Come out with solutions that stakeholders will buy


#1

Hello dear UX mastery community,

I just landed in a new UX designer job. After some weeks I’ve come to realise that most of our work is executing. We get requests from different “powerful” stakeholders and we have to design what they ask for. I’d like to see a more "challenging"attitude and make us part of the strategic discussions. I know it’s not easy, specially when dealing with clients, but I’ve seen a colleague working for days on a feature he didnt believe at all…

Do you have some advice on how to deal with this situations? maybe some good book about it?

how to come out with solutions that stakeholders will buy at the end of the day?

thanks a lot in advance!
Vic


#2

hi @vic
I think that scenario is very common in the digital industry and I don’t have any silver bullet to help you in moving forward.

Very often I hear from some people “we know our customers/users very well and we know what they are looking for, please make it nicer
Take moments like this to challenge in a constructive way your stakeholders. 50% of the time you’ll put them in a corner and 50% of the time you will learn something from them.

I usually, start asking:

  • could you please list the core value(s) of our product from the business angle and the user angle?
  • do we have a benchmark about our main competitors to figure out how they solve the same problems we have?
  • how do we measure the design? I mean, how we know that the changes and the improvements are performing according to our targets?
  • do we have under control the main user journeys and the main persona profiles to be sure that if we change something for someone we are not adding complexity to someone else?

I strongly believe that design is only executed when there’s lack of trust/knowledge in the design-driven approaches. Try to show them that your job is to help them to reach the business goals by providing user-centred solutions

I hope it will help and let us know how it goes :slight_smile:


#3

Hi @dopamino,

I’m sorry for my late answer.

Such a great tips, I will definitely take them, thanks a lot! I agree, making a lot of questions (like the ones you mention) during the beginning of a project is vital. As you mention, I feel we still have work ahead to build trust around user center design approach, but I believe it can happen with time.

I think for know, I’ll keep waiting and observing how things are done around and just after that, start suggesting possible improvements. Probably a retrospective would be a great time for it but seems to be postponed every week…

Thanks again for your help,
Vic


#4

Do you have any heuristics in place that help define a strong UX guardrail? If other artifacts are already completed, such as personas, journey map, and you have an up-to-date journey map, what is left UCD wise is a strong feedback loop for your testing, SUS values, etc. I do know from experience that your position is very frustrating and UX should have a seat at the table during interviews, discussions, as well as strategic inputs regarding product solutions. If the culture is such that UCD is a pretext, then UX is ill placed. Circumventing culture can be tricky, time consuming as well as futile in its outcome. There are few companies in my experience that truly implore UCD principles and methods. Use this as a learning opportunity. Good luck.


#5

This is a common thing. I’ve been through times where instead of user experience design, it ends up being stakeholder experience design or HIPPO design (highest paid persons opinion). I’d say just keep doing your best to add value to the project and raise your profile. Make the best of it as you can and give 100% regardless.

Whilst it’s amazing when we get clients who fully buy-in to the UX process, in reality, it can be a hard sell. And some things are unfortunately outside of our control.

Keep asking questions and challenging things if you think they are wrong. But at the same time, you still need to fulfil the stakeholder requirements, so choose your battles wisely.


#6

FANTASTIC!


#7

Hi @lykc and @spartanuxdesign,

Thanks a lot for your words. I agree, keeping a positive attitude is key here, thanks! Also, will make my best to challenge things when I think it make sense.

All the best,
Vic