Dealing with Clients Who Focus on Only One Aspect of a UX Design :: UXmatters

Support and Expand on Your Client’s Goals

You can support the client’s goal of focusing on just one aspect of a UX design by providing the appropriate types of UX research.—Carol Barnum

“If you cannot persuade your client to design for the totality of the user’s experience, you can support the client’s goal of focusing on just one aspect of a UX design by providing the appropriate types of UX research,” replies Carol. “You can help your client understand the user’s experience with a particular aspect of the design. This situation might occur when the client is designing a new feature for an existing product, and the client is focusing on how well the target users are receiving the new feature.

“Two possible scenarios come to mind that would allow you to offer your findings and recommendations that are outside the narrow scope of the client’s interest.

“In one scenario, you might find that users must engage with other aspects of the product to be able to work with the new feature. Or you might find that users mistakenly use other aspects of the user interface because they don’t understand how to engage with the new feature. For example, in the first case, users might need to log in to access the new feature. In the second case, users might think that they need to return to the home screen or go to another part of the product to perform certain tasks—even though you’ve designed the new feature in a way that ensures the user can remain within the user interface for that feature. Depending on where users go and what they do that takes them beyond the specific aspect of a design that is the focus of your research, you might be able to broaden your findings beyond the narrow scope of the new feature.

“In another scenario, your research on a particular aspect of the design is likely to uncover two types of findings:

  1. Local findings—which are specific to the particular aspect of the design you’re studying
  2. Global findings—which might relate to the overall interface design, terminology, navigation, images or icons, or the user’s mental model of how the user-interface design should function.

“You can then report the findings of immediate interest to your client, as well as the larger issues you’ve uncovered about the product’s user-interface design.

“By providing evidence of other issues that need further research, you might be able to make a convincing case to expand the scope of your user research beyond the single aspect of the design that the client thought was all you needed to study.”

Business Concerns

Sometimes a client’s focus on a particular aspect of a UX design is not about the product at all, but the client’s perception of the market. Maybe the client is focusing on a particular aspect of the product because they strongly believe that another company is successful because they’ve focused on that. In such cases, it can be useful to more strongly connect different aspects of a UX design solution to particular benefits in the marketplace. 

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