The ROI of usability

“Even though business decision-makers of all stripes acknowledge the merits of design, it’s the designers and usability professionals who are the first to get jettisoned from a project plan when the going gets rough.”

Steve Calde, Cooper

As a user experience designer I see this scenario happen all to often. In practice, designers and usability professionals are required to constantly justify their role in projects, especially – as Steve Calde also mentions – when budgets and/or deadlines are challenging.

There are plenty facts and figures regarding the ROI of usability, but in my experience finding them is not that easy.

Not in the category ‘hard figures’, but equally valuable is Steve Calde’s recent post Myths and measurements: Evaluating the ROI of design”.

In a common sense approach, Steve discusses four myths:

  • “If we just hire more programmers, we can get to market sooner.”
  • “If we don’t get it right the first time, we can just fix things in the next release.”
  • “Design takes too long.”
  • “We need to ship a new product version every month/quarter/year/lunar eclipse.”

and illustrates the necessity of the designer’s role very clearly. A must read!

Other usability ROI resources

Do you know of more resources? Please let me know.