I am new to UX design, and one of the things I've noticed is that UX designers in agencies wil typically drive and facilitate client-facing interaction. That is, we have to present concepts and act as the middleman between clients and the production team. However, many clients aren't fully versed in what UX really is. What should I do to perfect my role as a client-facing touchpoint? How do I best communicate UX concepts to clients, without confusing them? Suggestions and advice please.
Personally as someone who enjoys UX thoroughly, the way I always explain UX to my clients is by telling them that I make your users more at home when they visit your site. UX is more than just knowledge, it's understanding what users want and making scenarios that are extremely easy for users to understand and navigate without them having to understand more than is necessary. To put it into simple terms if you were to ride a horse, "the User Interface is the saddle, stirrups and the reigns all of the things that assist in your riding experience. User experience is the feeling you get while riding the horse." Below is a link that has good more in depth information as well. Hope this helped.
What should I do to perfect my role as a client-facing touchpoint?
Always asking "Would this meet the needs of the users?" and looking for the reasons why or why not give me the data needed to continue designing. My experience is that clients are less interested in the theory, but I can always go back to the problem we're trying to solve to get more feedback.
How do I best communicate UX concepts to clients, without confusing them?
From the client's perspective, they came to us because they have a problem to solve and they trust us to solve it. We're successful when they're successful and they're successful when the product meets the needs of their users. Those needs are met when the users have a good experience. Don Norman explained this well in "The Design of Everyday Things."
Great designers produce pleasurable experiences. Experience: note the word. Engineers tend not to like it; it is too subjective. But when I ask them about their favorite automobile or test equipment, they will smile delightedly as they discuss the fit and finish, the sensation of power during accelaration, their ease of control while shifting or steering, or the wonderful feel of the knobs or switches on the instrument. Those are experiences.
Clients know when they've had a good experience, but it is our job to understand the components that make an experience good. Instead of getting them involved in those components, consider explaining concepts in terms of a positive or negative experience.
For example, you can say "We have a few designs and are looking for feedback to see if this is easy for the users to understand." in lieu of saying "We'll be doing some A/B testing." Clients are users themselves, so they'll have an opinion on a design. This gets the dialogue going and gives us a chance to explain the motivations behind each design.