Cost-Justifying Usability

Cost-Justifying Usability

An Update for the Internet Age

2nd Edition - April 4, 2005

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  • Editors: Randolph Bias, Deborah Mayhew
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780120958115
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080455457

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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 of Cost-Justifying Usability, 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

  • Introduction
    1. Justifying cost-justifying usability
    2. Return on investment for usable user-interface design: Examples and statistics

    3. A basic framework for cost-justifying usability engineering on Web development projects
    4. A business case approach to usability
    5.Marketing usability
    6. Dot coms

    Organizational and Design Context
    7. Cost-justification of usability engineering: A vendor’s perspective
    8. Practical ROI issues for UCD teams: Considering the impact of social, internal, and external ROI on team credibility, team longevity, and product success
    9. Usability science as an independent research service
    10. ROI in Human Factors for Web Applications
    11. The business case for international user centered design
    12. Cost-justification of usability engineering for international Web sites
    13. The ROI of accessibility

    Methods and Approaches
    14. Ethnography/Field research at Microsoft
    15. Out of the box: Approaches to good initial interface designs;
    16. Keystroke level modeling as a cost-justification tool
    17. The RITE method
    18. Sample size and user testing – how much is enough?
    19. Cost-justifying online surveys
    20.Cost benefits framework and case studies
    21. Want respect? Respect the shareholder: Usability at Sprint
    22. Conclusion, wrap-up, next steps

Product details

  • No. of pages: 640
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2005
  • Published: April 4, 2005
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780120958115
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080455457

About the Editors

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 Univeristy, 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.

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