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I was trying to find out if there have been studies on how much a bad UI or UX design affects sales on websites? I couldn't really find anything in my searches.

Also, does anyone know about any studies on the ROI with proper UI or UX design?

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UX increases retention & referral, which, in turn, increase life-time customer value. – dnbrv Feb 8 '12 at 18:45
Yes, I agree, but has anyone done a study that quantifies this? Amazon started using additional buying suggestions to customers, based on their current order at the time just before checkout. They claimed they increased sales 75% of the time if I recall the details of the article properly. – James Drinkard Feb 8 '12 at 18:49
It's tough. You typically have to measure it piecemeal. ie, the redesigned home page now has a higher retention rate than the stats from last month before the redesign. – DA01 Feb 8 '12 at 23:35
I think the better question is to look at the cost if UX design is taken out. These days putting more thought into user/customer experience is the norm, and losing the competitive advantage is already becoming an often cited reason for companies trying to do better in this area. – Michael Lai Jun 29 '14 at 23:36
up vote 17 down vote accepted

This will help to know the power of ROI impact on UX and UI

Human factors Video explaining ROI for UX

UPA take on ROI with metrics

Top key points that i remember are :

  • UX issues are in the top ten reasons for project to fail
  • Good UX will reduce customer care calls
  • Early changes with UX design will take just 10 percent cost when compared to later stages.
  • Good UX will reduce training if its complex applications or in-house app
  • repeated customers increases the ROI
  • Overall UI is the product to customer
  • Good UX will increase the conversion rate.

etc ..

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IBM's “The rule of thumb: Every dollar invested in ease of use returns $10 to $100.″
That would be a ROI somewhere between 1000% – 10000%... Source:

Jakob Nielsen and his team have conducted a couple of interesting ROI studies.

They may be a bit "old" (2002 and 2008), but they are still valid.
The article Usability ROI Declining, But Still Strong concludes with an average KPI improvement of +83% in projects based on usability engineering (2008). This is less that the +135% in 2002, but still significant.

enter image description here
(The different case studies are arranged across the horizontal axis. The vertical axis shows each case study's improvement.)

You can buy the full 212-page report "Usability ROI (4th edition)", with 72 metrics case studies and 131 before/after screenshots from their website:

Other interesting articles:

(...and I'm not going to include any summary of these :-) If the fear of link rot reigns, then feel free to delete them. Or downvote the answer. )

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You could also look at it the other way around. There must be a bigger focus on a structured UX-approach when doing IT projects because:

  • According to the CHAOS Summary 2009 Report, 50 percent of software features are not used or wasted, while other features are sorely missed.”
  • 82% of all IT-projects in Sweden is a failure according to the clients reports a study from 2007 done by the swedish project web site Projektplatsen.
  • On average only 26% of projects are completed on time, within budget, with all features and functions as originally specified. (Standish Group, 2000) For larger management information system projects, between 39% (10.000fp) and 48% (100.000fp) will be cancelled before completion. (Jones, 2000) In 1998 these failed projects cost U.S. companies an estimated $75 billion dollar, and an estimated $22 billion dollar in cost overruns. Challenged and failed projects are the norm. (Standish Group, 2000) Facts quoted from the thesis "The Use of Workshops for Requirements Engineering by A.B. Belgraver"
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In one of the screencasts of Billy Hollis that I watched, he gave an example where good UX design cut a fraction of a second from something a nurse would do many times a day - across the entire hospital system, over the course of a year this added up to several hundred thousand dollars of saved staff time.

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