What is the ROI of Design Thinking?

Design Thinking has become an integral part of most organizations, but are you realizing the value?

How Design Thinking ROI Works

Each company will have different metrics they want to track, but generally you can measure 3 things to realize ROI:

User Conversion and Adoption
When companies build products without Design Thinking, they tend to build based on their ideas and understanding of what they think users want. The problem with this approach is it results in products that people don't sign up for or, and even if they do sign up, they abandon the product and don't come back. Design Thinking helps companies avoid this by testing the user experience until user conversion and adoption can be assured. With product design and development costing anywhere from $500k-$1M+, it's a very costly mistake to ignore design thinking and risk user conversion and adoption of your product.
Development Costs
Doing up front user research to understand the desired user flow and how people want and need to complete tasks will save your company thousands of dollars in expensive development mistakes. Without Design Thinking it is easy to invest in building a product only to find that users need it to work in a different way than expected. This often means starting over which can be a costly mistake and, in the meantime, risks adoption and increases call center volume. Design costs about 1/2 of what development costs so it only makes sense to leverage the design phase to weed out errors in flows and conduct testing with a prototype.
User Growth
When you invest in Design Thinking you are investing in your audience, the people who will use your app (hopefully every day). Users benefit directly from the investment you make in them up front and the outcome looks like joy on their face when they are using your product because it just fits and works for them. This results in referrals to your product which can make or break a business. There is a reason certain apps catch on like wildfire and turn into billion dollar valuations and you can bet Design Thinking is behind each one of those stories somewhere. Your company will realize the value of Design Thinking by watching your user base grow.

Is Design Thinking a new concept?

The actual processes behind Design Thinking have been around for a long time, but it wasn't until the Harvard Business Review article, “Design Thinking” by Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO, was published that it started gaining popularity. It has since allowed Designers to work on an experimental plane to challenge assumptions and use deep critical thinking to design products.

Since that time, it has become a mainstream part of any design process. Design Thinking includes the work of understanding pains and needs of users and businesses, brainstorming "how might we solve for x", and then iterating, testing, and repeating the process until you arrive at your final best set of solutions.  This results in increased product conversions, adoptions and fewer costly development missteps. 

Let's Make ROI Easier

Don't build things that no one wants. Talk to users and test before building. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

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