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Chapter 5. Strategy > Levels of Investment

Levels of Investment

Usability institutionalization, infrastructure, projects, and staffing are not free. It costs less in the long run to complete designs with the right methods and tools, but in the short run, an investment is required. It is valuable to calculate the ROI for implementing usability within your organization. Know the specific ways that usability will pay off.

The investment in usability can be staged and progressive. For example, in my experience, the investment in a planned wake-up call can be quite small: $25,000 to 50,000 USD covers any reasonable expert review or usability test. The cost of the initial setup of a usability program for a large company by a consultant is typically about $500,000. The cost of establishing a group and supporting it might be $1 million to $3 million annually.[1] So, starting a usability program is a progressive process: Each step should provide confidence to go ahead with the next level of investment, and each step should fund the next.

[1] This figure, along with the others in this paragraph, is based on HFI's 20 years of experience with hundreds of clients across thousands of user-centered design projects.


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