SMART criteria is a goal setting technique that can help you set effective goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
- Specific: The first principle focuses on the power of a specific goal over a more general one. This means the goal is clear and unmistakable. Specific goals answers the “five Ws”: What do you want to accomplish? Why (what are the reasons and benefits)? Who is involved? Where (if location is important)? Which (requirements and constraints)?
- Measurable: The second principle stresses the need for goals to be quantifiable. If a goal cannot be measured, how will you know if you’re making progress? How will you know if you’ve achieved it?
- Attainable: The third principle focuses on the importance of making goals that are realistic and achievable. The idea is that unattainable goals — goals that everyone agrees are clearly out of reach — are highly demotivating. This is where SMART goals and OKRs really separate themselves. OKRs tend to be much more aspirational and aggressive.
- Relevant: The fourth principle focuses on setting goals that matter. A goal to train and complete your first marathon may be specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound but lacks relevance. Goals that are in alignment with the organization’s strategy — goals that drive the team, department, and organization forward — would be considered relevant.
- Time-bound: The fifth principle focuses on the power of setting a due date for a goal. Committing to a deadline creates a sense of urgency and prevents goals from getting overtaken by the small fires that inevitably arise in every organization.
The SMART model is a great way to ensure you’ve written a high-quality goal.
Setting SMART goals
A great brand experience for your customers is the result of setting concrete goals that meet both user and business targets. Wanting a “great website” that gives customers a “good experience” is not a goal.
Why? Because that is not actionable or measurable.
Such a “non” specific goal contributes nothing to the planning or design phases, and it is the UX equivalent of a motivational high-five. So, don’t try to “create a great website with good user experience.” Create a S.M.A.R.T. one.
So, what is a SMART goal?
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based.
Solid examples of SMART web goals include:
- Increase traffic by 50% in 6 months.
- Increase sales of X product online by 20% over the next month.
- Increase awareness of Y product online to encourage 30% more in-store purchases over the next quarter.
- Add 1500 new subscribers to the newsletter over the next year.
- Connect with 10 people per week on Facebook.
- Increase brand loyalty on social media by encouraging fans to give at least 1 message of positive feedback per day.
Identifying what you want to accomplish, and creating a plan on how to achieve it in an accountable manner, is the difference between success and failure.
By stating exactly what the user needs to accomplish, these goals help you focus on content, design and functionality that is critical to your customer.
Progress must be tracked and assessed. For your website, we can measure clicks to determine how users are engaging with your content. We can measure the number of page views. We can measure the path through your website. We can measure the percentage of visitors who click “Add to Cart.” We can measure the number of extra likes or enews sign ups.
Actionable / attainable goals
Because the goals are specific, we can readily identify content and functionality that satisfy them. There’s no point in setting an unattainable goal. If your goal is HUGE, you may need to break your goal into smaller chunks to make it attainable.
Make sure the goals are appropriate for a the use. Ie the product page of your shop website will have different goals to say the home page.
For a goal to work, it should have time limits.
How to set SMART website goals.
Let’s use a product page of a new e-commerce website to illustrate.
A product page allows shoppers to learn more about a product for sale and add it to their shopping cart. It typically includes images of the product, the price, a description, and an “Add to Cart” button.
The online shop’s SMART goals are therefore:
- The main goal of the user is to – quickly learn more about this product’s design, features and specifications to determine whether it fits their budget, needs and preferences.
- The secondary goal of the user is to – buy this product.
- The main goal of the business is to – encourage the user to purchase the product thus increasing sales by 10% over the next month.
- The secondary goal of the business is to – encourage user to sign up to enewsletter / follow on social media thus increasing brand awareness by 30% over next month.
Items required to satisfy these goals for user:
- Strong professional design that allows user to feel instantly comfortable.
- Clear branding.
- Easy to find link to product.
- Relevant images that represent the product as a whole.
- Relevant images (such as enlarged views and alternate angles) that show the product in detail.
- General description that provides a brief overview of the product’s purpose.
- Specifications that are relevant to consumers of this product type.
- Bullet points that give the user a summary of key benefits.
- Text that shows how the product will solve a problem for the user.
- Product variations or options (such as color, size).
- Selling price (showing discount if applicable).
- Shipping costs.
- Customer service details and returns policy.
- Easy to find add to cart button.
- Social media links on buttons that give reasons to connect such as discounts.
- Simply enewsletter sign up form in sidebar with strong call to action telling user why to sign up.
Solution: You need our business coaching – we will help you set smart goals and hold you accountable to the process that sees your goal achieved.