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Building Buy-In: 

Internally Positioning UX 

for Executive Impact
Brilliant Experience
John Whalen, PhD
Tracy L Hayes
Introductions
Agenda:
1. Using your UX powers in your organization.
2. How to mature your UX practice.
“Anyone who has read the HBR 

gets the importance of UX, 

but that may not translate 

into what it takes to do that.”
Let’s get our arms around the problem
by studying our empathy patterns for our
colleagues.
C-Suite Executive
When we interact with…
(Pompous Assholius)
C-Suite Executive
Some might think…
C-Suite Executive
but keep in mind…
Motivations What Resonates
- Pay Package
- Profitability
- Board
- Business performance...
VP Marketing
When we interact with…
(Delusionus of Grandeuronomus)
VP Marketing
Some might think…
Shaping company voice
VP Marketing
but keep in mind…
Motivations What Resonates
- Brand
- Customers
- Sales
- Brand extens...
Product Owner
When we interact with…
(Randomnous Decisionasaurus)
Product Owner
Some might think…
(Randomnous Decisionasaurus)
Product Owner
But don’t forget…
Motivations What Resonates
- Launch date
- P & L
- Customers
...
Developer
When we interact with…
(condescending-smurkasaurus)
Developer
Some might think…
Spends hours making it all work.
Developer
But don’t forget…
Motivations What Resonates
- Quality
- Performance
- Risk
- U...
Moral of the story:
We must use our UX powers

to solve for their needs.
If we want to move from…
‣ Usability tester to insight generator
‣ Informing product to informing product roadmaps
‣ Utili...
We need to evolve by building buy in:
1. Demonstrate Value
2. Empathize and Evangelize
3. Get Embedded in the System
4. Be...
Step 1. Demonstrate Value
Step 1. Demonstrate Value
a. Say YES
b. Create Usability Seal team
c. Have light touch, big impact
d. Share up
Bonus point...
“We already knew it, 

but you Humanized it”
Step 2. Empathize and Evangelize
Step 2. Empathize and Evangelize
a. Understand your Org’s Psychology
b. Teach
c. Translate findings
Step 3. Get Embedded in the System
Step 3. Get Embedded
a. Build leader-leader relationships
b. Embed UXers into product teams
c. Provide design principles
d...
“I want my UX team to be
independent and able to tell 

anyone the cold hard facts.”
Step 4. Become Strategic Partner
Step 4. Become Strategic Partner
a. Immerse Executives
b. Make the Shift to Strategic Partner
c. Offer Insights to Sales a...
When UXers say:
Delight
Empathy
Disrupt
Synthesis
Prototype
Opportunity Mapping
Usability Testing
Heuristic review
Strateg...
Executives hear:
Delight
Empathy
Disrupt
Synthesis
Experience Journey
Prototype
Design-Thinking
Opportunity Mapping
Usabil...
Up your game
‣ Design as competitive advantage
‣ Numbers moved, efficiencies gained
‣ Opportunity: Research leads to
Insig...
In Summary
Solve for their needs too!
Steps to Building Executive Buy-In:
Step 1. Demonstrate Value
a. Create Usability Seal team
b. Light touch, big impact
c. ...
Tracy L Hayes
tracy.hayes@gfk.com
linkedin.com/in/tracylhayes
Brilliant Experience
Thank you!
John Whalen
jw@brilliantexpe...
Building Buy-In: 
Internally Positioning UX 
for Executive Impact.  BigDesign2016
Building Buy-In: 
Internally Positioning UX 
for Executive Impact.  BigDesign2016
Building Buy-In: 
Internally Positioning UX 
for Executive Impact.  BigDesign2016
Building Buy-In: 
Internally Positioning UX 
for Executive Impact.  BigDesign2016
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Building Buy-In: 
Internally Positioning UX 
for Executive Impact. BigDesign2016

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Presented at: BigDesign2016

Why can’t other people in your organization see what you see? That UX insights you uncovered will revolutionize your company and delight your customers like never before! Doesn’t everyone “get” UX nowadays?

The truth is more complicated than just recognizing UX value: Your professional goals and focus are different than those of others in your organization (e.g., C-Suite, Product Managers, Marketers, Developers) by design. What to do? Learn how to position and present your work for maximum uptake to ensure UX has a sizeable and valuable impact on your products and customer experience.

We reveal what we have learned – often the hard way – about linking UX research and design with organizational goals and strategic directives.

With a little planning, you can to ensure your creative UX work has an influence and actually sees the light of day when the product is launched.

Veröffentlicht in: Design
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Building Buy-In: 
Internally Positioning UX 
for Executive Impact. BigDesign2016

  1. 1. Building Buy-In: 
 Internally Positioning UX 
 for Executive Impact Brilliant Experience John Whalen, PhD Tracy L Hayes
  2. 2. Introductions
  3. 3. Agenda: 1. Using your UX powers in your organization. 2. How to mature your UX practice.
  4. 4. “Anyone who has read the HBR 
 gets the importance of UX, 
 but that may not translate 
 into what it takes to do that.”
  5. 5. Let’s get our arms around the problem by studying our empathy patterns for our colleagues.
  6. 6. C-Suite Executive When we interact with…
  7. 7. (Pompous Assholius) C-Suite Executive Some might think…
  8. 8. C-Suite Executive but keep in mind… Motivations What Resonates - Pay Package - Profitability - Board - Business performance - Brevity - Data driven recommendations Weight of company on shoulders
  9. 9. VP Marketing When we interact with…
  10. 10. (Delusionus of Grandeuronomus) VP Marketing Some might think…
  11. 11. Shaping company voice VP Marketing but keep in mind… Motivations What Resonates - Brand - Customers - Sales - Brand extension - Marketing data - Brand loyalty
  12. 12. Product Owner When we interact with…
  13. 13. (Randomnous Decisionasaurus) Product Owner Some might think…
  14. 14. (Randomnous Decisionasaurus) Product Owner But don’t forget… Motivations What Resonates - Launch date - P & L - Customers - An earned partnership - Data driven decisions - Achieving goals
  15. 15. Developer When we interact with…
  16. 16. (condescending-smurkasaurus) Developer Some might think…
  17. 17. Spends hours making it all work. Developer But don’t forget… Motivations What Resonates - Quality - Performance - Risk - Understanding their tech stack - Willingness to compromise - Pizza
  18. 18. Moral of the story: We must use our UX powers
 to solve for their needs.
  19. 19. If we want to move from… ‣ Usability tester to insight generator ‣ Informing product to informing product roadmaps ‣ Utility player to strategic advisor
  20. 20. We need to evolve by building buy in: 1. Demonstrate Value 2. Empathize and Evangelize 3. Get Embedded in the System 4. Become Strategic Partner
  21. 21. Step 1. Demonstrate Value
  22. 22. Step 1. Demonstrate Value a. Say YES b. Create Usability Seal team c. Have light touch, big impact d. Share up Bonus points: Pick your battles
  23. 23. “We already knew it, 
 but you Humanized it”
  24. 24. Step 2. Empathize and Evangelize
  25. 25. Step 2. Empathize and Evangelize a. Understand your Org’s Psychology b. Teach c. Translate findings
  26. 26. Step 3. Get Embedded in the System
  27. 27. Step 3. Get Embedded a. Build leader-leader relationships b. Embed UXers into product teams c. Provide design principles d. Build dataset
  28. 28. “I want my UX team to be independent and able to tell 
 anyone the cold hard facts.”
  29. 29. Step 4. Become Strategic Partner
  30. 30. Step 4. Become Strategic Partner a. Immerse Executives b. Make the Shift to Strategic Partner c. Offer Insights to Sales and Marketing d. Reduce Operational Inefficiencies
  31. 31. When UXers say: Delight Empathy Disrupt Synthesis Prototype Opportunity Mapping Usability Testing Heuristic review Strategy Iterative Design Information Architecture Feedback Design-Thinking Experience Journey bit.ly/ux-impact #uxpa2016@johnwhalen
  32. 32. Executives hear: Delight Empathy Disrupt Synthesis Experience Journey Prototype Design-Thinking Opportunity Mapping Usability Testing Heuristic review Strategy Iterative Design Information Architecture Feedback $$$ COST OVERUN BONUS RECINDED MISSED METRICS 3 MORE MONTHS
  33. 33. Up your game ‣ Design as competitive advantage ‣ Numbers moved, efficiencies gained ‣ Opportunity: Research leads to Insights, Product Innovation
  34. 34. In Summary
  35. 35. Solve for their needs too!
  36. 36. Steps to Building Executive Buy-In: Step 1. Demonstrate Value a. Create Usability Seal team b. Light touch, big impact c. Share up Step 2. Empathize and Evangelize a. Understand your Org’s Psychology b. Teach c. Translate findings Step 3. Get Embedded in the System a. Build leader-leader relationships b. Embed UXers into product teams c. Provide Design Principles d. Build Dataset Step 4. Become Strategic Partner a. Immerse Executives b. Make the Shift to Strategic Partner c. Offer Insights to Sales and Marketing d. Reduce Operational Inefficiencies
  37. 37. Tracy L Hayes tracy.hayes@gfk.com linkedin.com/in/tracylhayes Brilliant Experience Thank you! John Whalen jw@brilliantexperience.com linkedin.com/in/johnwhalen

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