What is the heart framework?

The HEART framework is an approach that aims to align their attention more closely with the customer experience. The HEART framework aims to assist companies in gaining a better understanding of how modifications can affect the user’s journey.

The history of the HEART framework

In its original form, the HEART framework was described as part of a research report by a group of quantitative user experience researchers at Google.

In 2010, Kerry Rodden, Hilary Hutchinson, and Xin Fu published Measuring the User Experience on a Large Scale: User-Centered Metrics for Web Applications, a book about measuring the user experience on a large scale.

Who Should Apply the HEART Framework?


One of the most significant advantages of the HEART structure is that it is straightforward.

There are no hard-and-fast guidelines on how you should go about applying the technique to your company’s operations. So much so that many teams will not need to utilize all five of the metrics. Only one or two of them may apply to their product in the first place.


The HEART framework was created for software user experience teams. The framework’s five aspects and the Goals-Signals-Metrics model that it is based on are still best suited to user-experience designers and researchers.

However, HEART may also be a valuable paradigm for product managers, notably in weighing competing initiatives to identify the most outstanding strategic value. When a product team has more ideas or requests for innovations and upgrades than their cross-functional team can work on in a given timeframe, they may utilize HEART as a priority framework.

How to Use The Heart Framework

Many matrics assist companies in using the HEART framework. And in this article, we will discuss two of them.

The five key metrics

Abbreviation for five key metrics, all of which are focused on the user and how they interact with a product: “HEART” is an acronym that represents five core metrics that are focused on the user and how they interact with a consequence:

Happiness: This metric is equivalent to user happiness and is typically quantified by customer surveys, net promoter score (NPS) scores, reviews, app ratings, and other similar measurement methods.

Engagement: This indicator is about how frequently people return to the product to interact with it. For example, you may look at the number of times people return to the site.

Adoption includes lead generation and acquisition, but it is also essential to consider how many users complete your onboarding process. And how many of these are experimenting with the most recent features? This measure keeps track of all of these things and more.

Retention: Churn is an essential indicator for SaaS platforms, and for a good reason: it indicates how long a user stays on the site. When it comes to the HEART framework’s “Retention” feature, it’s all about retaining your people as users.

The task was completed successfully: Although it is not as beautifully phrased as the others, this statistic is a critical component of product success. The program asks questions like ‘How long does it take users to complete a goal?’ and ‘How many users are encountering error messages?’.

The Goals-Signals-Metrics

It is possible to apply HEART to a product you are currently developing by following the “Goals-Signals-Metrics” process.

Following is a step by step guide to using the goals-signals-metrics:

Step one

First and foremost, as a team, examine the general aims of the product or feature you’re thinking of implementing.

Step two

The HEART structure might assist you in staying on track with your objectives. As a result, while you may initially state, “We want more users,” what you are genuinely seeking is increased user engagement or adoption. As you go through your list of objectives, think about how each relates to the HEART measures.

Step three

After that, you’ll want to map your objectives to signals. These are essentially distinct states that signify success or failure in one of the HEART categories, and they are described in detail below. The most obvious example is “Task success”: what kind of behavior would users display if they could accomplish necessary actions through your app or be unable to do so?

Step four

The final step is taking your objectives and signals and filtering them through to produce measurements.

These can be measured directly over time and can be used to determine how far you’ve come in terms of improving your user experience. Using the above example, you could establish one of your “Task success” signals by determining the number of times an individual user encounters a given error message.


The easiest way to summarize the goals of the HEART framework is to quote a single phrase from the research abstract: “There is a strong need for user-centered metrics for web applications, which you can use to assess progress toward key goals and drive product decisions.”

Based on the original HEART framework research, it is possible to demonstrate how you can translate product goals into measurements to improve the customer experience.


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