UX Panel: Show data, validations to prove how UX design works on company bottom line

NEW YORK–A tremulous voice from the audience posed this question, paraphrasing here, “When do you put your foot down and convince your stakeholders to listen to you about your (UX) design proposal?”


You never do, it turns out, at least to Macy’s UX designer Chris Nordling, one of the other four panelists at the Tech in Motion talk about UX design last March 31.  But how do you actually convince the naysayers your design will help the company?

Nordling clarifies his response by saying how important it is to lead by example: Show them studies and current research from the team and go into the details of how a little micro-interaction or placement of a button has proven to work for a company and how they can do the same.  

“If at all possible, break it down into dollars and cents, back it up with heuristics, other data. Tell them they will lose 40 percent of their audience if they put a certain interaction where it’s not supposed to be. Get validation also from other practitioners instead of saying you’re right,” he said.

And if we heard right, one panelist said UX’s major role in the success of a company cannot be underestimated., if over 200% of the companies in the stock market has UX to thank for their success. The other panelists, US practitioners all, were John Walker of Verizon, Jess Brown of Vice Media and Danny Setiawan of the Economist.

For those new to UX or user experience, why does design matter? A question that still persists because not many people think design is all about solving problems.

Said Brown, “It’s not just superficial,” as she recounts how it’s still common for people to wonder what UX designers like her actually accomplish in a brainstorming session, which did not really needed a response as we’ve seen how those sessions energize the staff to improve on things.

Overall, the panelists were in agreement about how UX is there solve human problems and our interaction with the world—from a door knob to a road system. Setiawan said UX delivers value to users when UX practitoners applies user research and customers’ feeback to their product or service.

When creating products, Walker reminded UX professionals about the need for consistency across platforms and devices. “You don’t want users to lose progress (from one device to another),” Walker said.

Where is the UX esthetic getting some significant believers? Nordling said everything he’s doing now is for mobile and how, at least at Macy’s where he works, the customer is always defined as a “she.”

Said Setiawan, “We need to be more open how customers want to use a product,” adding how the next driverless cars will need content – and UX thinking.

How do you test your product? Setiawan says The Economist is holding a user test soon to find out how to attract a younger demographic for The Economist which is a good, accessible read and just perceived wrongfully as snobbish by many and business-centric by most.

For startups looking to hire UX designers but cannot afford them, Nordling advises them to build a network of contacts like the people they will meet at meetups and just talk to them. He said he relies on his friends.  

For aspiring UX designers, one has to start somewhere. Walker’s advice: “Listen to everybody.”

Dennis Clemente

Shuttling between New York and other US cities, Dennis writes about tech meetups when he's not too busy working as a Web Developer/Producer + UX Writer and Digital Marketer.

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