Calculating the ROI of User Experience Design
One study by KissMetrics found that 47 percent of customers expect a page to load in two seconds or less, and 40 percent will abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load. Mind you, that’s only one metric. There are a number of other user experience (UX) issues that lead your customers to leave your website for a competitor’s.
Quantifiable Benefits of UX
How does good UX create a better experience for both you and your customers? Here are a few benefits of good UX:
- Shorter Development Time. Remember the five Ps from marketing? Here’s another one: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Planning out your design and development process by understanding both your customer base and UX best practices will save you time and money in the short term and long run. Simply put, there’s less to revise or correct later.
- Fewer Customer Service Issues. Sometimes the development process has been discussed in such depth and a site worked on for so long that we assume its use is clear. That’s not a safe assumption. Come to your design with a fresh set of eyes. Carefully recruit customers from your target to beta test and get other outside help, too. Load time isn’t the only UX issue, after all. A navigation structure and information architecture that’s counterintuitive will also result in frustrated and lost customers. If not lost, they’ll end up endlessly calling your support line. That will cost your company more Average Handle Time (AHT) and more training time on how to use the system. For the Verizon Wireless main contact center application, our senior leadership reduced AHT by $80 million and training time by $75 million.
- Improved Conversions. An attractive website is always a plus, but that’s contingent on having a useful and relevant website. A website that funnels your customers toward a purchase — or even one that just stays out of their way so they can buy — converts more often. Do we understand what navigation, content, and user interface design help our users better interact with and purchase on our website? On the SeaWorld project, our senior leadership needed to optimize the path-to-purchase for SeaWorld’s online visitors to improve conversions.
Measuring the ROI of UX
If you’re new to user experience design, finding the ROI of your UX can seem hopelessly abstract. However, as we’ve seen by now (and as UX 4Sight knows from its experience), it’s not just a metric; it directly translates into dollars and cents. In fact, Forester Research found that, “Every $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return.” We’ll leave you with one last morsel to drive the point home.
An article published in Fast Company analyzes a study of US and European web users’ browsing habits. It found that Americans’ patience for slow pages and buggy UX is far less than their European counterparts. What’s more surprising is one company’s finding of what that impatience could cost. Amazon estimates that a one second delay could result in 1.6 billion dollars in lost revenue per year. You don’t have to have Amazon-level sales to realize that shoddy UX can add up to a significant loss of revenue.
As you can see from the examples above, user experience isn’t just about looks, it’s about system and user performance. It’s also measurable. Besides the traditional web analytics metrics like bounce rate, time on page, and sessions, there are a myriad of other great ways to measure the ROI of UX design. Investing to improve your UI interaction and resultant user experience should be looked at in its broader context. You’re not just spending money for the sake of it. Improving UX improves conversions and directly impacts your bottom line.
Great UX design makes your application or website easy and intuitive to use. For your end-users, this means a better experience with your product. For your company, it means reduced support costs. A streamlined user experience leads to more conversions and sales.
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Abdul has helped over 40 Fortune 500 companies make informed user-centered design decisions through evidence-based user research and UX best practices. As an Adjunct Professor, Abdul has taught in DePaul University’s graduate UX programs and for nine other universities.