The art of effecting business change with user research.
Many pros who are new to UX testing assume they can transform multi-department companies armed with videos and user insights alone. Although these will help, there’s a subtler art to persuading colleagues (and bosses) to make changes based on user research.
The key to getting stakeholders as fired up about the research as you are is transparency and involvement. Make sure everyone is part of the journey – rather than suddenly presented with findings – and you’ll smooth the way for change as well as the sharing of insights.
Here are four ways you can make sure your UX insights translate into business improvements:
Bring stakeholders into the research process by inviting them to open workshops. You can jointly define research objectives, collaborate on the test design and share the analysis load.
There isn’t a single employee who wouldn’t benefit from watching clips of users interacting with your website/product and hearing their thoughts.
Don’t just share UX testing findings with your team – get a screen and some speakers, and play clips of key findings in a public space (where anyone can drop in and watch). This removes the intimidation of a formal invite to a “super-official” meeting.
Tip: pizza or sweet treats always help!
Research is a wonderful thing, but you can easily get distracted by interesting side notes. Always relate findings back to the research objectives, making sure you can explain how findings impact users and, by extension, the business.
The relevance of the findings might seem obvious to you but people appreciate linear and clear conclusions. Plus, new ideas may pop up if others understand what you’re trying to do and how.
The job isn’t done once you present research findings – track the impact of changes made as a result of UX testing, then shout about any improvements.
Effecting change is easiest when you’re invited to do so. If you present improvements achieved as a result of research to your stakeholders and wider company, they’ll come looking for you (as the user champion) next time they have an important project.
Make this a habit and you’ll have to less friction to contend when driving changes in your business.
Not only should you use language and terms that your colleagues are comfortable with (i.e. go easy on the UX jargon) but when communicating to stakeholders it’s also wise to tie everything back to their ROI (return on investment).
As featured in our own guide to selling UX to stakeholders, here’s Jon MacDonald, Founder and President, The Good on the subject:
“Great UX reduces customer service overhead, lowers customer acquisition costs, increases average order value and customer lifetime value, and of course helps convert more of your existing traffic into buyers. These are all UX metrics that ensure a measurable ROI from marketing initiatives. Budget holders and other C-level executives love ROI, and communicating a clear return on UX investments helps to get them on-board as stakeholders.”