Being a UX designer isn’t always about getting compliments and getting credit for your great work. Sometimes, you have to cope with the feedback and criticism of difficult clients. Let’s discuss the reasons why some clients freak out when they see your UX design and how to handle such arguments.
Why don’t your clients like your UX design?
Your UX Design is Hard to Understand
A great user experience is something that your users and clients expect by default. Great UX design should be:
- Intuitive. People don’t want to be bothered by finding a necessary screen or element. They need UX solutions that allow them to intuitively browse a website or a mobile app.
- Consistent. Consistency in UX design evokes people’s previous experiences with similar products. So, when users see a social networking app, they expect it to have design patterns common to social networks and UX designers should take this into account.
- User-centered. Keep in mind your users’ needs and design for them. Snapchat’s user experience is tangled, but its target audience ,millennials, are fine with that. They can find solutions quickly and share insights on Snapchat’s tricks on social media.
Remember that your client is a user of apps as well. This means that they’ll assess your UX design from the point of view of an end user, and any divergence from common design patterns is likely to concern them.
Your Clients Assess the UI Instead of the UX
The User Interface (UI) is a part of the User Experience (UX), an umbrella term that defines how the user perceives the interface of a product. Even though these two terms are tightly bound, there’s a difference between UI and UX design.
UX design defines how users interact with a product. Is it easy to navigate through the app. Are users comfortable with the positioning of elements on a page? In a nutshell, UX design aims at creating a user-friendly interface that raises no questions and causes no misunderstandings.
UI design is a logical continuation of UX design. While UX design strives for the convenient arrangement of page elements, UI design aims at delivering a visually appealing product.
Clients often asses the visual part of an interface, the general style, colors, icons, and typefaces and don’t pay any attention to convenience and user-friendliness. The UX designer’s task is to explain to clients that the beautiful wrapping of an app isn’t complete until it’s backed up by great UX design solutions.
How should you handle UX design arguments?
Educate Your Clients
You should understand that your clients aren’t design experts. As a rule, people , including your clients , are led by their intuition and their own senses of aesthetics when assessing design. Therefore, consider educating your clients to improve your communication and avoid misunderstandings.
Here are a few approaches to communicate your design ideas to your clients:
- Present a moodboard. As you know a moodboard is a collection of reference designs. The purpose of moodboards is to get you inspired and help you share and present your design ideas.
- Rely on guidelines. Guidelines provide a set of rules and standards that are applicable to a particular product. Sometimes when a client wants to implement an unnecessary or even a harmful feature, guidelines support a designer’s argument.
- Show best practices. Explain to your client that keeping up with guidelines, current best practices, and the latest design trends leads to consistency and user satisfaction ,something that every designer should strive for.
Compare Your Design to an Existing Successful Product
Comparing your design to the design of a similar but already successful product leads to a better understanding of design best practices and their meaning. To be sure, prominent apps like Seamless and Uber comply with UX standards and best practices. Such apps set design trends and cultivate user tastes by offering lightweight user experiences.
If you’re designing an app that offers the features of an existing product, it’s hard to make a better app than your competitor’s. But by following design best practices, you can create a product with a user experience that rivals your competitor’s.
Outline Your Scope of Work and Stick to It
A scope of work (SOW) includes deliverables, milestones, and a description of quality formalized in a single document.
UX designers can also benefit from a well-written scope of work. A scope of work includes all activities and deliverables a client expects from you. With a defined scope of work, you’re able to control the features a client unexpectedly wants to add and stick to the requirements specified in the document.
Also, the acceptance criteria specified in an SOW help you set your client’s expectations so they have a rough idea of what they’ll get as the result.
Respond to Criticism Productively
Deep down, all designers appreciate constructive feedback. But how should you respond to your client’s criticism? Let’s see how you can handle criticism.
First, be patient. You may find your client dumb and annoying. But despite the fact that your client may be a complete amateur at design, he or she may be a strong professional in another sphere.
Second, be polite. Politeness truly is king; and by politeness we mean not only please’s and thank you’s. Empathize with your clients. Try to understand the ideas they’re trying to convey and don’t reject their ideas immediately.
Finally, be supportive. Nursing grudges is useless. Listen to your clients’ feedback and try to extract as much useful information as possible. Besides, working in a friendly and supportive environment stimulates better understanding and facilitates collaboration.