I'm looking for some nice simple stats and references to help convince potential clients of the value of UCD. Real-life case studies you can explain in one line I suppose.

One of my favourites is of course UIE's $300 Million button.

What are your favourites?

3 Answers 3


I was asked to provide some UCD case studies at work, preferrably those from global companies. My colleagues found these interesting:

The Cost of Frustration http://www.uie.com/articles/cost_of_frustration/

Gradual Engagement Boosts Twitter Sign-Ups by 29% http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1128

Case Study: Fewer Input Fields Increases Conversions http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?910

Google Recruiting user participants for testing - http://blogs.zdnet.com/micro-markets/?p=472

Facebook Gathering user feedback before implementing a new design change - http://user-vision.blogspot.com/2008/07/new-facebook-usability-research-on.html

Amazon Letting their users decide - http://www.uie.com/articles/magicbehindamazon/

Tripadvisor “Since joining in 2004, Petersen has overseen tremendous growth of site traffic, revenue, content and membership, including driving user involvement through the launch of rich product offerings such as maps, video, personalization and intra-member email” - http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/PressCenter-c5-Our_Team.html

Expedia “The usability testing course was delivered at a comfortable pace and in a group small enough to benefit all levels of experience. Thanks for a very enjoyable course!

Graham Farrugia, Expedia.co.uk”

Microsoft - Halo 3 http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/magazine/15-09/ff_halo?currentPage=all

The button one is my favourite though :-)

  • Some great finds there. Covers a bit of all areas. But yes, the $300 Million Button case study pretty much sums it all up!
    – JonW
    Commented Jun 16, 2010 at 13:44
  • The nice thing about the $300 Million Button case study is its simple, and is a nice description of 'real user' behaviour.
    – PhillipW
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 8:21
  • +1 Great answer! Especially the Amtrack example -- stunning and irresistible to management. Thanks! Commented May 9, 2011 at 13:27
  • They are all good examples for market-driven products but how about bespoke projects? Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 11:23

IBM: "Every dollar invested in ease of use returns $10 to $100."

source: Design @ IBM > Design > User Centred Design



A recent one I've found very interesting (and have mentioned to other clients) is the Waitrose redesign. Huge amount of bad responses from users, online message boards flooded with negative comments, twitter awash with complaints. All this could have been avoided (or at least reduced) by considering the Users first rather than the brand and the style.

There are a couple of articles about this on eConsultancy:

new waitrose website panned by users

Waitrose redesign where does it go wrong

/EDIT Just found this one too: Expedia on how one extra data field can cost $12m

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