UX ROI Case Studies: How Effective Design Can Boost Your Business Performance
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Having a robust and efficient solution doesn't always mean customers will choose it over competitors. It is user experience (UX) design that ensures users seamlessly interact with your product, which, in turn, contributes to higher retention and engagement.
Studies also prove the value of UX design. For example, according to McKinsey, companies prioritizing design have a 32% higher revenue growth and a 56% higher total return to shareholders than their competitors. Another research by Forrester revealed that UX design ROI is $100 for every invested $1. Overall, design unicorns (businesses that invest more in UX) usually see a significant 75% sales increase. In our recent article, you can find more UX statistics that prove the value of great design, from user engagement to conversions.
Being a design agency focused on SaaS products, our clients often ask us about the financial value of UX design. For them, user experience can seem like an elusive thing that is impossible to measure. But it is not so. There are UX metrics to evaluate the success of a design that also allow business owners to see how UX design can impact business results. And in this article, we are going to talk about them while also covering some real-life examples of companies for which investments in UX made a significant difference in their business.
So, let’s start with ways you can evaluate the success of your design.
Key UX metrics to measure the impact of UX design on your business
As UX designers, we are strong supporters of the idea that good design equals good business. And many companies tend to agree with us. Still, more than 50% of them don’t know how to assess the results of their design teams. So talking about a good old ROI would be great for starters.
The traditional ROI index shows the likelihood of a return on investment and is presented as a percentage. The ROI formula looks as follows:
For example, if you invest $300 and your sales go up by $600, your ROI is 100%, according to the formula:
As for design projects, to assess the impact of UX design, you should focus on usability, satisfaction, and user engagement. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Most usability metrics are based on the data collected during usability testing. Through this type of testing, researchers observe the user behavior when they complete tasks trying to identify how easy it was to achieve a specific goal. As a rule, about 5 users have to participate in such tests to get clear results.
Here are metrics to measure usability:
- Task completion rate, or success score, shows the percentage of users who have successfully completed a specific task like creating an account, finding the right product from the list, or filling in the request form. To get your success score, you should calculate the number of completed tasks and divide it by the number of attempts.
- Time on task lets you learn how much time (minutes, seconds, hours, days, or else) it takes a user to complete a task. As a rule, the shorter it takes, the better.
- Error rate measures all wrong actions, such as slips (accidental behavior) and mistakes (incorrect non-accidental intentions) performed while completing a task. You may need to evaluate all of them, so you will need an error rate formula:
When focusing on one error, you have to find an error occurrence rate by calculating the total number of errors and dividing it by the number of attempts:
User engagement metrics show how users will interact with a digital product helping to determine areas that need to be improved. Here are the key metrics:
- Time spent on site measures the average amount of time users spend on specific product pages. To calculate the average time on a page, you should divide the total time users spend on a page by the total number of page views, then subtract the number of page exits.
There are also a number of analytics tools like Google Analytics that can provide you with valuable numbers.
- Pageviews show the number of pages the user has viewed over a period so that you can identify pages your users are interested in, and those that cause user friction.
User satisfaction is a crucial metric when you want to define the design's success. It shows how well your solution meets or exceeds users’ expectations and goals. This metric evaluates your users’ trust and loyalty.
User satisfaction can be measured using the following metrics:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) represents the percentage of users who would recommend your product. To determine the NPS, consider asking your existing customers how likely they are to recommend the solution to their friends and colleagues. Users should give a score of 1 to 10. One means “not at all likely”, and ten - “very likely”. Based on the results, users are divided into three categories:
Now you can calculate the NPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors from promoters.
For example, if 70% of customers are promoters and 10% are detractors, then your NPS score is 60.
Generally, the score is considered positive when it is above 0, meaning that you have more promoters than detractors. But leading companies often have an NPS score of 50 and above. For example, Apple has an NPS score of 68, while Amazon’s NPS is 51.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) lets you understand how users feel about your product or its specific functionality. You need to ask users to rate their satisfaction with your product from 1 (very unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied).
To calculate a CSAT score, you’ll need to know the number of satisfied customers and the total number of received answers. You can use the following formula to identify a percentage score:
- System Usability Scale (SUS). Here, your users will have to answer 10 questions, giving a score from 1, meaning “strongly disagree,” to 5, which stands for “strongly agree”. After gathering feedback, you add each score and multiply it by 2 to get from 0 to 100 points. If the score is 68 and above, for example, then everything is fine with the usability. If the score is lower than 68, then your product requires improvement.
So, as you can see, UX design is not just a superficial product or service aspect but an essential business driver. And with the list of UX metrics we shared in this article, you can easily evaluate the success of your design and its overall business value.
But looking at specific examples where companies already did that and benefited from it is no less interesting, so let’s do it.
UX ROI case studies that show why investing in design is worth it
Here are some examples to demonstrate how good design decisions can result in a great benefit for both your users and your business.
How changing one button led to a $300 million revenue boost
For the book “Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks”, Jared M. Spool shares how a small change in a form’s design let an e-commerce website increase its revenue by $300 million.
The website was losing a significant amount of revenue due to a poorly designed checkout process. But the problem was, nobody on the team knew what the problem was.
That’s why the company decided to conduct usability testing. After testing the website, the team discovered that customers resisted registering. Users just wanted to make a purchase and leave the website.
The design team offered to replace the Register button with a Continue button. They also added a message informing users that they don’t have to create an account to make purchases on the website and just click Continue to proceed to checkout.
The results of this simple change were impressive: the sales grew by 45% to an extra $15 million in the first month, leading to an overall revenue increase of $300 million.
How usability testing allowed HubSpot to improve user retention
When HubSpot was working on the record page redesign, the team discovered that excessive usage patterns were slowing down sales and support workflows. To improve usability, HubSpot decided to start by calculating user satisfaction metrics, such as CSAT and NPS scores, to then continue with usability testing.
By testing nearly 40 activity types on the record timeline, the team identified significant issues, such as unresponsiveness and limited functionality, leading to an 11% decline in users. The team also measured the time it took to respond to an email after opening a record, which averaged around 8 minutes.
To decrease the time spent on email responding, HubSpot conducted live experiments and iterated based on user feedback, consistently prioritizing users’ needs. They eliminated unnecessary white space, reduced the load time by taking out unnecessary information, and simplified data scanning and actions on the record.
When talking about numbers, the company managed to achieve great results. Their total revenue grew by 33% to $1.731 billion compared to 2021.
How SEOcrawl grew 2X after a complete UX redesign
SEOcrawl was looking to expand their existing platform to cover every aspect of the SEO needs. The company partnered with Eleken to redesign the product and improve its usability.
We started the redesign with the competitor analysis and reviewed the existing visual design trends. Throughout the whole redesign process, each and every design decision was guided by user feedback. The SEOcrawl team shared new screens with its customers and asked them what improvements could be made. The entire redesign process was completed in under four months and then successfully implemented by developers.
As the redesign progressed, SEOcrawl's team recognized the growing expectations of their customers and decided to extend their product's functionality. To meet users’ needs, our team designed the Crawler tool for detailed SEO analysis of product web pages, and the SEO Monitor tool to detect and point out product problem areas.
After our fruitful collaboration, SEOcrawl fully revamped its solution and doubled its user base. What’s more, the new functionality allowed them to gain new paid customers, and the platform continues to grow.
If you're still in doubt about whether to invest in UX, just remember that fixing UX design mistakes during development can cost 10X more, while a post-release fix can cost you up to 100X. And from the examples we covered, it’s easy to see that investing in user experience delivers a strong ROI and is definitely worth your attention.
And if you decide that excellent user experience will be your priority, hire Eleken UI/UX designers.