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#67 Yuck ๐Ÿคฎ Stakeholder Management [TRY THIS INSTEAD]

Published 3 months agoย โ€ขย 6 min read

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The art of stakeholder communication: bridging the gap in UX

Navigating the intricate landscape of UX management often means explaining complex ideas to stakeholders with varying interests.

It's like describing the plot of a movie to a friend who's more into books.

Today, we'll delve into the nuances of stakeholder communication, aiming to demystify the language of UX for everyone at the table.

In the fast-paced UX world, being adept at managing and persuading stakeholders, especially C-level executives, is not just a skill but an art.

This mastery can be the key difference between retaining a loyal customer and losing one.

It involves aligning business goals, building trust, and consistently proving the value that keeps stakeholders engaged in the journey.

In client relations, this art becomes even more crucial.

The client relationship doesn't stop when the contract is signed โ€“ it's just the beginning of a shared journey. If navigated well, this journey can lead to a partnership marked by mutual growth and success.

Stakeholder management is a mix of strategic communication, understanding, and a constant focus on creating value.

It's about speaking their language, understanding their challenges and goals, and aligning your creative offerings with their strategic objectives. But most importantly, it's about building and maintaining trust.

In a world where alternatives are just a click away, trust is the adhesive that keeps relationships intact.

It's earned through transparency, consistency, and a strong commitment to the client's goals.

Mastering this art takes time โ€“ it requires patience, persistence, and a genuine passion for driving client success.

But those who do master it find themselves playing a crucial role in their organization's growth and their clients' achievements.


Understanding stakeholder perspectives ๐Ÿง 

Our stakeholders are a diverse bunch โ€“ from the tech-savvy to the budget-conscious.

Think of them as a group of friends deciding on a restaurant. Some want tech-forward cuisines, others are on a budget, and a few just want a familiar dish.

Understanding these different viewpoints is super important when creating a UX strategy. It's like cooking a menu that everyone will enjoy.

Why does understanding their point of view matter so much?

It's the key to making sure your UX strategy fits their needs and expectations.

By getting their perspectives, you're not just making one thing for everyone; you're tailoring your plan to suit each person.

This helps everyone work together better, build trust, and make the whole project a success.

Here are some simple tips to understand stakeholders better:

  1. One-on-one: Have individual chats with stakeholders to learn about their goals and challenges.
  2. Group discussions: Organize meetings where everyone can talk openly. This helps find common perspectives and makes people comfortable sharing their views.
  3. Ask questions with surveys: Use surveys to get feedback. It lets stakeholders share their thoughts anonymously, so they can be really honest.
  4. Put yourself in their shoes: Create simple maps that help you understand how stakeholders feel and what's important to them. It's like seeing things from their perspective.

Understanding stakeholders is an ongoing process.

By listening to different opinions and using these simple strategies, you set the stage for a successful UX journey.


Crafting a compelling UX narrative โœ๏ธ

In a world inundated with information, storytelling cuts through the noise.

Imagine you're sharing a travel adventure rather than presenting a UX strategy.

Narratives not only educate but also engage.

Craft your UX story as you would share a captivating tale around a campfire โ€“ keeping it interesting, relevant, and easy to follow.


Translating UX jargon into business value ๐Ÿ“—

In the realm of UX, we're often fluent in terms like "usability" and "accessibility," but the reality is, not everyone speaks this language.

It's like trying to describe a complex dish on a menu without any pictures โ€“ it can leave people puzzled.

The key here is to translate these UX jargons into everyday language that everyone can grasp.

Take the term "usability," for example; rather than throwing it around, explain it in relatable terms.

Picture this: Instead of saying "usability," you could talk about making the product so easy to use that even your least tech-savvy relative could navigate it effortlessly.

Now, let's dive into some tips for translating UX jargon effectively:

  1. Tailor your language to match your audience's familiarity with UX concepts. If they're not tech-savvy, steer clear of technical terms.
  2. Use analogies. Draw parallels between UX concepts and everyday experiences. Comparing UX improvements to making a familiar recipe better helps bridge the understanding gap.
  3. Avoid acronyms. UX is full of acronyms that can sound like alphabet soup to others. Spell them out and explain their meaning.
  4. Instead of abstract concepts, use real-life examples to illustrate UX improvements. For instance, showcase how a website redesign led to a significant increase in user engagement.

Lost in translation can be detrimental to the relationship or business.

Imagine a scenario where a client hears "usability" but interprets it as something complex and irrelevant to their goals.

This misunderstanding may lead to misaligned expectations, dissatisfaction, and, in the worst cases, a strained business relationship.

By adopting a language that resonates with everyone involved, you not only enhance understanding but also fortify the foundation for a more fruitful collaboration.


Visual communication ๐Ÿ–ผ

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Visual aids, such as infographics or journey maps, serve as your UX toolkit.

They simplify intricate concepts, providing stakeholders with a visual roadmap.

Consider them the user-friendly map you'd share with friends for a road trip โ€“ straightforward and easy to understand.


Building lasting relationships ๐Ÿ‘

Think of stakeholder communication as a continuous conversation, not just a one-time talk.

It's a bit like keeping up a friendship โ€“ regular, honest, and clear.

Share your UX journey with them, cheer for successes together, and be open about hiccups along the way. Similar to catching up with old friends over coffee, building lasting relationships ensures everyone understands what's going on.

Here's a simple tip for a lasting relationship: be consistent.

Just like you'd consistently catch up with a friend, regularly update your stakeholders. And remember, it's okay to set boundaries.

If the relationship starts feeling unhealthy or toxic, it's essential to recognize those signs and take necessary steps.

Clear communication and knowing when to say "this is not working" are crucial for maintaining a positive and fruitful collaboration.

Remember, keeping things simple and straightforward is the key to a successful and enduring partnership.


Summary

Effective stakeholder communication in UX is more than just a skill; it's an essential part of the UX journey.

By understanding stakeholders, crafting compelling narratives, translating jargon, employing visual aids, and learning from real-world examples, you'll not only bridge the communication gap but also build a collective understanding of UX within your team.

So, gear up for a practical exploration of UX communication; an essential ingredient in the UX management recipe.

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That's it for today. Speak soon ๐Ÿ’›.

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Founder @ UX Playbookโ€‹

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Play of the Week

Christopher Nguyen โšก๏ธ (@uxchrisnguyen)

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