How to increase ROI with a small investment in product design

There are countless investments that a business can make that offer a high ROI (Return on Investment). One of the largest returns; however, comes from an investment in industrial design. In fact, the ROI can be as high as 85%. Design is far more abstract than the way that a product looks. It can enhance user experience (UX), establish brand credibility and even improve conversion rates. People in the design realm understand this concept--that better products mean larger returns--but this is often an obscure concept to those sitting outside of the industrial design realm. By delving deeper into how to increase ROI with a small investment in product design, you can easily understand how to make it happen while also improving overall customer satisfaction.

First and foremost, to determine the long-term value of any investment, you must first determine if it makes sense for your business. In most cases, an investment in design can benefit businesses of all sizes from startups to Fortune 500 companies. It is much more than colors, shapes and lines; it is how your hardware or product works. It reflects your brand, influences how the product is perceived and how it functions. Furthermore, a good product design can solve existing problems, prevent future ones, and offer consistency to your customers.

After you have decided you want to learn how to increase ROI with a small investment in design, a crucial step in calculating your ROI is through benchmark processes, such as surveys and usability testing. This will get you on the road to being able to evaluate your program with analytics. A formula will start to materialize as users add value with opinions. Documentation of this serves as a scale by which to measure return capability.

The surveys will bring to light Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs). These indicators will allow you to provide a tangible understanding and presentation of why and how your design will improve performance and profitability. The next thing you should do is compare current performance with your newly found knowledge of desired performance per user survey.  You will now have evidence that measures the potential value of your project. You also have vital insight to build upon Key Performance Indicators to launch your project into revenue bliss.

Time is also an excellent source of tracking and measurement of value. Projects that reduce time on mundane tasks allowing the company to focus on growing the business or adding to efficiency are of great importance. Time management coupled with improved product design and features is a scale that can be seen immediately. Trackable time can also come from tracking user engagement with a product.

Simply put, documenting possible scenarios of how the industrial design investment will improve ROI is crucial. The people that will play the biggest role in your final ROI will be the users themselves. Because of this, user input will be paramount and will aid in measuring the value and potential ROI of an investment in professional industrial design for your business.

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