VC Usability Audit

Market: Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors


Early focus on usability can help you make investment decisions and then maximize the return on that investment by ensuring that more companies in your portfolio are successful when they go to market.

User-centeredness is a predictor of a company’s potential for success

A fast usability audit tells you

  • Showstopper usability issues with the product
  • Amount of redesign required to be successful
  • User-centeredness of key staff
  • Likelihood of staff to incorporate user centered design in the future

These factors are summarized as a go/no-go statement of the company’s usability maturity and potential. You can use this audit to start discussion about required changes as conditions of investment.


  • Usability issues can be solely responsible for a company or product succeeding or failing.
  • User-centeredness is a predictor of a company’s potential for success
  • Getting it right first time saves your money. Fixing usability bugs costs 10x more at each stage of development.
  • Usability analysis is cheap and has around 100-fold ROI on average.
  • Usability analysis complements other metrics and data is available earlier in the development cycle (no Web metrics are available for features that haven’t launched).
  • You get an independent perspective in addition to the company’s own research.


Go/no-go answer based on

  • Company’s current level of user focus
  • Company’s willingness and capacity to incorporate UCD techniques
  • Product’s current level of usability
  • Product’s likelihood of being accepted by users

Supporting documentation based on interviews with company officers, developers, product managers, marcom; analysis of the product, comparison with other products in a similar genre.

This supporting documentation is sufficient to provide directions for redesign of the product and an indication of the tasks that the company should perform to become more user-centric.


  • Interviews with key staff (can take place as part of your existing process)
  • Analysis of current user-centered practices (site visits, personas, user testing, user centered design, etc.)
  • Analysis of product for key usability issues
  • High-level comparison with identified competition (where possible)
  • Summary of key findings in common format to allow comparison between companies
  • Verbal debriefing to you, either with or without the company present


Faster turnaround is possible if you primarily require a quick go/no-go answer with bullet point justification.

We can work on retainer or on a case-by-case basis. Obviously, having usability audit metrics for every company in your portfolio allows direct comparison and ranking. Repeat audits show company’s ability to change based on feedback.

Follow-up work

If you choose to invest in the company, we can work with their team to fix showstopper bugs, perform in-depth analysis, introduce user centered techniques through training and mentoring, create a user centered strategy via workshops, and assist with user centered design.

Price: $20k – see our Pricing page for more information
Timescale: 1 week

Next steps

To find out more and to discuss how this style of audit would fit into your process, talk to us by e-mail: info@ [this site’s domain]