Why invest in usability and user experience?

Development projects FAIL due to poor usability and bad user experience. Studies investigating project failure reveal that lack of user involvement and a poor understanding of user requirements are two of the most common reasons for projects failing to achieve their goals. Late (and expensive) design changes in development projects are common, and frequently due to "unforeseen user requirements". Incredible though it may sound, in e-commerce web development projects it is extremely rare to find a web site that can be successfully used by more than 50% of its intended users at launch! There are numerous advantages of good usability and user experience, both for...


  • Competition - Easy to use products are more competitive on the market.
  • Costs - Taking user requirements properly into account during development can reduce the need for expensive late re-design work.
  • Support - Usability-related issues are behind the majority of user support needs - improved usability will reduce demands on support.
  • Quality - Improving usability will improve the users' perception of the overall quality of the product.

... and Users

  • Productivity - Usable products enable users to efficiently achieve their goals, rather than waste time struggling with the product interface.
  • Support/Training - Well designed products aid learning and can reduce the time users need to spend on training, seeking support or looking at documentation.
  • Satisfaction - Users will be more satisfied and positive towards a product with good usability, rather than dreading using it!