It’s Not My Job To Teach Them How To Use It! (Sigh.)

“It’s not my job to teach them how to use it!”

That 11 word sentence is quite possibly the most infuriating one to ever grace the ears of a UX pro.

A friend of mine was sitting in a meeting trying to explain to a stakeholder that clients were struggling with a new feature. The response he was met with?

“It’s not my job to teach them how to use it. If they can’t figure it out, they shouldn’t be employed in this field. They just need to learn it themselves, or be trained.”

My friend said he took a deep breath, and calmly said: “Whether you like it or not, these are your clients. They are busy people who need to focus on more important things than wrestling with your product. If you want to retain customers long term, you need to listen to their feedback, identify the problems they are facing, and try to solve them. If a problem is a simple usability issue that can be resolved with a tiny UI tweak, why WOULDN’T you make that change? Happy customers = more recurring revenue and word-of-mouth referrals.”

The stakeholder approved the UI change.

The crazy thing is, I hear stories similar to the one above all the time from UX pros around the world. I must be hardwired into a UX mind hive or something, because resisting changes that improve usability, especially ones that don’t have any major impact on visual aesthetics, just seems insane to me.

“No! I don’t WANT to make my product better and easier to use! I want my clients to suffer daily and associate angry emotions with my brand!”

I work in a UX focused, friendly environment. I have the full support of our awesome staff, I’m very fortunate.

As UX pros, it’s our job to advocate for the user. Being a UX professional is not for the faint of heart. If you aren’t willing to stick to your guns and ruffle some feathers, this isn’t the career for you.

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