How does investing in UX deliver ROI?

February 10, 2020

The idea of User Experience (UX) is about making things easier for the user, but is it actually worth the time and money your business puts into it?

While it may be hard to quantify the value-add to your company of the great experiences your users are encountering, it’s possible to get some cold hard figures on some of your business’s key metrics to justify the money spent on UX. Does UX have a Return on Investment (ROI)? Of course it does! Good UX helps maximise profits and minimise losses.

Reduced development costs

A software project that integrates UX into the beginning of the project sees real return on investment. In his book Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach, author Robert Pressman found that for every dollar it costs to fix an issue in the design phase of a user-centred design process, it would cost $10 to $100 to fix that problem once the development phase of the product had begun. Investing in UX lets you test and fail at the start of the project and by the time you begin to build (the most expensive part), you’re starting with the right design. The money you invest in UX at the beginning will ultimately save you from making costly mistakes in the future.

Increasing sales

Imagine this scenario: there are two customers looking to buy something, one customer has easily found what they wanted and there is relevant information on the item to answer any questions they may have about that item. They get to the till with their item and everything is set up so they can easily pay their money and leave.

In another shop, a customer is looking for the same item but can’t find it – it’s hidden in the shelves somewhere. When the customer eventually finds it, it’s in a plain cardboard box with just a label identifying the item. The customer decides to risk it and heads to the till to buy it, but when they get there, they need to fill in forms and provide details before they can complete the purchase.

I’m clearly setting up a leading question here, but which of these customers is more likely to buy the item? The first customer, of course. So by creating great user experiences in your products, you will increase your sales.

One of the clearest ways of measuring the ROI of this change is by looking at the change in conversion in your product. You can even get these figures before you start developing. Remember, it costs less to make changes in the design phase than it does in the development phase. So you can conduct live testing on the new experience, through A/B or Multivariant testing to gain even more confidence that the changes you’re looking to make will bring back that return you’re hoping for.

Increasing Loyalty

Users enjoy a simple and natural UX – and by investing in UX to give them these experiences, you’re working towards creating loyal users, in turn creating a consistent source of long-term revenue. A study by Bain & Company found that increasing user retention by 5% will increasing your business’s profits by 25-95%. The ROI of UX here then is clear, by providing great experiences for your users, you will create loyal customers who help your business in the long term.

At Weaveability, we completely believe in the value of UX for your business. So while investing in UX may seem like an unnecessary cost, the long-term benefit to your business will be far more than the money that’s actually spent.

David Edward-Jones
David Edward-Jones

David joined Weaveability in 2018 as a Lead User Experience Designer after 16 years at o2. David is responsible for creating and developing the best user experiences using research and testing to drive decisions.
In his spare time, David builds websites, tries to catch up on sleep or can be found watching princesses with his two young girls.

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