Cost justifying Usability
Below are gathered case study summaries from multiple authoritative
sources and are based on numerous research projects:
The benefits of good web design
- To hammer home its point, Creative Good offered the striking
revelation that a dollar spent on advertising during the
1998 holiday season produced $5 in total revenue, while
a dollar spent on customer experience improvements yielded
more than $60.
- On IBM's website, the most popular feature was the search
function, because the site was difficult to navigate. The
second most popular feature was the 'help' button, because
the search technology was so ineffective. IBM's solution
was a 10-week effort to redesign the site, which involved
more than 100 employees at a cost estimated 'in the millions.'
The result: In the first week after the redesign, use of
the 'help' button decreased 84 per cent, while sales increased
400 per cent.
- Alert Box, June 2000. It's quite normal for e-commerce
sites to increase sales by 100% or more as a result of usability,
but configurator-driven sites can probably increase sales
by at least 500% by emphasizing usability. More important,
they can probably avoid 9 of 10 returns by eliminating most
The cost of bad web design
- Poor customer experiences will have a devastating effect
on holiday revenues, even with the most conservative estimates.
Given an estimated $9.5 billion in holiday spending despite
a 39 per cent failure rate, the industry stands to lose
over $6 billion.
- 39 per cent of test shoppers failed in their buying attempts
because sites were too difficult to navigate. Additionally,
56 per cent of search attempts failed.
- The absolute number of online bankers grew 100,000 to
a total of 6.3 million in the past 12 months, but 3.1 million
U.S. adults have discontinued their use of online banking
according to Cybercitizen Finance from Cyber Dialogue. The
study also found that only 35 per cent of online bankers
that discontinued their service were inclined to try it
- "Although Cybercitizens begin banking online to
save time, more than 50 per cent have discontinued use because
they find the service too complicated or were dissatisfied
with the level of customer service," said Michael Weiksner,
Manager of Finance Strategies at Cyber Dialogue.
- Of 20 major sites audited, 51 per cent werecompliant
with simple web usability principles such as "is the
site organized by user goals?" and "does a search
list retrievals in order of relevance?" (in other words,
the average site violated half of these simple design principles).
- Most sites will waste between $1.5M and $2.1M on redesigns
next year (1999). Why? Designers are engaged in an endless
cycle of overhauls that don't fix their problems. Their
goals of achieving fast performance and consistent look
and feel are directionally correct but miss out on at least
20 other more specific usability objectives. And since ease
of use is not measured, flaws go undetected.
- In a study of 15 large commercial sites users could only
find information 42 per cent of the time even though they
were taken to the correct home page before they were given
the test tasks.
- While internet sales continue to soar, recent surveys
indicate that between 27-66% of user abandoned their shopping
- Loss of approximately 50 per cent of the potential sales
from the site as people can't find stuff.
- Losing repeat visits from 40 per cent of the users who
do not return to a site when their first visit resulted
in a negative experience.
- 62 per cent of web shoppers gave up looking for the item
they wanted to buy online (and 20 per cent had given up
more than three times during a two-month period).
- Even the most loyal internet users are having a hard
time shopping online, with 28 per cent of the 239 internet
savvy users reporting difficulties in finding products and
services. (and 20 per cent had given up at least three different
times while shopping on the web, with 39 per cent reporting
they have decided either not to buy online or to do their
shopping elsewhere - with catalogues and bricks and mortar
stores the big winners