Finding the dollar value of design

Not sure if this is entirely relevant here, but it’s a question i’ve run into recently after listing to some podcasts in the CRO space.

There’s a lot of ways we can frame measuring improvements to a website.

One way we may look at improvements, is simply in terms of profit. We will make changes to the website that increase profit.

Increasing metrics like time-on-site, engagement, and shares are important, in so far as they increase company profit (short and long-term).

I think this approach is worthwhile because it places a clear value on the work we’re doing and answers good questions like, (1) why are we doing this? (2) How will we know we succeeded?

I’m wondering though, how might we ascribe a dollar value to something like, reformatting a site’s navigation using card sorting? or increasing pages-per-visit? or improving some visual/emotional design. these things are surely important, but offhand I’m not sure how to ascribe a dollar value.

translating the value of this work seems important.

maybe this is a bit unnecessary though.

Generally speaking, I think the whole point of a website is to make users do something. Dollar value is nice, but there are other metrics that could also signify a successful website. It’s up to your business to define the metrics that signify success.e.g. as well as buying a product, there’s also filling in a form, clicking a phone number, clicking an email address, clicking an article, downloading something, joining a list, viewing a brochure etc. These actions can all be tracked, along with goals set inside of your analytics suite.

If for example we look at changing the nav…

What metrics are you hoping to improve by changing the nav? Maybe your hypothesis is that if you improve the nav, you will see an increase in product sales, brochure views, form completions and clicks to a certain article?

If all the actions and goals are correctly tracked, you’ll be able to compare stats before the nav change, against stats after the nav change. If your hypothesis is proved correct, then keep the nav change. If not, then roll it back. Of course it’s worth noting that there could be external factors that can affect the stats, but it can give you a good idea of how well your changes are performing.



It can be difficult to get senior stakeholders to think of any other metric other that the $$ value.

Try and get some solid research and user feedback showing what the customers value, ie good experience, simple to use, less time to complete tasks. Then have them rate these. This can be a base metric that you can try to improve over time.

Over time happy customers will engage more and more engagement could be linked to better revenues.


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