Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc.
California and New York
1144 65th Street, Suite F
Emeryville, CA 94608-1053 USA
Experience Intelligent Design
Version: 28 February 2002
Aaron Marcus, President
Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. (AM+A)
Return on Investment for UI Design and Usability
Introduction: What do We Mean by the ROI of
© Copyright 2001 AM+A. www.AMandA.com This document is confidential and proprietary.
Introduction: What do We Mean by
the ROI of Usability?
Making computer-based products (and services) more usable is smart
business. Usability increases customer satisfaction and productivity,
leads to customer trust and loyalty, and inevitably results in tangible cost
savings and profitability. Because user-interface (UI) development is
part of a product’s development cost anyway, it pays to do it right.
Most software and Website development managers view usability costs
as added effort and expense, but the reverse is more commonly true.
Because the first 10% of the design process, when key system-design
decisions are made, can determine 90% of a product’s cost and
performance, usability techniques help keep the product aligned with
company goals (Smith & Reinersten). Usability returns many benefits
(return on investment, or ROI) to products developed for either internal
use or sale (Bias & Mayhew, 1994):
• Increased user productivity
• Decreased user errors
• Decreased training costs
• Savings gained from making changes earlier in design life cycle
• Decreased user support
• Increased sales
• Decreased customer support costs
• Savings gained from making changes earlier in the design life cycle
• Reduced cost of providing training (if training is offered through
the vendor company (Bias &