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Resources: Usability in the Real World


Usability is not just about research and labs. It has a real impact on real projects in the real world.

UXPA collects case studies, news stories, facts and examples to help make the case that usability is a critical part of any product development effort.

The UXPA project on Usability in the Enterprise
studies how usability is used and measured in industry.

In a 1990 paper, Claire Karat did a cost-benefit analysis that suggested that an investment in usability engineering can produce a return on investment in the range of 3:1 to 100:1.

The payoffs included:

  • Fewer last-minute design changes
  • Usable, appealing, and effective designs
  • Simple, less costly documentation
  • Credible marketing claims
  • Compelling product demonstrations
  • Increased sales
  • Reduced need for customer support
  • Longer market life

Karat, C. Cost-benefit analysis of usability engineering techniques. Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 34th Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors Society (1990).

Making the Business Case

Different views of why usablity is important for business

ROI: Calculating Value

ROI - Return on Investment - is one way to calculate value. These resources look specifically at the business case from this perspective, and includes tools for making your own calculations

Case Studies

These stories show usability (or the lack of it) in action.

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