Quantifying the ROI of Designing for the Customer Experience

Estimating the value of design, particularly customer experience design, and the potential impact on conversion rates and revenue has always been difficult. It often requires making comparisons to past quarters or past years or simultaneously running different versions of the same site (e.g., traditional A|B testing), and it can be complicated by marketing campaigns and changes to advertising techniques and budgets than can alter the flow of traffic to a site.

The clever folks over at Teehan + Lax, a user experience consultancy based in Toronto, Canada, decided to gamble with $50,000 dollars of their own money to test a theory: companies that invest in customer experience design will have better revenue, greater customer satisfaction, and therefore perform better in the stock market. They selected 10 companies that are known for the use of experience design on their sites and held their stocks for 365 days, then they looked at the value of their UEX portfolio relative to the broader market indices. Their portfolio did very well:

“In the 365 days we owned our stocks the value of the portfolio increased 39.37%. This outperformed the major indexes (NASDAQ 18.09%, S+P 9.47%, NASDAQ 100 26.81%, NYSE 14.67%).”

Designing for the customer experience is not just for the good of the customer, it is also for the good of the company. Designing great customer experiences definitely has measurable value.