Usability Change Positioning: Counterarguments For 3 Common Roadblocks

So you’re getting constant feedback from clients about a specific usability issue. You meet with stakeholders to discuss it, and you hit a wall of resistance. They don’t want to change the problem-causing experience.

Let’s talk about some counterarguments you can use to cover the most common roadblock excuses.

1. Our audience is highly technical. 

If your audience is truly highly technical, they aren’t going to put up with a clunky cumbersome product for long. There are, or will be, other products that do what yours does. When one with better UX rolls up, your clients will be rolling out.

2. Our audience will be offended if we dumb down the product.

Improving usability is not equivalent to dumbing down a product. We’re not talking about adding flashing smiley faces and dancing unicorns, we’re talking about improving processes, and task flows. (Although, who doesn’t love a solid unicorn surprise, right Asana?)

For this counterargument, go with something like: “Have you ever heard an intelligent person complain about saving time and having to do less work to accomplish a task? I’m going with probably not.” (Except when you say it, aim for a little less sass.)

3. It’s always been this way.

This is probably the most frustrating response. 

Try something along the lines of: “This is a fast changing industry. If we hold on to too many legacy aspects, our product will quickly become irrelevant.”

If you’re working on a team that straight up refuses to ever improve your product because they’re so afraid to tick off legacy users, you may want to jump ship. The product is going to end up in the design graveyard in the sky. (It can give 90’s homepage javascript tickers a high-five when it arrives.)

These seem to be the 3 worst offenders. The next time you head in to a good, old fashioned usability feedback shootout, toss these counter arguments in your holsters and shoot down your stakeholders excuses with style. (See what I did there? This is what happens when I blog at 4am.) 😜

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