Business case for website usability

Everyone knows that simple things are good, don’t they?
But how good?

How does your business benefit, for example, from testing and improving the usability of your website?

Someone recently asked me for some third party ‘facts’ not opinions…hmm

So I went-a-hunting.

Here are a couple of useful bits for those of you have are trying to justify a usability review of your sites.

From IBM : Cost justifying ease of use

Why would anyone make something this confusing?

“It’s a good question. At IBM, we wonder the same thing ourselves. We know consumers benefit greatly from ease of use; we know making a product easy makes it easier on the customer. We know that making it easier on the customer increases customer loyalty. Products that are easy to use lead to increased customer satisfaction, and satisfied customers return again and again. So ease of use actually increases business.

On the other hand, we’re also aware that consumers aren’t the only ones who reap rewards from usable products. Companies that invest in ease of use enjoy benefits of their own. Around the globe, across a range of industries, studies have proven it time and again. Whether you are in the business of producing products, or purchasing product for your employees, usability equals profitability. And, that’s the bottom line.

For developers and manufacturers, the advantages of creating usable products far outweigh the costs. The rule of thumb: every dollar invested in ease of use returns $10 to $100.”


Jakob Neilsen is a well known usability guru (but I do not always agree with his narrow focus) and shares this with us:

“Development projects should spend 10% of their budget on usability. Following a usability redesign, websites increase desired metrics by 135% on average; intranets improve slightly less.

This is real work and costs real money, though not as much as some people fear.

You can conduct simple forms of user testing in a few days and gain extensive insights into both user behavior and recommended design improvements.”

Return on Investment for Usability testing


Rashmi Sinha kindly provides a whole bunch of links – some pretty old ones there too for usability historians 🙂 on website usability ROI, enjoy.


Back to Jakob, here is his advice for ultra cheap usability testing.

A lot cheaper than getting him or us to help you, that’s for sure 🙂

Anyway the point is that it did not take long to find tonnes of evidence to justify a usability review of your website…so what are you waiting for?

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