What do you do when your idea (design) is opposed by the team?
First, take a step back and realize that it’s not you against them. You are part of the team and at the end of the day, every one in the team has the same goal: to deliver a product that’s valuable for end-users, which then allows the business to capture value (monetize).
The only exception to this is when you know for sure that your team members have a malicious intention to discredit you for political reason. In this case, find another job.
everyone in your team wants to deliver the best product
Back to the assumption that everyone in your team wants to deliver the best product, the best thing you can do is to apply your UX skills/design thinking to solve this problem.
Applying Design Thinking
Here’s how you apply design thinking to this situation:
- Empathize. Interview your team mates to find out why they oppose your idea. Find out the motivation behind the opposition. My guess is they see potential risks specific to their function. For example: For the Developer, the idea could introduce security or performance issue. For the Product Owner, it wouldn’t help him with the main KPI he wants to improve.
- Define. Summarize their objection until you get an agreement from them that you understand where they’re coming from. You’ll discover that in a lot of cases, they’re ok even if you end up moving forward with the same idea as long as they feel that you’ve understood and considered their view.
- Ideate. Come up with few ideas to address their concerns. If possible, get the entire team and stakeholders in the same room and have them ideate with you. Give them paper and sharpies and ask them to sketch out their ideas, then combine them into one winning idea. The key principle here is involvement yields ownership. The people who are involved in the process will support the idea that come out of the ideation session.
- Prototype. Turn the solution from #3 into screens so you can test it. You can use tools like InVision or POP to quickly create a prototype fro, lo-fi wireframes.
- Test. Do hallway usability test with your colleagues who are not familiar with the project.
A variation of step 4 and 5 is to create a mock up that you can test using tools like usabilityhub. This will allow you to get external users to quickly validate your design.
Need more help?
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Originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the same question: What do you do when the idea (design) is opposed by the team?