- Talk to other agency web managers about how user–centered design has increased their ROI and reduced risk of failure and costly mistakes. Contact Beth Martin for assistance.
- Read about The Case for Usability in Government
- Train your web team in usability practices through courses at DigitalGov University
- Hire a usability consultant or staff member
- Learn more about user–centered design
- Participate in the User Experience Community of the Federal Web Managers Council
Benefits and ROI of User-Centered Design
What It Is
Return on Investment (ROI) is a technique for determining if the resources you spend on your website are yielding successful information and services. User–centered design gives you practical ways to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of your website from your customers' perspective, which helps you earn a positive return on investment.
User–centered design helps you identify common pitfalls and potential costly errors early in the website development process. Risk management strategies help you identify potential problems and solutions before they happen. Risk management is the flip side of the ROI coin. You manage the risk of website failure by focusing on your customers' success.
Why It's Important
It's a business adage that "You can't manage what you can't measure."
Measuring ROI and employing user–centered design strategies to manage risk help you make the business case for a user experience program to your senior agency managers.
See the Usability.gov website for more research on why usability is important.
By following usability principles, you'll create websites that ensure your users can find what they're looking for and are satisfied with their experience. OMB Policies for Federal Public Websites require agencies to (#1A) "to disseminate information to the public in a timely, equitable, efficient and appropriate manner" and (#2A) "maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information and services provided to the public."
How to Implement
Nine steps to determining ROI and managing risk of customer failure:
Identify your major website customers and their top tasks
Understand your agency goals
Hire a usability analyst and train your web team in user experience techniques
Document ROI measures for all your top tasks
Create a baseline of your website's performance using the measures
Redesign for your customers' success
Conduct usability tests with real customers before implementing changes
Measure the ROI
Keep listening to customers and iterating improvements