How to communicate the UX strategy to your team
While UX isn’t a new concept anymore, a lot of companies still find it pretty challenging to explain its importance. No doubt that the user experience teams know their value and how much they contribute to reaching the company’s business goals. But you can still hear other employees say things like “Those UX folks with their UX stuff” way too often. That’s because no one told them exactly how the company benefits from a successful UX strategy.
Remember: knowing your colleagues is as vital as knowing your customers, so take the time to communicate the importance of your UX strategy to everyone in the company. Want to discover the best ways to spread awareness about your UX strategy? Then, follow up.
Does Your Team Really Need to Understand the UX Strategy?
You probably know that it takes a lot of effort, time and dedication to create quality user experience. But is everyone else at your company aware of that? We’re guessing no. Knowing how to communicate the value of UX projects is the key to getting them approved and supported by all employees. When more teams within one company know about the importance of UX, they can help make sure it unrolls it in the right direction.
UX agencies tend to believe that others appreciate their work as much as they do. Unfortunately, though, the “IT folks” might not have the slightest clue about what those “UX folks” are up to. And that’s a shame. Collaboration is the key if you want your project to evolve smoothly and, eventually, succeed. That’s why product development, marketing and legal teams should care about the UX strategy just as much as the UX team does.
Don’t forget that the stakeholders should also participate in the UX development process by telling the designers what they want the result to be. Needless to say, the business goals have to be directly aligned with the UX strategy. That is why your task as a manager is to use proper strategies for communicating and make sure all your teams are on the same page.
How to Communicate the UX Strategy to your Team
After you’ve applied the best UX research methodologies to produce a working UX strategy, it’s time to communicate it to your team. If you’ve been failing to sell the UX strategy within your organization, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are a couple of tips you can use to reach out to your employees.
Get people involved
Remember how we mentioned getting to know your colleagues? It’s about time you do that. Show your co-workers how every member of your team is connected to the UX development process. Personally communicating with your colleagues is always rewarding. In fact, you should talk face-to-face to the key people in your company as the:
- Product Owner / Manager
- Project manager
- Front-end developer
- Scrum Master
- Finance manager
- Operations manager
- Legal manager
- Sales manager
If you’re only used to pointing out pitfalls, you need to change this habit immediately. Talk about the successes of the UX team and do it loudly! Make sure that the people mentioned above are well-aware of all the details of the UX strategy. What’s more, let them contribute and express some suggestions. This way, they’ll have a better understanding of how their responsibilities directly correlate with the UX.
First Things First
Here’s a very effective tactic: let the designers conduct their research and think the UX strategy through before the sprint starts. As Agile practitioners recommend, try to keep the User Experience team’s tasks ahead of time. This way, the UX team will have enough time to test out theories and get feedback from real users. Don’t forget that the whole process should be synchronized and all team members should collaborate. This will make it easier to check mockups and make changes or improvements before the final design is ready.
Who said that user research should be long and boring? It might take some time, of course, but by no means should it be monotonous. Get everyone to participate in this process, let them observe and debate. Seeing the data results with your own eyes always gives you a better picture of how the UX is working and if it’s working at all. For instance, you can try to make usability testing a part of the team building events. Work can be serious and fun at the same time, can’t it?
UX Role by Role
If you want every member of your team to know how helpful and profitable UX is, show them real examples of UX influence. First, start with the managers in your company. Tell them how UX affects their work and how they can benefit from it.
|Product owner||Achieving product success is the major goal of a product owner, and you can’t do that without knowing and understanding the UX strategy of your product.|
|Front-end developer||If some of the ideas designers want to implement are impossible or particularly hard to bring to life, front-end developers can tell them about it right away and think of a workaround together.|
|Finance manager||The better the UX strategy performs, the more money the company makes.|
|Operations manager||A transparent UX strategy can facilitate quality assurance and help improve the productivity and efficiency of the business.|
|Legal manager||Nicely designed and user-friendly UX can help inform the users about the important legal information connected to the product, which will result in fewer disputes.|
|Sales manager||The more intuitive the UX, the more appealing it is to the customers.|
As you can see, various departments are connected to the UX developing process one way or another. So, don’t hide this critical information from them.
Make presentations, hold workshops, teambuilding exercises, sing or dance if needed. In other words, do whatever it takes but make them understand the benefits UX can bring to the outcomes of their work.
Don’t expect everyone’s engagement if you hide the entire process from them. Be as clear as possible, share all the details of the UX strategy. What’s more, be open to feedback. Weekly or daily updates from the UX team might be enough to keep your teams on track and caught up on the news.
The same applies to business goals. Keep all the documentation open and accessible. How can your employees get involved in the UX development process if they don’t know what you plan to achieve? Be transparent about them, let your team know what they have to strive for.
There’s No Limit to Perfection
Don’t be afraid to fail. There’s nothing wrong with trying out various UX communication techniques. Failures can help you find the most efficient way to communicate your UX strategy to your employees. Experiment, change tactics and customize them according to the environment in your company. If you only focus on making your strategy perfect, you might forget about making it effective. You know what startups say: fail fast.
A Dynamic Approach
Creative minds have to be involved in a dynamic working process. Otherwise, they’ll simply get bored. Don’t let that happen. Get the key members of your teams to participate in the UX strategic meetings and share their ideas. Communication between teams will help you spot the drawbacks of the UX strategy, and, as a result, improve it during the early stages.
If certain people can’t attend strategic meetings, don’t forget to share all the latest updates with them. It’s a good idea to have a joint group in whatever corporate messaging system you’re using and post all the valuable information there.
Don’t forget to also keep the stakeholders aware of what’s going on. Their input into the research and designing process is as valuable as any other employee’s. Give everyone a chance to communicate and exchange opinions. Even short texts about updates can be of tremendous value in big companies with distributed teams.
Communicating the UX strategy to your entire team isn’t exactly a piece of cake, but it becomes a lot easier if you know how to do it. You have to make sure that different teams are actively involved in the user experience development process from the very beginning. Any kind of feedback is crucial at this point, whether it’s from an employee or a stakeholder. Regular meetings and a joint messenger group with updates can be a good start. And don’t get upset if some methods of communication turn out to be unsuccessful within your company. A perfect synergy can only be achieved through rounds of failures and modifications.