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Cost Justification


The best book I have seen to date on this subject is entitled "Cost-Justifying Usability"

Bias, Randolph G. and Mayhew, Deborah J., eds. (1994). Cost Justifying Usability. Harcourt Brace & Co. Boston

White Papers & Articles

If you don't have the time or the inclination to read the entire book, many of the most salient points have been summarized in the following Compuware White Paper. Click the title to download a PDF version to print or read at your leasure.

Usability Is Good Business - Prepared by George M. Donahue, Susan Weinschenk, and Julie Nowicki. Compuware Corporation. 1999.

Return On Investment for Usable UI Design - Making the Case for Usable User Interfaces: Examples and Statistics. Aaron Marcus. User Experience Magazine. Winter 2002 Edition.


Development teams, Internal IT system users, Development support organizations, Client support organizations, Sales, Marketing and Advertising groups, Documentation developers, Intranet/extranet/portal/web app users, External clients, e-commerce users and developers, Business partners, and the General public as consumers.

Implementation: Good UI Practices

  1. Obtain High Return on Savings and Product Usability
  2. Decreased Litigation Exposure
  3. Enhanced Capability to Develop Strategic / Targeted New Systems
  4. Pre-release Detection of Usability Problems

Development: Reduced Development Costs

  1. Save Development Costs
  2. Save Development Time
  3. Reduce Maintenance / Support Costs
  4. Reduced Number of Maintenance Releases
  5. Save Redesign costs and Multiple Iterations

Sales: Increased Revenue

  1. Increase Number of Transactions and Purchases
  2. Increase Product Sales (Higher Task Completion Rates)
  3. Advertising Advantages Over Less Usability-Aware Competitors
  4. Better Media Coverage - Advertising Value
  5. Increased Traffic and Size of Audience
  6. Retention of Customers and Brand Loyalty
  7. Improved Client Relations
  8. Attract More Customers Via General Appeal and Referral From Current Clients
  9. Increased Market Share with This Competitive Advantage

Use: Improved Effectiveness

  1. Increased Task Success Rate
  2. Decreased Task Error Rates
  3. Increased Efficiency and Productivity (Reduced Time to Complete Tasks)
  4. Increase User Satisfaction
  5. Increased Job Satisfaction --> Reduced Turnover
  6. Increased Ease of Use / Reduced Frustration Levels
  7. Increase Ease of Learning
  8. Increased Trust in the System / Product


  1. Decreased Support Costs
  2. Reduced Need to Consult Documentation
  3. Reduced Training
  4. Reduced Documentation Costs
  5. Reduced Support Desk Demand
General Usability
HCI Bibliography http://www.hcibib.org
Useit.com http://www.useit.com
Usable Web http://www.usableweb.com
Boxes and Arrows http://www.boxesandarrows.com
Style Guides

Links to other style guides

Aqua Human Interface Guidelines - Apple Computers, Inc. This is the MAC OS X Style Guide.

KDE - KDE project

Java Look and Feel (2nd ed.) - Sun Microsystems, Inc.

The GNOME folks are in the process of developing their own style guide. A GNOME Style Guide is available for review.


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