Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Usability ROI Declining, But Still Strong

The benefits of usability ...

"The average business metrics improvement after a usability redesign is now 83%. This is substantially less than 6 years ago, but ROI remains high because usability is still cheap relative to gains.

Six years ago, we conducted a survey of design projects and found that, after redesigning for usability, the average improvement in key performance indicators (KPI) was 135%. We've recently completed a new survey, and this time the average improvement was 83%. The return on investment (ROI) for usability is now smaller, since the cost has remained approximately constant, as the benefits have decreased.

In both cases, we arrived at the improvement estimates after eliminating outliers — that is, design projects that achieved a factor of 10 or more in the desired metrics after their redesign. About 12% of projects get such huge improvements, but to be conservative, I focus on the majority of projects with smaller (but still substantial) gains.

Our full research report offers detailed redesign case studies, before/after screenshots, and an in-depth discussion of specific measurements.

Typical business metrics include:

* Conversion rates, such as sales or lead generation
* Traffic numbers, such as page view statistics
* User performance, such as the time needed to perform key tasks
* Target feature usage, such as the number of users who click a link to crucial information

Declining ROI

Six years is long enough that we might expect to see a difference in improvement metrics across the two surveys — as indeed we did. The following chart compares the results distribution from both editions of our Usability ROI report. The different case studies are arranged across the horizontal axis (sorted by increasing metric improvements). The vertical axis shows each case study's recorded improvement."    (Continued via Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)    [Usability Resources]

Usability ROI - Usability, User Interface Design

Usability ROI


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