How to talk UX with Stakeholders and Business people

We all are social beings, however we may stumble upon when we are trying to talk sense. Its so easy to gossip and talk crap but when it comes to talk business, it needs a good sense of confidence and self respect.
Let us try to digg into the facts and get some ideas on how to talk UX with stakeholders. Some key pointers that may help, in the end it depends from person to person and business to business.


1. Comfort zone - The first thing in interaction with stakeholders is to develop a level of comfort. Its like selling, you can not just bump in and throw 10 -20 ideas in one meeting. Let them put some effort in knowing you and develop the comfort zone.

2. Progressive disclosure - Do not be a open book, no one like to watch a movie with all the main scenes shown before the movie. Will you like to go to a suspense movie in which the suspense is known to you. No .....Right... so the idea is to show your expertise on a daily, basis make them understand one concept and build the next concept the next day or next week.

3. Ice breaker - if you have good experience in dating you can see that the ice breakers are talking of childhood, college, movies, interests etc. Similarly here the story takes a different way and ends up in talking about

  • Who you are - slide 1 will say
  • UX methodology
  • Current scope of the project - understand the business problem
  • What will you do - Solution
  • How will - Approach
  • Time lines
  • Deliverable - what is there for stakeholders
  • Benefits they will get - how business will grow/progress etc
  • Case study - the last slides
4. Meet often - Meet the stakeholders in their office and speak about the way you are helping the business, always speak what you are doing. If you are sending a meeting request, please go 1 floor up and ask them if it meets their times, or call them and confirm.

5. Show them the future - Talk how the future will be, how the people will benefit by this kind of design.

6. Talk in their language - Businessman are good in numbers, so make sure you are good in this trade. Speak in numbers like,

"I have conducted the expert review and my predictions suggests that the user will face 4.79 usability issues when he will try to complete a task on the site"

"The current experience of the site is between 6 to 7, if we perform a usability testing with the users, we can try for experience score 9 to 10."

"Focus group is good with the users, but it is more profitable to do before the application is designed, so we can have 100% control on the feature list"

"I agree with your point, a good expert review can highlight approximately 60 to 70% of the issues in the application."

Kool i think the above lines which are my lines in a recent project are enough to highlight the importance of Mathematics in UX design.

7. Work as a team - Talk with other team members, and highlight the work you are doing, how it is going to impact the project. The basic idea is to have a good rapoo with the team. If you are able to say sir ji " jara is ko dekh lo, i am sending it to the stakeholders" then all is fine.

8. Company management - Stay in touch with the company management and be aware, about their plans. Are they ok with your approach etc.

9. Smile - You know smile is a killer, i got attention from many people because of my smile. God bless, you should smile, laugh and enjoy all that is their in your plate. A smile will take you a long way.

10. Be yourself - No need to try to impress anybody, if you be yourself i feel 60-70% of work is done. The rest is your work and talk.

11. Explain - explaining your thoughts is important. I believe and agree with JFK that - a person should be able to speak and let the world know what he is, before people start making assumptions.

12. Thought process - Sharpen and remove the clutter from your design thought process, i know it will take a lot of efforts to do this but try for this.

13. Good Presentation skills - Last but one of the key skills to sell UX.

I think this is enough for now, go smile and talk to the stakeholders.
Do you want to talk more - smartsanjaykumar@gmail.com

Best of luck!
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