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Building Buy-In: 
Internally Positioning UX 
for Executive Impact. BigDesign2016

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Presented at: BigDesign2016

Why can’t other people in your organization see what you see? That UX insights you uncovered will revolutionize your company and delight your customers like never before! Doesn’t everyone “get” UX nowadays?

The truth is more complicated than just recognizing UX value: Your professional goals and focus are different than those of others in your organization (e.g., C-Suite, Product Managers, Marketers, Developers) by design. What to do? Learn how to position and present your work for maximum uptake to ensure UX has a sizeable and valuable impact on your products and customer experience.

We reveal what we have learned – often the hard way – about linking UX research and design with organizational goals and strategic directives.

With a little planning, you can to ensure your creative UX work has an influence and actually sees the light of day when the product is launched.

Published in: Design
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Building Buy-In: 
Internally Positioning UX 
for Executive Impact. BigDesign2016

  1. 1. Building Buy-In: 
 Internally Positioning UX 
 for Executive Impact Brilliant Experience John Whalen, PhD Tracy L Hayes
  2. 2. Introductions
  3. 3. Agenda: 1. Using your UX powers in your organization. 2. How to mature your UX practice.
  4. 4. “Anyone who has read the HBR 
 gets the importance of UX, 
 but that may not translate 
 into what it takes to do that.”
  5. 5. Let’s get our arms around the problem by studying our empathy patterns for our colleagues.
  6. 6. C-Suite Executive When we interact with…
  7. 7. (Pompous Assholius) C-Suite Executive Some might think…
  8. 8. C-Suite Executive but keep in mind… Motivations What Resonates - Pay Package - Profitability - Board - Business performance - Brevity - Data driven recommendations Weight of company on shoulders
  9. 9. VP Marketing When we interact with…
  10. 10. (Delusionus of Grandeuronomus) VP Marketing Some might think…
  11. 11. Shaping company voice VP Marketing but keep in mind… Motivations What Resonates - Brand - Customers - Sales - Brand extension - Marketing data - Brand loyalty
  12. 12. Product Owner When we interact with…
  13. 13. (Randomnous Decisionasaurus) Product Owner Some might think…
  14. 14. (Randomnous Decisionasaurus) Product Owner But don’t forget… Motivations What Resonates - Launch date - P & L - Customers - An earned partnership - Data driven decisions - Achieving goals
  15. 15. Developer When we interact with…
  16. 16. (condescending-smurkasaurus) Developer Some might think…
  17. 17. Spends hours making it all work. Developer But don’t forget… Motivations What Resonates - Quality - Performance - Risk - Understanding their tech stack - Willingness to compromise - Pizza
  18. 18. Moral of the story: We must use our UX powers
 to solve for their needs.
  19. 19. If we want to move from… ‣ Usability tester to insight generator ‣ Informing product to informing product roadmaps ‣ Utility player to strategic advisor
  20. 20. We need to evolve by building buy in: 1. Demonstrate Value 2. Empathize and Evangelize 3. Get Embedded in the System 4. Become Strategic Partner
  21. 21. Step 1. Demonstrate Value
  22. 22. Step 1. Demonstrate Value a. Say YES b. Create Usability Seal team c. Have light touch, big impact d. Share up Bonus points: Pick your battles
  23. 23. “We already knew it, 
 but you Humanized it”
  24. 24. Step 2. Empathize and Evangelize
  25. 25. Step 2. Empathize and Evangelize a. Understand your Org’s Psychology b. Teach c. Translate findings
  26. 26. Step 3. Get Embedded in the System
  27. 27. Step 3. Get Embedded a. Build leader-leader relationships b. Embed UXers into product teams c. Provide design principles d. Build dataset
  28. 28. “I want my UX team to be independent and able to tell 
 anyone the cold hard facts.”
  29. 29. Step 4. Become Strategic Partner
  30. 30. Step 4. Become Strategic Partner a. Immerse Executives b. Make the Shift to Strategic Partner c. Offer Insights to Sales and Marketing d. Reduce Operational Inefficiencies
  31. 31. When UXers say: Delight Empathy Disrupt Synthesis Prototype Opportunity Mapping Usability Testing Heuristic review Strategy Iterative Design Information Architecture Feedback Design-Thinking Experience Journey bit.ly/ux-impact #uxpa2016@johnwhalen
  32. 32. Executives hear: Delight Empathy Disrupt Synthesis Experience Journey Prototype Design-Thinking Opportunity Mapping Usability Testing Heuristic review Strategy Iterative Design Information Architecture Feedback $$$ COST OVERUN BONUS RECINDED MISSED METRICS 3 MORE MONTHS
  33. 33. Up your game ‣ Design as competitive advantage ‣ Numbers moved, efficiencies gained ‣ Opportunity: Research leads to Insights, Product Innovation
  34. 34. In Summary
  35. 35. Solve for their needs too!
  36. 36. Steps to Building Executive Buy-In: Step 1. Demonstrate Value a. Create Usability Seal team b. Light touch, big impact c. Share up Step 2. Empathize and Evangelize a. Understand your Org’s Psychology b. Teach c. Translate findings Step 3. Get Embedded in the System a. Build leader-leader relationships b. Embed UXers into product teams c. Provide Design Principles d. Build Dataset Step 4. Become Strategic Partner a. Immerse Executives b. Make the Shift to Strategic Partner c. Offer Insights to Sales and Marketing d. Reduce Operational Inefficiencies
  37. 37. Tracy L Hayes tracy.hayes@gfk.com linkedin.com/in/tracylhayes Brilliant Experience Thank you! John Whalen jw@brilliantexperience.com linkedin.com/in/johnwhalen

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