The ROI of UX: Why good UX is good for business

Torii Studio
5 min readOct 29, 2020


An illustration of a hand holding a pen showing labels reading: ‘Inform’, ‘Persuade’, ‘Usability’, and ‘Delight’.
Illustration credit: @jackdalyco

UX isn’t just a trendy buzzword anymore. It’s the key to creating products that will succeed in today’s market. And, as more brands come to understand the importance of good UX and invest more resources in it, competition is getting fiercer.

People have grown used to friction-free, intuitive experiences that have been tailor-made to make their lives easier. Anything short of life-changing will have a hard time competing out there.

At Torii, we’ve seen both startups and established companies reap huge benefits after shifting their focus to UX. We believe that user-centered approaches are the right choice for any brand trying to make it in today’s ultra-competitive market.

The ROI of UX: Beyond the numbers

Good UX is good for business, and the numbers agree. According to a study by Forrester, every dollar invested in UX brings, on average, 100 in return. This amounts to an ROI of over 9,900%.

But, beyond these estimates, the benefits of an investment in UX will vary from one company to another. For some, it may mean an increase in conversions or even revenue. Others will reap the rewards of good UX in the form of reductions in time-to-market, reduced costs, or decreases in customer complaints.

And, while there are many immediate benefits to investing in UX, the long-term rewards are even more remarkable. Improved customer satisfaction, higher engagement, and loyalty to your brand can be difficult to measure and take longer to yield results. Still, they are instrumental to your bottom line and crucial for sustained growth.

Three key benefits of investing in UX

  1. Save time and resources

The purpose of user experience research isn’t just to find out whether users like or dislike your product. A big part of refining your product is ensuring that it does exactly what you want it to do.

UX research helps product development teams identify and correct problems early on in the development process. It allows them the space to find the right balance between ease of use, functionality, and design. This cuts both time and expenses by reducing the chance of problems arising later on when they’re more difficult and expensive to fix.

An easier way to understand the ROI of UX is through the 1–10–100 rule. You can spend $1 on research and move on into the design phase with a more informed view of what you need; $10 to change a design that was not successful; or $100 to make changes to a product that is already in the development phase.

A graphic titled ‘Investing in UX saves the company money’ showing the $1=$10=$100 rule of investing in UX
Failing to spot and correct problems early can wind up being a costly mistake. Image credit: Projekt202

2. Understand your users better

Good UX leads to happy, satisfied customers that see value in your brand and products. It improves your reputation and strengthens brand loyalty. This is why people are willing to pay a premium for Apple products or why they will gladly brave crowds and long lines for almond butter at Trader Joe’s.

But finding out what people want and how to meet their needs is not as easy as it seems. Companies often get this wrong or ignore it altogether. After all, a poor understanding of the market and target audience is one of the most common reasons for product and company failures.

UX research and prototyping provide valuable insights into how your customers see and use your product. They are a surefire way to find out what they want so you can tailor your products and experiences to meet those needs.

3. Accelerate innovation

While UX and design thinking are two different processes, they share a similar approach of defining problems, performing extensive research, and then coming up with solutions through a combination of iteration and observation. Adopting either approach often means that you will be incorporating — and benefiting from — elements belonging to the other one.

User-centered approaches are what have helped companies like Nike, Spotify, Netflix, and Airbnb develop some of the most successful and innovative products on the market today. They all use a combination of design thinking and UX research to tackle problems creatively and develop innovative solutions to them.

A graphic tilted: ‘Design thinking: A framework for innovation’ showing the continuous loop that characterizes design thinking approaches. It starts with ‘Empathizing’ on the upper left corner, moves down to ‘Define’ in the lower left corner, continues to ‘Test’ in the center of the loop, followed by ‘Ideate’ in the upper right hand corner, and ‘Prototype’ in the lower left corner.
Design thinking approaches are catalysts for innovation. They help production teams look at problems differently and come up with better solutions for them. mage credit: UX Beginner

One of the reasons these companies emphasize UX research is that it’s a safe and low-risk way to test and develop ideas. User tests and prototypes are a great way to explore the feasibility of a product and get a better sense of how your users feel about it.

They reduce the risk of uncertainty by answering questions like: Do we have the resources and technology to develop this idea? Can it compete with similar products or services? What do we have to do or change to make it a success? And, more importantly: Are people interested in this?

The true ROI of UX: A competitive edge

As our lives become more entwined with technology, the quality of our experiences with that technology will continue to increase in importance. Consumers will keep evolving more discerning and favor products developed with their needs in mind. Brands that do not meet those expectations and create competitive user-centered products risk losses and eventual failure.

Prioritizing user experience has significant immediate and long-term benefits. Short term, the ROI of UX can mean more conversions, better numbers, or improved SEO. In the long run, the boost in customer satisfaction, reputation, brand awareness, and loyalty are what will ultimately ensure your brand’s future.

Want to offer your users a better product experience? Contact Torii Studio today and let us know how we can help.



Torii Studio

Creative Technology Studio | Building world-class digital experiences