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Panel: The Secrets of Master UX Consultants

About the Talk

April 24, 2015 11:30 AM

Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN

Being a design, IA or UX consultant is hard. Most new consultants struggle just to stay busy. In this panel, expert practitioners will share their wisdom on what it takes to be a master consultant. Panelists with many years of consulting experience will share their insights on winning engagements, dealing with clients, and the different skills needed for internal and external consulting.

If you’ve polished your UX skills extensively, but are struggling with clients or internal stakeholders, this session will provide insights into the consulting soft skills you need. We’ll share our secrets to help you become a more effective leader and a happier consultant.

Session Takeaways Attendees will learn tips and trick for consulting from the multiple perspectives of each panelist. They may not always agree.

Here are some examples:

  • Consulting is about delivering - be clear about your deliverables – if you’re just offering “advice” clients will have a hard time seeing your value after you leave.
  • Don’t do the hard work of writing a proposal until the client already knows your planned approach and has agreed to a ballpark budget. The work should be mostly sold before you write up what you’ve already talked about in the proposal.
  • The roles of internal consultant, external contractor, and external consultant are all very different. Each of these roles requires different behaviors. For example, as an external consultant, you need to be able to effectively “project manage” your work and hold clients accountable for their action items, while as an internal consultant or contractor, you’re often part of a larger team managed by the client. If you’re not good at managing projects…take note. On the other hand, as an internal consultant, you must be great at navigating the political waters of the organization.
  • External consultants need to HAVE A CLEAR RECOMMENDATION. Don’t be wishy-washy (saying “it depends…”) or give clients too many options. You need to be an expert. That’s what they hired you for. But that doesn’t mean you have all the answers.

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