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Project: Usability in the Enterprise


Through collaboration among UXPA members, we intend to collect information about the impact of user-centered design processes on the business performance of organizations.

The goal of the research is to provide valid ways of measuring return-on-investment (ROI) for a variety of user-centered design methods, and then to test those metrics by collecting benchmark data from industry-leading organizations.

The overall motivation for this research is to gather information that will help both corporate practitioners and consultants sell their services and justify their organizations' investment in their efforts.


  • Phase One: What makes an organization User-Centered? In this phase we hope to identify the independent factors which contribute to the "user-centeredness" of an organization.
  • Phase Two: How Has ROI Historically been measured? In this phase we hope to identify best practices for measuring ROI and to put constraints in place to ensure the validity of our metrics.
  • Phase Three: Which business metrics are reliably dependent on User-Centered Design? In this phase we hope to define metrics that can be easily correlated with user-centered design activities, while still acting as a determinant of the organizations' overall business performance.
  • Phase Four: How do Industry Leaders measure up, using our ROI metrics? In this phase we hope to take benchmark measurements for our metrics from organizations in various vertical markets and industries, so as to ensure the applicability of these benchmarks to a broad audience of corporate scenarios.

Project News

UPA 2007 Tutorial: “The Business of Usability: a tutorial for user experience managers, directors, and team leaders" Members of the research project will be co-presenting a tutorial at UPA 2007 in Austin on June 11. The tutorial is a chance to share the results of our research with those who are in the process of building or managing user experience teams.


The Summer 2007 issue of UX magazine will carry the theme “The Business of Usability”. Members of the project contributed articles, provided editorial support, and worked with UX staff to develop the issue. The issue will be mailed to UPA members in June.


Workshop reports from "The Business Of Usability: Developing Metrics to Justify our Existence and Budgets." This workshop brought together a group of experts from all different industries, disciplines and geography. (June 2006)

An Analysis of ROI Measurement and Metrics across Usability Professionals:  This report discusses the results from an email survey of the UPA membership in late 2004. (June 2005)

Joining the Project

There are many ways to get involved with the Usability in the Enterprise project:

  • Volunteer to help: Send email to Rich Gunther at rich@ovostudios.com, with the words UXPA ROI ADD ME in the subject line, to be added to our discussion group or to find out how you can help out.
  • Provide information: If you have insight or information about how your organization measures the ROI of usability, or would be willing to share any ROI data you have collected, please send an email to Rich Gunther at rich at ovostudios.com, with the words UXPA ROI INFO in the subject line.
  • Ask to be notified of results: If you'd like us to contact you when we have results available, please send your contact information to Rich Gunther at rich at ovostudios.com, with the words UXPA ROI CONTACT ME in the subject line.
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