the benefits of Usability - for your business
To calculate the cost-benefits of usability and user centred
estimate the potential savings
during development, sales, use and support
estimate the costs that would
be incurred through user centred actiivities.
Financial benefits will depend on how completely user centred
design can be implemented. A balance needs to be obtained so that
the benefits that are substantially larger than the costs of additional
user centred activities.
Applying a user-centric approach to the design of any product
can radically improve the performance of individual projects and
your business as a whole.
Cheaper — decreases costs of design/development
Faster — shortens development timelines
Safer — decreases risk of project slippage,
and radically improved chances of success in the marketplace
Increases sales — products look better,
demo better and sell better, as they are more intuitive to use,
faster and more effective
Increased competitive edge — customers
expect products to be easy to use.
For Project management
Improves risk management — lets you test
designs and decide which should proceed, long before coding
Simplifies planning — allows you to calculate
required build times and eliminates the need for rework due
to incorrect design and miscommunication
Provides evidence of success early on —
detailed reports, ratings, recordings and video confirm the
validity of the design at the earliest stages of the project
For Design teams
More accurate designs — you get a more
accurate picture of what needs building with every aspect of
the interaction modelled and documented.
Proof that your designs work — you know
designs will work as actual users validate them long before
they are built
Provides accurate picture of how users work
— dont guessing how users might use the interface: you
know before you start coding
No more 'last minute' changes — designs
are tested and completed before coding begins, so no more last
minute panic changes
Less stress at user acceptance testing (UAT)
— since designs are tested before they are built, acceptance
testing becomes a much smoother process with far fewer, if any,
For Documentation teams
Start documenting much sooner — documented
designs at the start of the project give you more time to produce
documentation, help and training
Less to document
— decreases the need for user manuals, as the interface
is far more intuitive
For User groups
Reduces task time
— reduced time on task leads to improved user performance and
Reduces user errors
— these errors will have to be corrected later affecting productivity
and will impact negatively on quality of service
Reduced training time for users
— Every hour cut down on training is one hour more of
productive work and one hour less to pay an instructor
Reduced staff turnover — higher
staff satisfaction and motivation increases loyalty to the organisation.
Fewer training materials — As fewer materials
are needed, the costs of producing training materials is reduced.
Reduces training time for support team — Every
hour cut down on training is one hour more of productive work
and one hour less to pay an instructor
Better office efficiency—
Reduced time spent by experienced staff providing assistance
when new users encounter difficulties
More effective help line support — many enquiries
to help-line support are about usability issues. Increased usability
will reduce the numbe rof calls to support.
For organisations already committed to user-centred design,
a cost-benefit analysis is not essential but it can provide a
valuable input when formulating a usability plan.
The process can also be used to compare different usability
methods and so aid selection of the most cost effective method.