Most people working in a business environment don’t have much interest in UX.
As the key driver in a traditional business is the bottom line, it may at first be hard for the heads and the UX designer to be on the same page.
The UX designer is mostly concerned with the inputs such as user testing, interviews, journey maps, wireframes, prototypes etc. The business is more concerned with the outputs, which can be summarized in just one word: money.
The heads are thinking what is this going to cost, how much time will it take and what will the tangible benefits be, which usually means how will it positively impact the bottom line.
This is why an effective UX designer is more than just focused on being good at design. They are also able to communicate the business benefits of design.
They are able to get across what UX can do:
- For them
- Their team
- Their department
- The company
- And most importantly the bottom line
It’s no good just saying that UX will save the business money. It may be true but leaving it at that won’t convince anyone. It is a weak argument, a blanket statement with no evidence or thought analysis to back it up.
A much better way is to get specific.
You can do this by first realizing what it is specifically that the business cares about.
What Businesses Care About
Businesses care about increasing revenue and reducing costs. No surprises there.
But if you drill down and get more specific, outcomes may include:
- Increasing sales per visitor
- Increasing revenue per sale
- Increasing customer acquisition
- Increasing conversions
- Increasing customer satisfaction
- Increasing customer retention
- Reducing customer churn
- Reducing development time
Knowing these outcomes may result in having a better idea of a business’s goal, but that’s not enough. Saying UX design will increase sales per visitor is only marginally better than UX will save the business money.
It’s time to get even more specific and talk numbers.
For example, if you are able to demonstrate that a 20% dropout during the checkout process results in a $300k loss. You can then go on to explain that by following the UX process, you can use user research to identify why this is the case and design solutions.
Instead of talking about user personas, empathy maps and wireframing and trying to convince a head, usually in vain, why they should care about these things, you are now talking their language.
Ultimately, making a business case is about convincing the business that the money spent on the UX project will increase revenue or reduce costs by a higher amount.
Don’t think that this needs to be a lengthy process, meticulously detailing everything in a 100-page document. A short, well-reasoned case with the clear business benefits explained will be sufficient. Just make sure that you are realistic and have some evidence for your claims.
What If You Can’t Be Specific?
Ideally, you always want to be able to present figures relevant to the business you are working for. Sometimes it may not always be possible, though.
When this is the case finding case studies of businesses operating in the same industry and/or with similar business outcomes such as increasing conversions or customer retention will prove useful.
If you are struggling to even find this data general statistics can be used. Statistics like the most common reason for product and business failure is due to no market demand, which is a direct consequence of having no UX process.
Your case won’t be nearly as strong, but the business will at least have a better idea of the value of UX.