Is there ROI on good design?

“Good design is good business,” according to Thomas Watson, Jr., former IBM President and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century. The world’s top companies understand that great design is essential to their success. Nike, Apple, Target, and Disney have certainly proved that.

But, is there really any proof that good design can impact your ROI? Yes. Whetherit’s web design, print design, or product design, good design does have a positive ROI.

ESPN Digital Media attributes a 35% increase in site revenues to their January 2009 site redesign. In their case, research had shown that users felt the old design was too cluttered, too busy, and difficult to navigate. Responding to user concerns proved to have an excellent ROI.

According to the book Web Design for ROI, 75% of web users admit that they make judgements about a company’s credibility based on the company’s web site design. Considering how many people’s purchasing decisions include online research (83% of business users), you can’t afford to have a poorly designed site.

Shane Pike tracks specific metrics of his sites and says, “There are few things that will give you a better ROI than giving an ugly site a good facelift.” He points to a $2,000 investment in a site redesign that improved revenues by $100,000.

Sessions College instructor, and designer, Rob Wallace points to research with Northeastern University statisticians that looked at several dozen redesign case studies. In those cases, the return on investment for design was 50 times that of advertising and other branding efforts. These case studies indicate that for more than $400 of incremental profit was generated by every dollar spent in the design process.

At last year’s IDEA Awards (International Design Excellence Award), Claudia Kotchka, the former head of design at Procter & Gamble, said it very succinctly, “Business leaders should care about design because it hits the bottom line. More than anything else, design builds a business.”

Can your company really afford to ignore good design?


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