Making a Case for UX in 3 Steps

And some of my courses, I get asked, how is it that we can get started making a case for you X initiatives in an organization where you X hasn’t really been fully embraced? So I want to tell you today, a few quick tips to help you get started. The first tip is to know your audience, understand who it is that you’re going to be persuading, understand what it is that they care about most in context of their work. What’s going to make them look successful in the eyes of their superiors. All right. So if you can figure that out, you’ll be better positioned to understand how you need to then frame your your arguments in order to persuade them.

You can also try to understand any context about the organization that might be helpful. So if there is a past issue that came up that maybe is has a scar on the organization and people are resistant to new initiatives, it’s important for you to know that. The second tip I want to share is using that first tip, start speaking the language of the people you’re trying to persuade if they care about business metrics and numbers and analytics, use that data to support your arguments. Don’t come in speaking the language of human computer interaction and throwing around a lot of jargon terms that we in design might use speak the language of business so that they’re more likely to get on the same page with you. The third tip is do some calculations if you can find a few projects, right. Maybe even just one in particular to start find something that you can track and calculate. So, for example, figuring out how many customer support emails arrive on a weekly basis, if you can start looking closely at that and figure out how much time does it take to answer an average email, then you can also consider the people who are answering those emails. What are their salaries, what are they working with so that we know how much it’s costing per email in company time. So if you start doing this math and you realize, OK, well, on average in a week we’re spending 10 hours answering these types of support questions, then we could actually maybe make some improvements. And if you’re able to shave off even two hours a week, you multiply that time savings by month by quarter by year by five years. And all of a sudden you can tie that to the company’s savings because you’ve just saved a ton of money for the company by freeing up that extra time. Lastly, when you go to make your case for U.S. initiatives that your organization don’t be afraid to start small, it’s better to pick a project that you’re confident you’ll be able to get the data for and transform that into the savings and the cost benefit for the organization so that you can really make a strong case, because if your organization can see that even in a project scope that’s quite small, you’re able to make a big impact with your work, you’re more likely to be successful in your initiatives.

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