DonnaM » Blog Archive » Users – who needs them

Users – who needs them

I’m often asked to do expert usability evaluations for products/websites (both work and privately) etc.

My methodology is to write up some realistic scenarios of use, and work through them, checking for likely usability issues as I go. So, before I even look at the application, I always ask “What are people going to be doing with this application/website”

Almost every time I ask this question, the answer that comes back is the business requirements. So, I ask again “no, what do the users need out of this application”

I am yet to hear someone tell me that they have done any work in finding out what users need. When I start talking to users about what they might want out of a particular application, this is the first time that anyone has thought of the people on the other end. And given that I’m usually evaluating just before product release, there’s not really much chance of getting changes made if the product doesn’t meet their needs.

So, my mission on earth at the moment is to get more products built the right way around – with user needs at the front of the process.

One Response to “Users – who needs them”

  1. dkr Says:

    You know, I see the same thing quite often. Although, if I were to really think about it, it’s often worse than you describe it. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a stakehold or client of mine sort of, well, laugh off the prospect of user testing or gathering requirements from users at all, let alone late into the process. With a little explanation they always come around, but it’s amazing to me that the users/readers/what-have-you aren’t thought about early and often by the people who have the real interest in making a project successful. Well – like you said, we just need to keep on keepin’ on and get that mentality to change.