A Proven Method for Showing the Value of Good UX

Jared M. Spool
7 min readApr 13, 2017

For a while now, this has been the most common question I get:

How do I convince people in my organization to take user experience seriously? I’ve tried giving brown-bag sessions on the importance of UX, but nothing has happened.

They’ve shared every case study they could find. Nothing changed.

I tell them that I’ve never had success with brown-bag intro sessions either. But there is a way to get user experience taken seriously.

When pressed for time, I often give the short answer:

You don’t have to. There’s a high likelihood there’s someone important in your organization who already takes it seriously. They just don’t know it yet.

However, there’s a more helpful, albeit longer answer. And it goes something like this…

Step 1: Start with frustrations caused by poor experiences

Organizations that aren’t fixated on creating great user experiences are usually saddled with poor user experiences. A great user experience only comes about through constant diligence and attention. If the organization isn’t paying attention, it’s unlikely they stumbled on one by chance.

We can measure the experience that comes from a product or service’s design on a scale that ranges from extreme frustration to extreme delight. At any given moment, the design is either frustrating or delighting the person using it. By definition, a user experience is good when it delights its users and poor when it frustrates them.

Yet, it might not be the direct users — those people who interact with the product or service directly — that a poor design might be frustrating. There are indirect users, often within the organization, that find the design frustrating. Here are some common examples we’ve seen:

Salespeople trying to sell a product that is hard to demonstrate or explain.The sales team is trying to get prospects to fall in love with the idea of a purchase. If a competitor looks simpler or the prospect doesn’t understand how the product or service helps them, they won’t want to sign up. A salesperson, looking to meet their sales goals, would find the product extremely frustrating if…

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Jared M. Spool

Maker of Awesomeness at Center Centre - UIE. Helping designers everywhere help their organizations deliver well-designed products and services.