UBC Graduate Research

The Role of Design in Business ROI: A Literature Review Beausoleil, Angele


This paper reviews select literature that examines the role of design in shaping, influencing and affecting an organization’s return on investment (ROI). It explores the meaning, context and application of the concept of “design ROI” across disciplines and sectors and provides an analysis of the most recent research on the subject of the economic value and performance of design. The bulk of this paper highlights the authors and organizations currently investing in research and proposing design value metrics. The vast inventory of research and methodologies infers the need for a linguistic typology -- a common and shared vocabulary -- to better communicate design’s positive economic impact across economic and industry sectors. It concludes that good design is good for business and suggests research gaps to better understand the value of design in business. The purpose of this research is to broaden the understanding of the impact of design on business ROI and to present evidence on why design is good for business.

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