Why invest in design?

Jens Wedin
2 min readApr 5, 2018

Why invest in design? I have heard this so many times, ”we do not need designers, we need developers/business analysts/testers”, ”how can design bring value to the bottom line?” or ”design is so fussy/vague/muzzy/add your word here”.

Here are some of the good arguments I use when I talk to the management and leaders.

  • Design makes you deliver 2X faster time-to-market (1)
  • Design reduces your development time with 33% (1)
  • Design-driven companies outperform S&P by 211% over 10 years (2)
  • Design invested companies outperform competitors by two to one in growth. (6)
  • Design invested companies bring 6% higher return to shareholders. (6)
  • The ROI for investing in design is 301% (1)
  • IBM, as an example, increased their portfolio profitability with $18.6 million by design-driven work (1)
  • McKinsey know that brands that can improve the customer journey see revenues increase as much as 10 to 15% while also lowering the cost to serve 15 to 20% (7)
  • Improving the customer journeys from average to “wow” is worth 30 to 50% more in those same industries (7)
  • Customer service scores doubled, revenues from upselling climbed 5%, and the cost of serving customers dropped 10% (7)
  • The company was able to cut the steps to just five and thereby reduced costs by 40 to 50 % (7)
  • The number of complaints also dropped, and with it the number of people handling them, from 109 to 20 (7)
  • Design brings value to the bottom line by increased customer satisfaction and loyalty and reduce cost (4)
  • Design reduces risk by validating ideas earlier (4)
  • Design makes you develop fewer things and focus on the right ones (5)
  • Startups that fail mainly does it because of lack of empathy and understanding of the customer needs (5)
  • happy and engaged colleagues (1)
  • A more unique value proposition and brand

So, do you have any other good arguments and resources that I can add to the list?

(1) https://www.ibm.com/design/thinking/static/Enterprise-Design-Thinking-Report-8ab1e9e1622899654844a5fe1d760ed5.pdf

(2) http://www.dmi.org/?page=2015DVIandOTW

(3) https://www.cooper.com/journal/2017/6/what-is-the-roi-of-design (does not work)

(4) https://mural.co/roi/

(5) https://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2016/03/02/top-20-reasons-why-startups-fail-infographic/

(6) https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-design/our-insights/the-business-value-of-design

(7) https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/best-of-both-worlds-customer-experience-for-more-revenues-and-lower-costs



Jens Wedin

Design + Coaching + Transformation + Leadership @ Seventyone Consulting // Mostly in English // http://jenswedin.com