Before your work will ever reach the end users you are designing for, there is another audience: stakeholders. As a User Experience (UX) professional, you need to partner effectively with product owners, engineers, executives and other key stakeholders.
One of the hardest things in UX is not the work, but working well with stakeholders who say:
“We don’t need UX right now… we’ll let you know when.”
“I’m not a designer, but could you make the logo bigger and the site more like this one…”
“I’m the target audience – and I don’t like it.”
This article will cover who the key stakeholders in a project are, understanding their perspective and covering tactics for successfully partnering toward engaging UX as a strategy.
- Stakeholders & UX: Better Together
- Everyone Has An Opinion…
- Research That Stakeholders Love
- Managing Design Feedback & Reviews
- UX as a Business Strategy
- Resources, Links & More
Stakeholders & UX: Better Together
A stakeholder can be formally defined as person with an interest in a project or provides some level of approval in a process. Most stakeholders tend to be either the actual Decision Makers or Key Influencers in a process.
Stakeholders As Gatekeepers
Many creatives, as Marc Ecko describes, see stakeholders as gatekeepers between them and the customer:
Gatekeepers stand between you and your chosen path… They imagine themselves as the Big Boss at the end of a video game, like Bowser from Mario Bros… The gatekeeper thinks that he’s Bowser and that he’s keeping you from Princess Peach… - Marc Ecko from Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out
A common perspective, but not terribly productive.