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It's More Than ROI
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
This evening I attended a meeting of BayCHI (Computer Human Interface Group) in South Hall, the oldest building on the Berkeley campus. The topic: It's More Than ROI: Defining the Business Value of User-Centered Design. Speakers from Leap Frog, World Savings, Adaptive Path, PeopleSoft, and Ask Jeeves spoke of measuring the value of interface design.

I've heard precisely the same conversation on the topic of training. How can we demonstrate our value to the business people? Aren't some worthy activities inherently immeasurable? Why do we always get chopped when there's an economic downturn?

Sather Tower is directly across from South Hall. It's foggy tonight.

The difficulty of pinning a credible number on intangibles cropped up. You'd think that in an era where intangibles create half the value in business, more people would have figured this one out. It's like not believing in microwaves or germs because you can't see them.

Would any business person in their right mind voluntarily throw away good customer relationships, know-how, and brand reputation? Of course not. Because they have value. So it makes more sense to give them an approximate value rather than factor them into the equation at zero.


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