One question we are asked a lot is “What is the ROI of UX Design”? Basically, there are two general ways we approach describing the return on investment for UX Design investment.
#1 A Straightforward Value Proposition
Comprehensive and professional User Experience Design is typically comprised of three functional areas of expertise:
A. Interaction Design/Information Architecture - This expert understands how to design applications from the user's perspective and create a smooth and intuitive flow for the user to accomplish their goals.
B. User Research - This expert knows how to conduct usability testing and user research required to confirm the design "works" and accomplishes the required goals in a measurable, quantifiable, and repeatable way.
C. Visual Design - A visual designer understands how to make an application look great to your users, while incorporating existing company and product brand. Visual Designers help elicit the response "Wow! This is beautiful!"
The time/cost to hire one expert who can deliver what you need in any single area will cost a company over $100k as a fully burdened employee... and you end up making sacrifices in the other two areas. Companies like Macadamian deliver a complete team of experts for the project at hand, only for the time and effort required. Crunch the numbers and you quickly realize that design partners are a serious option to consider.
#2 What Can User Experience do for you?
A. A Forrester Research Report entitled "Rich Internet Application Errors to Avoid" states that 70% of projects fail because they lack user acceptance. User Centered Design starts with user acceptance.
B. Another related study demonstrates that product development cycles are reduced by 33% to 50% when organizations invest in UX during a projects concept phase.
C. Historically, software products have 5% of their features actually used, about 95% of the time. UX can better focus feature sets.
D. A Credit Suisse customer-facing website found that UX design reduced user errors by 50% and increased usage of their site by 30% leading to increased upselling by 15%, Forrester Research Report: "How Credit Suisse Made Customer Experience Matter".
E. The Forrester reports describes that investment in UX has delivered:
1. 90% reduction in development costs. You build the features users really want/need/use, not everything you think they may need. Also, clearly articulated user experience, interactions, etc. make engineers more efficient since they'll really understand what they are building from the user's perspective.
2. Companies monetize loyal customers 2.4 times more than neutral customers. If users have a good experience and enjoy using your application, you can sell them other stuff much more readily.
3. 37% Increase in revenue - more directly relates to e-commerce sites, but still applicable to enterprise software. See Credit Suisse Case study.
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About the Author
Lorraine Chapman is a management and User Experience Research professional at Macadamian Technologies. In addition to her role as Director of User Experience Research, Ms. Chapman has provided a broad range of clients (within the Healthcare, Telecommunications, Government, and Finance sectors) with strategic direction on business, product and customer issues. This experience includes product value analysis, user requirements research (both qualitative and quantitative) and usability analysis/evaluation of websites, services (eCommerce and eBusiness), applications, software, hardware and documentation. Lorraine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org