In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Jeneanne Rae confirms what we have believed all along… that ‘Design Can Drive Exceptional Returns for Shareholders’. In other words, user experience (UEX) is one of the most important drivers of return on investment (ROI).

She calls out the tug of war battle of the past between those who believed design impacts value and those who didn’t understand design in the first place.  She notes “From Target to Uber, business managers everywhere are starting to understand that the strategic use of design is making a difference in achieving outsized business results.”

Rae’s company Motiv Strategies and the Design Management Institute came up with the Design Value Index, a tool that tracks the results of design-focused companies against others. The index shows how a group of companies that meet certain criteria for design commitment have surpassed the S&P 500 by 228%.  Many Ogilvy and Bottle Rocket clients are among them.

She goes on to explain…

The index was constructed in the same fashion as other indexes that seek to isolate an industry sector (banking, biotech), geography (China), or size (large cap), for example. In our version, we sought to identify only companies that are design leaders. Starting with a list of over 75 publicly-traded U.S. firms, we found only 15 that met our six criteria: publicly traded in the U.S. for 10+ years; deployment of design as an integrated function across the entire enterprise; evidence that design investments and influence are increasing; clear reporting structure and operating model for design; experienced design executives at the helm directing design activities; and tangible senior leadership-level commitment for design. Corporations who made the index based on this criteria include Apple, Coca-Cola, Ford, Herman-Miller, IBM, Intuit, Newell-Rubbermaid, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Starwood, Steelcase, Target, Walt Disney, Whirlpool, and Nike.

As Bottle Rocket UX Strategist, Adam Polansky, points out “User and customer experience has become a priority – in many cases a mantra — for many of the world’s biggest brands. This index offers some solid evidence that the benefits are both tangible and sizable.”

Bottle Rocket and Rae agree on this: 8 ways design can be used as a strategic business tool to increase ROI.

  • Wow Factor
  • Brand Expression
  • Solving Unmet User Needs
  • Developing Better Customer User Experiences
  • Rethinking Strategy
  • Hardware/Software Interaction
  • Market Expansion through Personal Development and User Understanding
  • Cost Reduction

To us here at Bottle Rocket, UEX driving ROI makes a lot of sense. People use things that add value to their lives, are intuitive, easy to use and add delight to their day. This is true for both consumer and enterprise applications. Mobile has taken this to a whole new level, especially for enterprise where little value has been placed on UEX in the past. But that’s changed, forever…

Customers like Starwood Hotels & Resorts (noted in this index) embrace design at every level of customer interaction, from the first mobile app or web experience through their hotel stay. They take their digital guest experience just as seriously as their hotel stay experience. The same care that goes into making a stay at a W Hotel is also found in their apps.

The same applies to forward-thinking brands in their enterprise apps. For example, take the suite of serious games and sales enablement tools we built for Baker Hughes. They hold design and user experience to a higher standard as a differentiator in a highly competitive industry, complete with surprise and delight normally only found in consumer applications.

Bottle Rocket places an exorbitant amount of emphasis on design and it is a huge part of the strategy of each mobile solution we produce.  It is important to understand how design can effectively drive ROI for our clients.

Read the complete article here: Harvard Business Review