As product designer or developer you aren’t always going to have the time, resources, or testing framework in place to get a holistic view of exactly how your clients are using your product. Measuring UX with analytics is something you are going to want to get comfortable with. It won’t give you the depth that contextual testing and usability tests wil achieve but there are also things that can only be measured via correct analytics. What I suggest to better understand your user is to measure by 3 analytics.

Jobs completed

Think not of features, but about flows: how do people traverse your application in order to get their jobs done. No more tracking pages, now we can track funnels. How many people care completing tasks will give you clues about how many people get stuck in completing the tasks at hand and how many people use the certain aspects of the app.

Time on task

How much time does it take to get from A to B. Take the flows you’ve set up at the previous step and start timing users as they navigate through them. Don’t forget that there are tasks that are more important than others. Attention is a limited resource for both development and usage. Review over the tasks, and the users time on different stages of the task. Look for ways to to decrease time: remove steps, simplify, use better defaults, etc.

Customer satisfaction

Prompt your users with a simple “satisfied”/”not satisfied” type questions to see if the interactions are creating delight or frustration. For example, Basecamp is is using a simple emoji like feedback for their customer support so they can get an idea at a glance how their users are doing. This will not tell you why customers are happy/unhappy, but it will give you insight into potential UX pitfalls. It’s really useful for taking decisions when dealing with a vocal minority.

There is a saying: what gets measured gets done. We can’t measure every single human behavior with regards to how they use our products (yet). But what we can measure, we can generally improve.