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Business Benefits of Usability

Usability engineering is a sound business and management strategy, offering significant economic benefits to the organizations who apply it. To a company developing web projects for example, increased employee efficiency and satisfaction may translate into lower personnel costs. For an e-commerce site, higher end-user efficiency may mean better sales.

Usability engineering can also help companies reduce development costs and shorten development cycles. Of course, users also benefit from usability, whether they're company employees using an internally developed extranet site, consumers using commercial web site or Internet-surfing shoppers looking to buy from e-commerce sites.
Though it's good that usability can benefit both companies and end users, the focus in usability cost-benefit analysis should be on the benefits that
are the most relevant to the group for which the analysis is conducted. As Mayhew and Mantei write, "One needs to decide the relevant audience for the analysis and then what the relevant categories of benefits are for that audience, because not all potential benefits are relevant to all audiences."
For example, a commercial web development company would be more interested in a cost-benefit analysis that focused on usability's potential for reducing develop-ment costs and increasing customer satisfaction than on its potential to improve end user productivity.

Benefits for end users
Benefits for developers

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Last modified on 27 june 2004

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