When I recently visited Adaptive Path in San Francisco, I sat down with Jesse James Garrett, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, AKA author of the great book, The Elements of User Experience. We talked about getting buy-in for UX research.
We discussed situations during which stakeholders have a hard time accepting ideas that are contrary to their own or when research results support their intuition. Jesse stated that a big challenge for UX researchers is communicating research in non-threatening ways that help bring people along. To him, the best way to do that is sharing stories about or from users and improving our own salesmanship.
We talked about startups and how they can reach excellence in design. Jesse recommended lots of iteration, openness to changing direction, while using small-scale methods for learning from users or potential users. Jesse called UX practitioners to develop more such methods.
We ended up talking about our frustrations as UX practitioners. We agreed they come from the fact that the value of what we do is so obvious to us and from the need to deal with people who do not have that intuition about the value of our work. Jesse recommends to slow down and less emotionally communicate that value.