Convincing the Unconvinced (of the Benefits of UX)

“If you don’t have people that care about usability on your project, your project is doomed.”

— Jeff Atwood

Occasionally you’ll encounter people that question the value of user experience design. My advice is: don’t try to convince them. And don’t be goaded into an ROI (return of investment) discussion of UX with „non-believers“.

Make the case for user experience design and for its contribution once, maybe twice, as people may be unfamiliar with it. But don’t you don’t want a repearing “why this is actually needed?” discussion.

UX design activities play a key role in creating successful products:

User research helps to understand potential users/customers. It helps to reveal their requirements. It uncovers how they think about their tasks and what problems they face.

Prototyping allows you to visualize and prototype possible solutions fast and cheaply. It enables your company to test possible solutions before committing to building one. It allows you to get feedback from your users before things are implemented.

User interface design will result in a consistent, easy-to-use front end, that is tailored to the needs of your users.

All of this is due diligence and good business sense. It helps to focus your company’s development efforts. If people shrug this off or tell you there is no time for this, then they don’t do not listen and will not be convinced by factual arguments.

If you are not allowed to talk to users, give feedback or shape the requirements, then things are off. „Why don’t you just start working on the wireframes?“ is a sentence you’ll often hear.

Get away from a project that questions your work. Make clear what you think will happen when user experience work is skipped. Best to do this in writing. You might need it later down the road when things get messy.

Explain, define and document your contribution.

But you should not have to justify your rationalize it.