Good Design is Good for Business (and More).

When design is released from the “design department” and permeates all aspects of an organization, that organization is more successful. Organizations that champion human-centered design understand their customers, and end-users better. They are more purposeful, profitable and can react to changing market conditions faster.

Feel free to use these statistics, case studies, and their sources in any of your documentation, presentations or proposals.

NOTE: Many of the articles below refer to the popularized term “design thinking”. Design thinking, systems thinking, agile and lean UX are all subsets to the overarching human-centered design framework.

Design Pays Off

Design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219% between 2004 and 2014. (Source: Design Management Institute)

Every dollar invested in user experience design brings in $100 in return (Source: Forbes)

Small manufacturers saw a 17.5% increase in average sales on improved goods and services when they invested in design (Source NEA/ Industrial Design: A Competitive Edge for U.S. Manufacturing Success in the Global Economy )

48% of projects with additional design investment recovered total costs within a year or less after the market launch, and 90% of projects achieved payback within three years. (Source:  a 2008 report from the British Columbia Premier’s Technology Council)

IBM CEO Thomas Watson Jr. famously declared “good design is good business.”

Design creates more loyal customers

50% of design-led companies report more loyal customers as a benefit to having advanced design practices. (Source: Adobe)

Companies that foster creativity enjoy 1.5 times greater market share. (Source: Adobe)

Design-led firms consciously put the customer first, with 46% of design leaders citing an emotional bond with customers as a defining characteristic of an advanced design practice.  (Source: Adobe)

Design improves the work environment and employee retention. In a survey where companies were analyzed for their creativity, those who ranked highly for fostering creativity were also recently awarded recognition for being a “best place to work.” (Source: Creativity At Work)  

71% of organizations that practice design thinking report it has improved their working culture on a team level. (Source: Parsons New School)

Companies that integrate industrial designers into their teams have a 9.1% higher employment growth rate than companies that don’t. (Source: 2015 white paper from the  Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)

Design can make a company more profitable

82% of companies believe there is a strong connection between creativity and business results. (Source: Creativity At Work)

Design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219% over 10 years. (Source: Design Management Institute)

In 2013, Rae, founder of Virginia-based consultancy Motiv Strategies, devised the Design Value Index (DVI), an investment tool she says shows that companies that integrate design thinking into corporate strategy can outpace industry peers by as much as 228%. (Source: Fortune, 2017)

Design makes the innovation process more efficient

69% of design-led firms perceive the innovation process to be more efficient with design thinking. (Source: Parsons New School)

Almost half (46%) of companies that don’t embed design in digital CX strategy reported that their digital CX is on par or weaker than competitors. (Source: Adobe)

Up to 95% of production costs occur at the design stage. Industrial Design lowered price thru improved manufacturing and minimized product-time-to-market time. (Source NEA/ Industrial Design: A Competitive Edge for U.S. Manufacturing Success in the Global Economy )

Design can improve civic life

In the US, IRS adopted an empathic approach that aimed to simplify the tax return process and resulted in a much-improved tax form. (Source: Digital Surgeons, 2017

In 2012, the city of Sydney partnered with DOCRC with the goal of reducing the amount of violent incidents that occur in Sydney’s Kings Cross neighborhood, a nightlife area and, unsurprisingly, an area known for inebriated acts of violence. The design team’s human-centered approach to designing a solution helped reduce late-night violence in the area. (Source: Digital Surgeons, 2017

In Denmark, design has already been applied in a wide range of public sector settings, from rethinking waste management in Copenhagen, to reducing tensions between inmates and guards in Danish prisons, to transforming services for mentally disabled adults in the city of Odense. (Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review -

In Singapore, the Prime Minister's Public Service Division established the Design Thinking Unit, with the mission to involve users in redesigning policies and services. And Singapore's Ministry of Manpower is working with IDEO and the UK government nudge unit to redesign the work permit experience for expats. The new and improved Employment Pass Services Centre (ESPC) requires appointments which minimize wait times, has a lobby that feels less congested, and has service ambassadors greet customers when they enter who can also direct them to where they need to go. (Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review -, )

A collection of Sources: