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Maximizing the ROI of your digital product design budget

Investing in design is crucial to the success of any digital product-based business. However, it's not just a matter of investing in design, it's also a matter of maximizing your return on investment (ROI).

In this article, I'll show you 5 simple ways to ensure that your product design investment is profitable in the long run.

1. Set clear goals

The first step to maximize your product design ROI is to set clear KPIs and goals. Because without clear KPIs and goals, it is difficult to determine whether your design investment has been successful or not.

Now, how do we know if we are clear on what we want to achieve and the value to measure it? 

Try to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals. This will make it easier for you to keep track of your progress and make the necessary adjustments along the way.

For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 20% within 6 months, you can monitor progress by tracking sales and invest more resources to improve your product design to reach that 20%.

2. Conduct user research on a regular basis

This is another way to maximize the return on investment in digital product design.

And it makes perfect sense, because if you understand your customers or users and what their needs and pains are, you can design products that can match those specific requirements. This not only increases the chances that your product will be successful. It also reduces the risk of investing in a product that doesn't resonate with your audience.

Now, to cut straight to the point, how do we do user research?
You can form a Focus Group, and the famous usability tests.
Did you know that in a usability test with 5 users you can discover about 85% of the problems when using the interface?
The insights we get from each user research can help us make better design decisions and ensure that every investment within the product building facet is well-founded and well-directed.

Simply put: use the design budget on what is a priority at the time.

3. Iterative design process

Iterating with design is key to maximize the ROI of your product design investment.
After all, products are alive and so is the market. The market is constantly evolving, and so are the needs and incentives that our users receive.
Iterative design allows you to make small, but INCREMENTAL improvements to your product. This can have a significant impact on the success of the product in the market.

So if you are continually refining your design based on feedback from your team and your customers, you can ensure that your investment is well invested (pun intended 😅).

4. Use the right prototyping tools🧪

Designing a product efficiently that generates good ROI doesn't just depend on hiring good designers or seeking feedback from users all the time.
It also depends on the tools being used to test the product.For this, it is important to prototype and use all the different levels of fidelity for testing. From the typical, simple but very important paper sketches, wireframes, to the more finished high resolution sketches.It's also about looking a bit at the competition and perhaps also using the same current site (if you have one), having it as a sketch and start making UX design improvements from there.

All of this is key. We don't want to release something mediocre to the market, so we need all hands on deck to test, improve and iterate.

5. Implement a Design System

Another way to maximize ROI is to build a design system that serves your customers and your company.

Building a design system requires a considerable amount of resources. But, it is key to the productivity of designers to build and refine the product over time.

A design system allows design teams to avoid having to start from scratch on every project. They can go to the design system and take what they need to start building prototypes using branding-approved design elements such as:

👉 Color palette.

👉 Icons.

👉 Patterns in the user interface (UI) and components.

👉 Images, videos and logos.

👉 Animations and interactions.

With a design system in place, the business can benefit from:

👉 Faster launches with new products and services.

👉 Decreased errors because designers are all on the same page using the same brand-consistent building blocks.

👉 Better collaboration between teams and departments (we love teamwork here at Polonio).

👉 Optimize consistency in work, resulting in a better user experience.

All key outcomes that almost directly impact on the company's revenue.


Investing in design can benefit all businesses of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

Because design is not just about shapes, lines and colors. Design is more than that. At least that's what Steve Jobs used to think:

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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