Management Buy-In for UX Design: 3 Steps, Example & Tips

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Are you convinced that UX design would be good for your product and your team, but don't know how to convince your bosses to invest in the appropriate processes? Then this episode is for you. In it, we share our tips and a successful example of management buy-in.

The last few episodes of Software for People have been a lot about the benefits of UX design, the methods and processes, and how you can best use it all in your project.

In this episode, we talk about what happens when you internalize the benefits and also the strategy behind UX Design. Because then it's mostly about getting stakeholders like your management or other departments and supervisors on board (management buy-in). And that can be a real challenge.

Example of successful management buy-in

How we were able to take away the scepticism of the decision-makers at a medium-sized mechanical engineering company and why, in the end, they didn't want to give up our paper prototype? We, too, have to list this persuasion work on a regular basis. We trust with the highest conviction in the power of UX design or better said, in considering UX as part of the internal company strategy (UX Strategie). Therefore we can convince stakeholders to invest in UX. But the best arguments are of little use without tangible and concrete markers and results. Often, it is precisely these initially small results that are groundbreaking. Yes small! What you need to do, in fact, and in our experience, this is a super start: first, dare a small experiment.

Step 1: Start small experiments

In our example: our customer, a medium-sized engineering company, wants to improve its machine with a new user interface and offer customers a more user-friendly interface. Sebastian suggested to the said customer: let's start with a paper prototype. Thereupon the customer fell out of all clouds. He was simply not familiar with such an approach. But Sebastian and the rest of the team had convincing arguments: Paper is ideal for a small budget Paper creates maximum diversity of ideas and creativity Experimentation is easy with paper (nothing is set and if you don't like something, you just throw it away. It would be different with already developed features) The experiment is fast and requires 0 development capacity.

Step 2: Show concrete results and user feedback

The customer finally got involved. We obtained significant results and were able to prove that the UX of the product could be greatly improved. During the presentation, we relied on a very effective argument: users come to have some problems using the current UI and we can find them and avoid them with better features. But of course, anyone can say that. Why the customer knew we were right: a test person (in this case a service technician) got our paper prototype live. And lo and behold - the errors and problems with the operation were eliminated. It has to be said: it is scientifically proven that our brain can perform a very good transfer performance between paper and the real surface, so the results are valid.

Step 3: finding the right language

Managers often think in terms of money and time, but often there are other arguments for UX design instead of purely saving development time and developing faster and cheaper. UX design also leads to better business with existing customers, a strengthening of the brand, stronger customer loyalty, more customer acquisition, etc. You should think carefully about which arguments are really the decisive ones for your stakeholders. These and other tips can be found in the current episode of Software for People! And don't worry: our tips are universal and applicable to all industries and projects. It doesn't matter if you're working on a completely new product or a major overhaul of existing software. By following our steps, you'll be sure to convince your stakeholders to invest in UX.

Published by Lisa on 2021-03-05

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