As UX designers, we often deal with stakeholders from various technical and business backgrounds. It’s crucial to communicate our design thinking process and recommendations clearly to gain their support. Here are some key approaches:
Communicate in Their Language
Don’t assume stakeholders understand UX terminology. Explain concepts using their domain vocabulary. For example, instead of discussing “the user flow,” talk about “the process a customer follows on our website.” Relate design aspects to metrics important to stakeholders, like conversion rates or satisfaction scores. Using familiar language shows you understand their priorities and helps buy-in.
Provide Solid Research Backing
Stakeholders value decisions grounded in data above all else. Therefore, be sure to present thorough user research findings to support any recommendations. Highlight the diverse array of user frustrations and needs uncovered during contextual inquiries and surveys. Quantitative insights from usability testing, such as “77% of users struggled with this particular task,” lend significant persuasive power. Benchmarking against competitor experiences can reveal opportunity areas ripe for improvement.
Quantitative validation carries more weight than mere personal opinions when it comes to garnering support. Indeed, ensuring research thoroughly embeds the rationale behind recommendations establishes much-needed credibility in reality. With data driving the narrative, stakeholders will feel confident moving forward in a user-centric direction.
Acknowledge Constraints and Compromises
Balancing experience with constraints is key. Address known limitations upfront to have sensible discussions. Compromising certain ideas to align with business goals builds rapport. Offer alternative solutions respecting restrictions. For example, if budgets prevent a design, propose a leaner minimum viable product. Stakeholders appreciate realistic processes that consider all perspectives. Being flexible fosters collaboration versus conflict.
Presenting insights using these approaches helps stakeholders view UX teams as valuable partners solving real user problems within limitations. It positions recommendations practically versus idealistically. With research-backed validations and open acknowledgment of constraints, designers can gain influential allies committed to balanced, data-driven decisions.