersive, empathetic understanding of users in their natural context.
  • Analytics and dashboards can be used to track and monitor the performance and impact of your service.

Social outcomes often take a long time to appear, particularly where the approach is preventative. For example, you might only see the impact of increasing financial self-management on homelessness figures five or ten years later.

Last Updated: 13 December 2023