Cost-Justifying Usability

An Update for the Internet Age, Second Edition

Edited by

  • Randolph Bias, University of Texas at Austin
  • Deborah Mayhew, Deborah J. Mayhew and Associates, West Tisbury, MA, U.S.A.

You just know that an improvement of the user interface will reap rewards, but how do you justify the expense and the labor and the time—guarantee a robust ROI!—ahead of time? How do you decide how much of an investment should be funded? And what is the best way to sell usability to others? In this completely revised and new edition, Randolph G. Bias (University of Texas at Austin, with 25 years’ experience as a usability practitioner and manager) and Deborah J. Mayhew (internationally recognized usability consultant and author of two other seminal books including The Usability Engineering Lifecycle) tackle these and many other problems. It has been updated to cover cost-justifying usability for Web sites and intranets, for the complex applications we have today, and for a host of products—offering techniques, examples, and cases that are unavailable elsewhere. No matter what type of product you build, whether or not you are a cost-benefit expert or a born salesperson, this book has the tools that will enable you to cost-justify the appropriate usability investment.
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Usability professionals and others who serve in this role, including user interface designers, information architects, or software or web development managers.


Book information

  • Published: April 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-095811-5


"HCI professionals will repeat quotes with statistics, learn from case studies, and copy chapters for their managers. Thorough & thoughtful, practical & actionable-- readers will be able to put the ideas to work immediately!" —Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland "Cost-Justifying Usability" delivers much more than the promise of its title. Each chapter is worth the price of admission! I found more useful ideas and creative thinking in this book than I've come across in one place in years. Moreover, the collection of articles goes far beyond what the book title might suggest: it not only offers the definitive treatment of determining ROI for usability, but also provides a complete overview of usability considerations for getting you there. From specific calculations to help you with extending the business case, to introducing ethnography into the product development process, Cost Justifying Usability offers a treasure of gems for every user-centered design professional." —Dominick J. Dellino, Director of User Research and Testing, Washington Mutual

Table of Contents

Introduction: 1. Justifying cost-justifying usability2. Return on investment for usable user-interface design: Examples and statisticsFramework: 3. A basic framework for cost-justifying usability engineering on Web development projects4. A business case approach to usability5.Marketing usability6. Dot coms Organizational and Design Context: 7. Cost-justification of usability engineering: A vendor’s perspective8. Practical ROI issues for UCD teams: Considering the impact of social, internal, and external ROI on team credibility, team longevity, and product success9. Usability science as an independent research service10. ROI in Human Factors for Web Applications11. The business case for international user centered design12. Cost-justification of usability engineering for international Web sites13. The ROI of accessibilityMethods and Approaches: 14. Ethnography/Field research at Microsoft15. Out of the box: Approaches to good initial interface designs; 16. Keystroke level modeling as a cost-justification tool 17. The RITE method18. Sample size and user testing – how much is enough?19. Cost-justifying online surveys 20.Cost benefits framework and case studies21. Want respect? Respect the shareholder: Usability at Sprint22. Conclusion, wrap-up, next steps