How To Write A UX Design Proposal in 10 Steps
When we think about UX design, we can say that it’s primarily a creative job. UX designers need to use their imagination, design skills, and inventiveness to create the best solutions for their clients and clients’ users. But, there’s more to UX design than pure creative work.
UX designers also need to negotiate, pitch offers, reach out to clients and communicate professionally. And for most of them, this is the trickiest part.
Writing a UX design proposal is one of the things UX designers struggle with. But, you don’t need to have outstanding writing skills or go through business training to write yours like a professional.
All you need to do is understand the essential goal of UX design proposals and follow the ultimate guide we’re sharing below.
Here’s everything you need to know to nail each UX design proposal from now on.
What is a UX design Proposal?
Whether you’re just a beginner UX designer, or an experienced one, you need to fully understand what a UX design proposal is supposed to be.
That’s why we’ll define it and break it down to help you gain a better understanding.
A UX design proposal is a written outline or plan of the upcoming UX design proposal that explains the problems and solutions of the project and the tools and strategies to be applied.
Simply put, a UX design proposal answers these burning questions:
- What is the main objective of this project?
- What are the problems the client is facing?
- How are we going to solve those problems?
- What methods and design tools will we be using?
A UX design proposal is, thus, an overview of what the designer has to offer to the client and a pre-agreement document that is supposed to encourage the client to hire them.
Why Do You Need a UX Design Proposal?
You may feel like writing a UX design proposal would be a waste of time, and you can discuss all of these matters with your client live. But, we need to beg the differ.
Here are the benefits of having a well-written UX design to pitch to clients:
- you have a written trace of your offer, so the client can’t mess around with you on prices later on
- the client feels safe knowing precisely what they’ll get from you
- you’re creating a plan of the project, which makes it easier for you to complete it later on
- you’re showing off your professionalism to the clients
- you’re able to stand out from the rest of the UX designers who are applying for the same project
A great UX design proposal is essential for better communication with your clients from day one and successful project completion.
When Do You Need a UX Design Proposal?
There should be no minor or major projects for you. Each client matters the same and should be treated the same.
That means you need a UX design proposal for every potential collaboration and project ahead of you.
How to Write a UX Design Proposal?
Hopefully, you’re now fully aware of the benefits that a successfully written UX design proposal could bring you.
All that’s left is for you to learn the steps to writing a great UX design proposal for each new project.
Here’s our ultimate guide on how to write a UX design proposal.
1 – Gather Information
It takes some preparation and groundwork to help you write your UX design proposal. The initial step in the design process is to gather all the information about the upcoming project to understand better what to offer and how to help your client.
So, set up a meeting with your client, either live or via video call, and discuss all the relevant project information you need.
Make sure this conversation is:
- highly informative
- valuable for both parties
Don’t get caught up in chit chat and prepare a list of questions you need to be answered.
Take notes as you go, and try getting your client to specify what they want and expect from you. This is the first and crucial step in the process of writing a brilliant UX design proposal.
2 – Define the Issue
Now that you know what your client wants, you need to present it properly in the UX design proposal. Start from the very essence, which is the problem your client is experiencing.
Your client needs to see that you:
- carefully listened to what they told you
- managed to define a specific issue and problem
It’s possible that your clients will be confused or unable to define the problem themselves. So, you need to do it in your UX design proposal.
This problem statement needs to be based not only on your conversation with the client but also on:
- additional research you did of their products, apps, or website
- the conversation you had with some of their users
- the conversation you had with their employees
Use all the resources you have to define their problem as precisely as possible.
3 – Set & Prioritise Objectives
The problem is defined, and now you need to show your client you know how to solve it. The next step in writing your UX design proposal is defining the objective.
Some projects can have more than one objective, so you’ll need to prioritise them and list them in a logical order.
So, here’s what to do:
- define the main objective of the project
- define the minor objectives that follow or support the main one
- describe each one, listing them according to priority
- tell the client of the tools, strategies, or UX design trends you’ll use to achieve each objective
For each objective, be careful to use the kind of language your client will understand. Tell them about the outcome of achieving each objective and the importance of taking the project one step at a time.
This will help the client visualise the result and understand the hard work you need to invest in making it all happen. If they understand the complexity of the project, they appreciate you more.
4 – Create User Personas
To make your UX design work, you need to understand who are the people who’ll be interacting with the said product, service, or system.
Your client has probably shared information about their target audience and the people they want to reach. But, it would help if you addressed this aspect from a designer’s perspective.
It would help if you created user personas.
User personas are:
- different types of people who’ll be using this product or service
- fictional presentations through a set of characteristics, habits, and assumed behaviour
To make this section more plausible, you can even create user stories that explain what each user persona expects from your prospective client.
This way, the client will connect the problem they’re facing and the solution you’re offering – seen through the eyes of the user personas.
5 – Provide Data
You can’t expect your client to take your word and trust you blindly. It’s always a better idea to show them what you based your proposal on and how you’ve come up with the solutions you’re offering.
It would help if you showed them how to conduct and use data analytics for user experience improvement.
So, provide new data that show what led to making the specific decisions about this project.
Conduct mini research of the clients’ industry, niche, competitors, and current place on the market. If this is too time-consuming or complicated, find professional help from writing experts.
I always find someone to write my research paper for me and then present the result to the client.
The important thing is, you show them your UX design proposal is backed up with facts and the latest data you’ve gathered.
6 – Timeline
One of the worst things that UX designers face during a project is the constant pressure of finishing the project as soon as possible. And, if there’s no initial agreement of the precise deadline, this can happen to you too.
So, your UX design proposal should cover all aspects of the timeline you’ll be following to complete the project.
- different stages of the project, e.g. research, sketching, creating prototypes, testing, etc.
- deadlines for each of the stages
- project completion date
Don’t try to wow a client by creating highly tight timelines. Instead, explain why you need the time to complete each stage and deliver the expected results properly.
7 – The Budget
Talking money is another obligatory part of your communication with clients, and a UX design proposal gives you a chance to do it right.
Some UX designers mistake simply stating what the total sum they ask for the project, which can drive clients away is.
Because your clients want to know they spent their money wisely and need more information about why your design services cost as much as they do.
So, for the budget section of your UX design proposal, you need to elaborate on the offer you’re making. That can include:
- creating several offers that include or exclude certain services
- specifying the prices each of your services cost
- proposing to charge by the hour and assuming how many hours you’ll need to complete the project
Add details and layers to this section to show your client exactly why your services cost as much as they do.
8 – Discuss Limitations
If you think that certain limitations might appear during the project, approach them in the proposal.
Anticipating problems and explaining them to the client will show them you’re ready to avoid different bumps in the road.
The limitations can change how you deliver the results, alter the timeline, or even influence the budget. So, discuss them in the proposal and offer solutions to prevent them or solve them if they occur.
9 – Summarise Deliverables
You can say that you’ve covered all the aspects of your UX design project.
All that’s left is for you to give your client one final reminder or summary of what you’re offering and what they’ll get from you.
This final chapter will make sure you end the proposal on a solid note, and your prospective client is reminded of:
- the exact services you’ll provide
- the results they’ll see after the project is finished
- the benefits of this project for their business, brand, and users
Summarise the deliverables as if you’re making a final promise to the client to make sure you seal the deal successfully.
10 – Check Accuracy
As a professional, you need to make sure the written communication between you and the client is spotless. This is especially the case with an official document as important as the UX design proposal.
So, check your accuracy before you send it to the client. Proofread your UX design proposal to remove:
- grammar mistakes
- spelling mistakes or typos
- punctuation mistakes
Also, check if your tone and voice are consistent, and you’re showing your brand consistency to the client.
You don’t want anything to take your clients’ attention away from the proposal’s goal and the offer you’re trying to make. So, don’t ever send the proposal to the client before you analyse it and proofread for accuracy.
Writing a UX design proposal is something every UX designer should learn how to do.
It needs to become a part of your approach when negotiating with clients and presenting your skills and expertise.
The great thing about writing UX design proposals is that you’ll see just how simple and easy it is after you write a couple of them successfully.
So, use our ultimate UX design proposal guide to start practising or writing your first successful UX design proposals.
Hopefully, it’ll help you show your clients just how professional, reliable, and worthy UX designer you are.