Cost-Justifying Usability

2nd Edition

An Update for the Internet Age, Second Edition

Editors: Randolph Bias Deborah Mayhew
Print ISBN: 9780120958115
eBook ISBN: 9780080455457
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 4th April 2005
Page Count: 640
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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.

Key Features

·Includes contributions by a host of experts involved in this work, including Aaron Marcus, Janice Rohn, Chauncey Wilson, Nigel Bevan, Dennis Wixon, Clare-Marie Karat, Susan Dray, Charles Mauro, and many others; ·Includes actionable ideas for every phase of the software development process; ·Includes case studies from inside a variety of companies; ·Includes ideas from "the other side of the table," software executives who hold the purse strings, who offer thoughts on which proposals for usability support they've funded, and which ones they've declined.


Usability professionals and others who serve in this role, including user interface designers, information architects, or software or web development managers.

Table of Contents


  1. Justifying cost-justifying usability
  2. Return on investment for usable user-interface design: Examples and statistics Framework:
  3. A basic framework for cost-justifying usability engineering on Web development projects
  4. A business case approach to usability 5.Marketing usability
  5. Dot coms Organizational and Design Context:
  6. Cost-justification of usability engineering: A vendor’s perspective
  7. Practical ROI issues for UCD teams: Considering the impact of social, internal, and external ROI on team credibility, team longevity, and product success
  8. Usability science as an independent research service
  9. ROI in Human Factors for Web Applications
  10. The business case for international user centered design
  11. Cost-justification of usability engineering for international Web sites
  12. The ROI of accessibility Methods and Approaches:
  13. Ethnography/Field research at Microsoft
  14. Out of the box: Approaches to good initial interface designs;
  15. Keystroke level modeling as a cost-justification tool
  16. The RITE method
  17. Sample size and user testing – how much is enough?
  18. Cost-justifying online surveys 20.Cost benefits framework and case studies
  19. Want respect? Respect the shareholder: Usability at Sprint
  20. Conclusion, wrap-up, next steps


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Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Editor

Randolph Bias

Randolph G. Bias is an associate professor in the University of Texas at Austin School of Information. With a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from The University of Texas at Austin, Bias spent two decades in industry as a human factors professional, addressing software usability for AT&T Bell Labs, IBM, and then BMC Software where he founded and managed the usability department.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Texas at Austin

Deborah Mayhew

Dr. Deborah J. Mayhew is owner and principal of Deborah J. Mayhew & Associates, a consulting firm based in Massachusetts, offering courses and consulting on all aspects of Usability Engineering and user interface design. Clients include American Airlines, AT&T, Ford,Harvard University, and NASA. Dr. Mayhew received her Ph.D. in Experimental Cognitive Psychology from Tufts University. She is the author of Principles and Guidelines in Software User Interface Design (Prentice Hall), a coeditor of Cost-Justifying Usability (Academic Press), and a contributor to Human Factors and Web Development.

Affiliations and Expertise

Deborah J. Mayhew and Associates, West Tisbury, MA, U.S.A.


"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