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Former Member
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'User experience is the science and art of designing a product, so that it's easy to use, fits the user expectation and meets business goals.'

That's the explanation given by Dr. Susan Weinschenk in her informative new video on the Return On Investment (ROI) of User Experiences.

In the video she discusses the ROI associated with doing User Experience work. She discusses some of the most common factors for Why Software Fails and references some interesting data:


  • 15% - % of projects abandoned because they are hopelessly inadequate
  • 5% - % of revenue going to IT (up to 10% for Finance/Teleco companies)
  • 50% - % of time programmers spend on rework that's avoidable
  • 100 - times greater it costs to fix an error after development
  • 3 of 12 - top reasons a project fails due to user centered design work

(Image credit:Human Factors International)


The primary reasons for project failures - due to user experience - include:

  • badly defined requirements
  • poor communcation among customers, users and developers
  • stakeholder politics

These can be fixed through the use of stakeholder interviews, user research, user testing and user centered design. The video outlines some examples of the concrete ways in which these changes can increase revenue or reduce costs (e.g. less calls to the helpdesk, or a reduction in training required e.g. for internal software applications).

Towards the end of the video she quotes Albert Einstein as saying: 

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex, it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

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