To gain the most value out of Amplitude, we recommend you follow this workflow. This sequence of steps, adopted by our most successful customers, lays the groundwork for some of the most important metrics, and also demonstrates how specific charts are connected:
- Step 1: Identify your product's critical event
- Step 2: Determine your product usage interval
- Step 3: Create retention graphs
- Step 4: Plot a user lifecycle graph
- Step 5: Map your user personas
- Step 6: Compare engagement across personas
- Ongoing work: Create cohorts, compare, run A/B tests, make changes
Step 1: Identify your product's critical event
A critical event is an action users take within your product that aligns closely with your core value proposition. You probably already know what your critical event is—it’s the action you want to drive your users towards and get them to take.
|Type of Product||Critical Event|
|Self-guided meditation||Completing a meditation session|
|Find and book nearby fitness classes||Booking a class|
|Multiplayer mobile game||Playing a game|
|Buy and sell used things near you||Completing a purchase|
|On-demand grocery delivery||Completing a delivery|
|Share songs on various social media platforms||Sharing a song|
Use these questions to help determine your product's critical event:
- Does your product have different offerings? If so, what are they? What are your success metrics for each?
- Does your product have distinct groups of users? If so, how do they differ in the way they use your product? What value does each group get?
- What is the one action that you want a user to do every time they open your product?
- What metric(s) do you care about as a company? What are you ultimately trying to drive up? Which user actions can be tied to that metric?
Step 2: Determine your product's usage interval
Just as important as defining your critical event is determining how often people take that action. The product usage interval is the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) with which you expect people to use your product.
Some products are built to be used daily—think social networking, media, casual gaming, or productivity apps. Others, like on-demand, e-commerce, and expense reporting apps, would be used much less frequently.
You cannot calculate user retention without first having an understanding of your product’s usage interval and critical event.
Step 3: Create retention graphs to understand your user retention rates
If you're having trouble holding on to users, it may signal a problem with the product, or with the overall experience of using it. But if you can't track retention, you may never figure out what the issue is.
Amplitude’s Retention Analysis chart helps you drive product adoption by showing you how often users return to your product after taking a specific action. Use it to discover the events that keep users coming back, as well as the ones that are driving them away.
Step 4: Plot a user Lifecycle graph
Once you know your product's critical event, you'll want to find out how your user base interacts with that event over time. A Lifecycle analysis breaks out your active users into three subgroups—new, current, and resurrected (formerly inactive)—for a more granular view of user behavior.
Ultimately, the goal should be to use this information to grow your current and resurrected user counts, either by keeping them engaged or by giving them a reason to become active again. You'll also want to keep an eye on your dormant users: if this category starts growing, you may have an engagement problem on your hands.
Step 5: Map your user personas
Knowing who is using your product is just as important as knowing what they're doing with it.
Amplitude's Personas chart groups your users into clusters based on the similarities of their event behavior: users who behave the same way will end up in the same cluster. It can help you surface similarities between user cohorts you may not have thought to look for. And it can guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive set of user personas for your product.
Step 6: Compare engagement across personas with the Engagement Matrix
Amplitude's Engagement Matrix chart breaks out the top and bottom events for engagement into a four-quadrant matrix view, so you can easily spot which features should be refactored or deprecated, and which ones offer the potential for extending engagement into other areas of your product. This way, you can develop a better understanding of the high-level pattern of feature engagement in your product, by both breadth and frequency.
Ongoing work: Create cohorts, compare, A/B test, improve
Beyond this workflow, you should always be using Amplitude to explore your product and user data further. Create cohorts in various charts and compare how those different groups of users are engaging with your product. Are they taking different flows in Pathfinder? Are they converting more quickly in Funnels?
Drill down into the differences and develop hypotheses on what product changes can encourage all users to become power users. Test these hypotheses via A/B testing.
Use your wins to make meaningful product changes, and repeat as needed.