Clients don’t speak UX. They do speak Business, so that’s the language I begin the conversation in. I walk the client through their business model using the same tools used by Fortune 500 companies. This creates a learning environment for both agency and client as discoveries are made that uncover any misalignment and communication lapses within the client’s different departments. By the end of this phase, a unified agreement of what the business is, who it serves and how it serves them is mapped out and serves as a guide that leads everyone to the answers while keeping business goals in focus.
After a full workshop of talking business, the next step I take with the client is introducing them to my language, the language of UX. This is the first half of a two part workshop. Once again, I use business tools to guide the clients through a conversation about each of their customer segments. Like the Business phase, the goal here is alignment and awareness. This phase also starts the transition of shifting the client from talking about their needs to the needs of the user while maintaining “threat-free” environment by keeping the conversation opinion based and still rooted in business.
The second half of the workshop talks about the business again but this time, instead of talking about it from the perspective of the business, we talk about it from the perspective of the user and how the business solves the user’s needs. This phase takes the conversations that have been taking place and converts them into hypotheses that will be the basis for the user research.
“Tasking” myself with going out and exploring the hypotheses created by key stakeholders, I conduct User Research that best fits into the budget and timeline while uncovering the patterns that will reveal the client’s user behavior.
A reveal party of the user tests and research will lead the way to a conversation on what information best serves the user. Now, the client is speaking UX and a dialog can begin about what information, tools, elements and tests are needs to create a valuable digital product that will meet business goals and prove ROI through meeting user needs.
This process creates a number of deliverables, including a prioritized Functional Needs & Elements list that can be used in design sprints where prototyping, building and testing are done in cycles from MVP to project completion. See my skillset next to learn a little more about those deliverables and the sprint process I created.