Notes of “Brain Science — UXer and Stakeholders”

8 min readJan 24, 2022


UXer’s brain

We care about users, we do research, we observe behavior, we do usability testing and we do prototypes and designs. We try to figure out insights to improve our product

Boss’s brain

How much about our revenue? Which channel we can sell our products? What’s strategy for partnership? What is my cost for employees, for any other online tools? Where is our customers? Where is our future? (the reality is survival)

Did you really understand your organisation and budget system?

Usually, UX team is under product development or design depends on different organisation. Where is the budget from, who is the decision maker or stakeholder. We have to try to convince them to get the budget. You need to know where the budget is.

89% of CEOs in 1000 interviewees by Aldrich in 2018, they heard UX before. But they don’t know what is User experience. Do you want to be a crying baby? Or do you want to be a smart strategist to get the budget to run user research and do usability testing?

What we can do?

Step 1: Analyze the organization to know which departments have more budget.

Usually in big orgainizations, they might not have independent UX team or UXer, even though small or medium companies.

Step 2: Find your alliance

If you figure out development team have more budget, we can collaborate with them. Try to get some budget from the other team to support we do user research.

Step 3: Find your piece of cake (Budget)

Your budget will be from marketing team, because marketing team usually do focus group. Whether we can get some budget from focus group project to do just 5 persons’ user research in person, or we get the budget from the development team to run the usability testing.

Step 4: Send a proposal

Don’t be a crying baby. Nobody know what is UX, only UXer we know. So try to write down, send a proposal to different team leaders to let them understand we need your help. What is the purpose, why we need to understand the users. Even you can interview the users first and show the result to them and send them a proposal to say “We need some budget from you because you see, users are friendly with our services. So can we get some budget from you? And then we can optimize our user experience.”


One big company that they don’t have dedicated UX team and practitioners, only UX/UI Designers. But most of UX/UI designers I met, most of their jobs are UI jobs not UX. And also they just have limited budget for design team. But they have more budget for R&D and Marketing team. So I generated an idea as a 3rd party consultant. What I do is —

  1. Define UX issues with technical team
  2. Get budget from technical team
  3. Win the KPI for technical / Marketing team

What we learned from this story: I used the language that developers and general managers they understand. But there is a UX mindset behind the story.

#3 To let more internal employees to understand the value of user experience even what is UX

#4 Marketing team leaders, Sales team leaders and also C-level. Share with decision makers, keep UX in their mind. Because that is what our brain work. I will show you why our brain work that. So you need to keep mentioned UX in the brains.

According to a research, you invest $1 in UX you will get $100 return.

The most important things for UX practitioners

  1. Stand high: We are not just in the low position to do the user interview to make UI beautiful. We should be the strategists and stand high, how we help the organization smoothly than before, even more efficient than before.
  2. Be the wings of your organization. Help the organization to fly fast, to adapt the agile UX in your organization.
  3. Be patient. Don’t be rude or impatient to try to convince people. Use simple languages to let them know what UX is. But reduce mentioned UX.
  4. Willing to share. What is the company I do, what emotion I am analyzing now, and why UX is important.

4 Factors to make Successful companies success in the digital centuries.

  • A good product
  • A good solution
  • Good services
  • Experience

As a UX practitioner, don’t over focus on the UI. You should have the knowledge of psychology, about our brain science, neural science. Lots of online courses you can learn.

It is all about empathy


Q: Could you take some example that how to set a good KPI about UX optimization?

A: I interviewed different department including marketing/sales team and also customer center team. And I got some complaint from CS team say “their work load is too high, so many people callin and complain the app with bad design.” They need to hire more people for CS, so the cost is going up. When I found the fact, I talked to the design team and research team. We need to figure out what’s the problem with the login page in our app. After 3 weeks, they do remote testing we got the insight because business clients and individual clients should login from different page. But they didn’t design for that. So we defined UX optimization KPI is how can we reduce the call center’s work load and also complaint calling. So after research, we re-designed, re-developed, re-launched the app. After one month, their work load reduces 32%.

Q: any recommendations for affordable online UX courses/certifications related to psychology or even other aspects of UX processes. Are certificates even useful for designers?


When I received CV, portfolio is important but

  • I don’t care about how beautiful of your prototype
  • I care about How you define UX issues
  • How you run usability testing
  • How do you define your persona
  • How you solve the problem
  • Have you ever discussed with the other department and stakeholders
  • I want to know your thinking process

Q: How do you apply UX thinking to leadership? Do you think about UX differently before and after you became a CEO?

A: I think UX is all about users. When I switch the position to the CEO with UX mindset, I realised “user experience” might be a wrong term we used. I think the right term is stakeholder experience. Because all the UX project we should follow our business goal. Even we want to collaborate with marketing team, development team or sales team or the other department. There is no single project you can just conduct by UX research team. So the difference is I understand, I need to interview the stakeholders. My task is to understand why they want to do user research, and what is the business goal. If the UX proposal cannot fit in the business goal, that will be failed the UX project we did.

Q: Is it a good idea to teach marketing writer to add some UX knowledge the way they write a content? How can you say about the UX Content Writer nowadays?

A: Marketing content/article is totally different from UX article. It depends on your audiences. If I were UX writer and I know my audience is UX practitioners, I may write more about process. But if I were marketing writers, and I know my audience are marketers or business people, I may write conclusion at the beginning. So it is a good idea to teach marketing writers to add more UX knowledge, but the article structure will be different. That’s my personal point of view.

Q: How important is it for a tech company to build their UX team and develop UX capabilities internally? Do you foresee this role being outsourced in the future?

A: I strongly recommend my clients should have internal UX team. Because they are more understanding the culture, the politics, the problem within the organization. But some big companies don’t understand UX, so they outsource to the agencies. And also the time limitation or agencies are busy for any other projects. Internal team is easily to interview our colleagues, our stakeholders, decision makers and we are easily and quick to generate the UX projects. So we can adapt Agile UX even leverage the remote tool. I prefer to do user research internally.

Learn more, be ready.