Jun. 7 2021

The ROI of Design Work

Do you remember the days of Lincoln Logs and Legos? Even if it’s a vague recollection of fumbling with Lincoln Logs, you’ll remember that anything you built ended up feeling like a ranch in the wild west. And Legos… Oh, Legos! You could create anything! You’d pour over an abstract grid of blocks, snapping things together just to invent something. You were no longer tied to building structures that resembled log cabins. You could build for land, water… space! Where am I going with this? Simple. Design matters.

Value of Graphic Design 

How something is designed can greatly affect the experience. When you start wondering what the ROI of design work is, first understand what you’re trying to achieve. Is it a simple online shopping experience that gets a user from start to checkout in 4-5 clicks? Is it an app that lets you calculate the cost of your mortgage and generates leads? Knowing what you’re trying to achieve should be the first step that guides all that which will follow. Once you know the goal, you now know how to quantify the impact of a well-designed product.


What’s the ultimate goal of any business? To be profitable. The challenge for designers can ultimately lead to how their design could increase revenue and/or decrease costs. With these two challenges in mind we can start on breaking down the goals more clearly:

Increase revenue

  • Attract more customers (increase conversion rates, etc.)
  • Increase customer value (purchase frequency, and retention)

Decrease costs

Fun with Numbers

Let’s say you have a product in your shop but the landing page that you’re sending potential customers to is displaying the product too far down on the page and it takes 3 steps to get to checkout. Let’s breakdown what that could cause:

ROI of Design

The same amount of time invested for design, ad spend and the product cost but just well designed experience could make all the difference.

Not every challenge may have a simple equation to solve for what your ROI for design work is. If you know you can increase your profits through an enhanced designed experience or simplify a customer journey through simplified, it’s most likely worth the investment.

Now do you want to build a log cabin, or should we start on that spaceship?