Talking to customers is what user experience professionals claim to do day in and day out. Learning the lanugage of our customers in order to talk about what we do is key to translating what we do to the general public. An 8th grader should understand it. If you were to step back, what is the experience your customers have of you? Do you know? What is it you are selling? Why are they choosing you? What is your value? These are all questions we claim to ask of our client’s users (aka customers) but do we ever ask ourselves.

I always struggle with explaining what I do. Often getting blank stares and perplexed looks when I say, “I do user experience design.”

This always leads to conversations between ourselves that go something like this, “So how do you explain what we do?” “I do x.” “Oh yeah that sounds really good. I usually say y.” “Hm, I might need to implement some of that.” However, who we are not talking to is our customers.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon says we should obsess over our customers but how many of us actually do? We talk endlessly about user experience but do we take that internally to consider the experience of our own users (aka clients)? Do we go out and talk to them? Ask them candidly, “do you understand the value of what I sell?” How confident are you that your clients can explain in plan language just what you do and what value you bring to their organization?

Spend time learning the language of your intended audience. Figure out how to translate what you do into their language. Build rapport with them through the language you utilize to explain what you do.