Sometimes it isn’t necessary to put together full presentations, pitches or mock up examples of what you propose to change on a website to get sign off to a project. By thinking a little laterally you can affect your managers opinion using simple props and visuals that can create a big impact in a matter of seconds.
Having tried for a long time to convince my manager to allow me to standardise all of our web link interactions (We had 5 different styles…) so they were consistently underlined, using some of the best research and most respected websites as examples, I was at my wits end. I was staring idly at a black and white print out of one of our web pages, when I happened on my last throw of the dice.
I took a black and white print out of our major competitor (Who underlined links) and a print out of our website, which had links with no underlines. I walked into my managers office unannounced, placed our competitors print out in front of him and asked a simple question; “If you wanted to click somewhere on this screen, where would you click?” After looking at me a little vaguely, and with a little prompting, he immediately pointed out the underlined links, one by one. I asked him why, his response, “They are underlined”. I placed the print out of our web page in front of him and asked the same question, he didn’t even answer, just looked at me, laughed and said “Ok, I get it, you made your point, change the links I wouldn’t have a clue where to click on our page”.
Effectively pitching and communicating your ideas is a key skill of any UX professional. Communicating efficiently doesn’t always have to mean putting together a long, slick presentation or comps to effectively convey your ideas. Sometimes it can be as simple as 2 pieces of paper, but can really carry a punch. If you are struggling to get your ideas across, take a step back and try to think of the problem from another angle and come up with a simple way of getting your message across.