6 Steps to Winning Support for UX

Building a Case for UX

By now it’s obvious. Companies that invest in user experience are winning the war for customers. As consumers have more and more options, organizations are pushed to understand their customers and develop a strategy around their changing needs. Companies that are doing it well, integrate their customer’s journey throughout the organization, breaking down silos and building a culture of “customer first” throughout the organization. Companies that aren’t are being blindsided by disruptive technology and competitors that have incorporated customer insights into their business plan. 

If you would like your company to take a more focused approach to UX but are having trouble gaining buy-in from leadership, there is hope. Developing a good strategy and using empathy towards your stakeholders will go a long way to winning over UX champions in your organization.

There are a variety of things to think about when selling UX to leadership. By stepping back, focusing on you stakeholder needs and building your case based on business goals, you’ll be growing your UX team in no time.

1. Understand Company Goals

Identifying organizational goals and business strategy will help you understand how UX can be leveraged to achieve those goals. Providing clear examples of how customer feedback has helped the company reach its goals in the past will help you build a case. You’ll also need to put some thought into organizational concerns.  If the company is risk adverse, start with small wins with clearly defined, measurable outcomes. If it’s struggling with human capital, provide examples of external consultants and the support they can provide. Identifying concerns and addressing them with straightforward solutions will help you gain support.

2. Know your Audience

Use empathy to determine what each of your stakeholder’s decisions making journeys will be.  Interview them prior to delivering your presentation to determine their concerns. Each leader will have a different viewpoint when making the decisions to support the growth of UX. By mapping out these unique perspectives you’ll be able to anticipate what types of questions or concerns they will have.

  • CMO - Will this damage our relationship with current customers?
  • IT Director - Will UX compromise sensitive customer data?
  • CEO - Will we get a good return on our investment?
  • HR Manager - Will we have the manpower to support this?

3. Find a UX Champion

Determine who from the leadership team will be eager to champion UX within the organization. After you’ve determined who your UX champion is, spend some time with them to determine company goals, strategy, and the decision-making process. Ask them to sponsor a project with you to add validity to the cause. By building a group of supporters you’ll be able to gain valuable insight into how decisions are made and other information you’ll need to build your case. Whether your trying to grow UX quickly or are taking a more organic approach, having a group of supports in your corner is invaluable. 

4. Start Small

Small wins can lead to increased buy-in from leadership. Providing examples of small wins within your company, while highlighting data for how that project translated into increased sales or new customers can help you build a case for scaling UX. Tying this back to business goals is important. If the wins don’t fall within the company’s strategy it won’t be a priority and may not get much attention. By showing how a small investment in a UX project translated into favorable outcomes for the company’s bottom line and aligns with company goals, you’ll grab attention fast. 

5. Identify New Trends

Bring leadership’s attention to changes in technology and the marketplace in your industry and ways that user research could help the company capitalize on them. Make a note of diminishing returns on current services or products and a possible approach to boost revenue through UX. Make sure to include data that will be relevant to each stakeholder to provide a compelling story for everyone in the room. Identifying what your competition is doing may also add validity to your story.

6. Make a Plan

Make sure you clearly define the project or pilot program you’re asking for and the resources that it will take. Outline the internal and external expertise it will take and the timeline. By being specific, leadership will be able to understand what you’re requesting and understand the desired outcomes. Whether you start small with a research project or decide to go all in, there’s no downside to gaining customer insight.

Good Luck!

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Jennie Banta

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