Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bunnyfoot: User Experience Getting More of the Lionshare

I just read this article that connects the dots from customer experience to bottom line. While obvious to user experience folk, corporate culture has to be bashed over the head for this to sink in. Bunnyfoot has a survey report on Usability and User Experience that touches on where organizations are dedicating resources. They say that 72% of companies surveyed are increasing what they spend on website usability in the coming year. That works out to 13% of the design budget. Not surprising is seeing brand darlings Amazon, Google and the BBC regarded as the best in user experience.

Here is what these companies view as major benefits of usability:

  • Improved perceptions of brand
  • Increased conversion rates
  • Greater customer loyalty and retention
  • Increased customer advocacy
  • Increased traffic
  • Improved search rankings

It's nice to hear this from them instead of preaching it to them. Over half of these companies used outside consultants to improve the user experience. It was also interesting to note that the biggest barrier to not delivering the best possible user experience is time. I wish there was some powerful example out there that shows how much you gain with relatively little time dedicated to a better user experience. It’s hard to budge deployment dates with stories about a better user experience, but development or hardware issues usually are able to do so.

It would be interesting to see where these companies place usability in the design process and where it lives in the food chain. It sounds like a lot of this goes on well past the idea phase.

You can download the sample report here. The entire report costs $179.

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