Quantifying Good Design

23Dec09

If you’re struggling to rationalize spending the time or money for thorough design, this is an excerpt from a blog entry on my company’s design process.  The full research paper from Caper Jones can be found here.

Capers Jones has researched and written about  software development for a long time and his findings on the cost of a defect over time have been widely reported.  If you’re not familiar with Jones’ research, he’s basically proven that a software bug gets more expensive the longer it goes undetected (duh).  Recently, he expanded this research to include the ten most costly types of bugs.   The illustration below depicts the cost of a bug over time and the top four most costly types of bugs.

Notice a pattern? The most expensive stuff can be caught before you code and directly relate to user experience. This is a pretty strong argument for funding standard and rigorous design processes within your organization.

I’m interested to hear what other folks have used as business cases for good UX design.

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