User Experience Design as an Investment

Twenty years hasn’t changed the fact that investing in design research at the onset of projects, and iterative testing with real users during development, ends up saving you money in the long run. So, think of these quotes not as facts, but as universal software development truths.

“For each dollar a company invests in developing the usability of a product, the company receives $10-$100 in benefits and wins customer satisfaction and continued business. Furthermore, industry data shows that for each dollar spent to fix a problem during product design, $10 are spent to fix the same problem in product development, and $100 or more are spent to fix the same problem after product release.”

“Usability cost-benefit data shows that including usability in product development actually cuts the time to market and increases sales because usability and ease of use build quality into products and catch many expensive problems early on in the cycle when they can be addressed at lower cost. Finally, working with users from the beginning of a product cycle ensures that the product is being designed so that users will be satisfied.”

– From: Claire Marie Karat, “A business case approach to usability cost justification.” In, R. Bias and D. Mayhew, Eds. Cost-Justifying Usability, Academic Press, NY, 1994.