Institutionalising User Experience: 5 ways to embed UX in your company

Trying to embed usability in an organisation needs more than persuasive, logical arguments. You also need to appeal to managers’ emotions and political ambitions. This article describes five successful strategies that we’ve seen work in companies large and small.

At one time or another, most of us have tried to convince senior management that they need to invest in user experience by appealing to logic: we describe the clear and obvious cost benefit of a focus on users. We point out that good usability increases revenue, creates loyal customers, improves brand value and results in internal process improvement. Dozens of studies now support these assertions, so it’s frustrating when managers listen patiently to what we have to say — and then completely ignore us.

The reason these sorts of arguments tend to fail is because the decision to institutionalize user experience isn’t just a logical argument. Because user-centered design has an impact on every part of the organisation, any decision to embed user experience is a decision to undertake organisational change. Logical reasoning isn’t sufficient when we move into this territory because organisational change can only be achieved through people, and this means you must address emotional needs too.

Enough of what doesn’t work. Let’s now turn to five lines of attack that I’ve seen flourish at different clients in the past.

  1. Think Strategically
  2. Recruit a Top-level champion
  3. Raise Awareness
  4. Demonstrate ROI
  5. Talk the right language

If you look closely, there’s even an acronym in there: START.

Read the full article…