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Benefits and Return on Investment of Usability

A major struggle in gaining buy-in to fund user experience work is the difficulty in presenting a business case for usability. So here’s some interesting stats from the recent Usability & User Experience Survey Report from July 2007, as compiled through market research by eConsultancy in association with Bunnyfoot.

The following are the top 6 benefits of usability ordered by percentage of responses from companies who felt that usability had a benefit

  1. Improved perceptions of brand (54%)
  2. Increased conversion rates (53%)
  3. Greater customer loyalty and retention (46%)
  4. Increased customer advocacy (38%)
  5. Increased traffic (36%)
  6. Improved search rankings (33%)

Crucially some 45% of respondents reported that their organisation gets an ROI of 300% or more from usability investment, although the report didn’t specify the frameworks used for determining ROI.

Further in order of popularity, the top 9 usability services being used by organisations are as follows

  1. User testing (62%)
  2. Expert usability evaluation (52%)
  3. Information architecture (50%)
  4. Full user centred design (37%)
  5. Accessibility audit (34%)
  6. Eyetracking (26%)
  7. Field research / ethnography (25%)
  8. Card sorting (22%)
  9. Testing with disabled users (19%)

And finally of course you need to know the main areas of resistance to implementing usability best practice so that you can help the organisation address and manage these

The biggest barriers to user experience, again ordered by percentage of respondents who cited them as follows:

  1. Time pressure to get things done (56%)
  2. Lack of internal resource (45%)
  3. Lack of budget (37%)
  4. Company culture / politics (35%)
  5. IT bottleneck (27%)
  6. Lack of internal buy-in (23%)
  7. Lack of know-how (16%)
  8. Project management difficulties (13%)

Time pressure is cited most commonly as a major barrier for organisations, which suggests that consultants should focus on ways of minimising project management impact on the responsible owners on client side before embarking on any major usability work.

Published Friday, October 19, 2007 11:03 AM by Rizwan.Tayabali

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Colm.Brophy said:

Thanks for those stats. One of the other benefits of usability - though moreso with software than web apps or sites - is increased efficiency. People can use their time much more effectively, and if you can calculate man hours saved times pay rates you can come up with some really strong financial arguments for usability.
October 19, 2007 12:43 PM

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About Rizwan.Tayabali

Background in business and management consulting. Current focus - Social Business and Social Enterprise.

Contact: http://rizwantayabali.info or email at rizwan dot tayabali at gmail dot com
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