I often find myself in a situation where stakeholders ask for a specific solution to a new feature that is not the best one in terms of usability compared to what I usually suggest. I always have arguments that might be or not considered as valid by the stakeholders (you know everybody is more or less biased when talking about UX).

My current approach is to avoid iterating on their solution and proposing my solution as the way to go forward. Still, most of the time I gt asked for their suggested solution and when that is presented, there is the risk that they'll choose that one over the more "usable" one that I suggest.

What I am curious is what is your approach when dealing with this kind of situations? How do you dismiss wrong solutions and get the right one chosen? I know, there is always the option to do some A/B testing, but let's be honest, in 99% of the cases there is not the time and budget for that. I'm looking for ways to deal with this kind of situations quick and efficient.

1 Answer 1


There are several approaches you can take:

1. Clearly communicate to the stakeholder why their solution doesn't make sense. Give them facts that reference real studies or experts in the field like Jakob Nielson or tell them that based on your experience that it's not a viable solution or that you considered that approach but it didn't make sense or wasn't as elegant or simple as what you are proposing.

2. Create several versions of the design. Include your version, the stakeholder's version, and maybe one or two other version that you have considered. Then walk through why you think they work or don't work so that they see that you did consider their idea and also that it's not a "you" vs. "them" conversation and really about the user and what's easiest for them to use.

3. Get another UX designer or your manager to back you up. This isn't my favorite approach but it does help in giving you and your idea credibility if your stakeholder is not listening to you. This also communicates to the stakeholder and team that it's not just based on your opinion but based on and agreed upon by multiple people on your team.

4. Test the designs internally. If you can't get users or user feedback in a timely and cost efficient manner and if the stakeholder is still not buying into your idea, then try and test the designs with the people around you. This should be unbiased and probably with people you don't work with every day. This at least gives you some feedback, even if it's not the ideal users, and will help support your design. You may find that if you do this, that a hybrid version is actually a better approach.

Trying to get the business and developers to buy into your design is always a challenge, especially when you can't get user feedback. If you build a good rapport with them and you are able to defend your designs, they will trust you more as you work with them. Good luck!

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