In a rather unique situation. While the ux person is not the highest paid, This person uses articles and a dominant voice to justify their decisions. Not saying they haven't provided good ux solutions but they are selling ux as its the answer to everything and above all, as the saying "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" ux being the hammer in this case. Most people wont argue or voice their doubts as they don't completely understand ux. This ux person doesn't understand data and believes data cannot tell what ux research can.

they are basically this http://whatusersdo.com/blog/why-hippos-are-the-enemy-of-ux/

So what do you do when something like this happens? How do you point out the difference between solid decisions and personal preferences.

  • I feel compelled to ask for more information. After a recent bad experience with a client, I'm aware that there's only yea much difference between "the client is unwilling to accept the consultant's opinion" and "the consultant is an arrogant prick". Oh, and a dash of "This woman is giving me her opinion in a way that makes me feel attacked" could also be at play here as well... Oct 31, 2017 at 21:13

2 Answers 2


"Excuse me, Vice President HiPPO, but what are the user's goals and how does your design decision support those goals?"

Then: "I see. How did you discover those user goals? I shadowed eight users and I saw something different from what you're suggesting..."

That is, find out what they're basing their decisions on and provide a better basis than that. (UX research methods are better than Marketing research methods. Observing your actual users is better than reading articles.)


Backing up design decisions with research is good practice and it educates people. It's also a bit of a defence mechanism since opinions, especially of those with authority and decision making power can influence design. From what you describe it sounds like there just needs to be a bit more openness (to other ideas) and flexibility on the part of the person presenting the work.

One thing you can try is making design and design decisions a bit more collaborative. It's great when a design/scenario is so black and white that the answer is clear, but that's rarely the case.

Rather, there's usually a few options to consider and discuss; this seems to be a missing piece for your team.

Consider weighing discussing design options before they are presented in a meeting. This will convey to other people on your team that they are part of the process and maybe they'll feel better speaking up in a meeting.

If this is not possible, be prepared to do this in a meeting along with your own evidence or findings.

Lastly, have you considered having an open conversation with this person?

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    The team I’m currently in had issues with feeling ownership over designs in the past. So I started hanging everything I made on the walls. This leads to a lot of discussions about ixd which we use to iterate and also shape the technical requirements. Simple but it works. Oct 23, 2017 at 5:15

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