Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter


Involving users

Getting users involved is hard. They don't appreciate what you have done. They ask for more. They say stuff you do not understand and make demands that make no sense.

Is that so? well, they are paying that cool stuff back at your home. And the shirt on you back. The food you put in your mouth.

The problem is that the longer you wait getting them involved, the problems described in the first sentence just becomes more severe. The gap between you and the user just becomes wider with each thing you build. And the frustration goes both ways: when you feel that they don't appreciate what you do they think you don't listen to them since the stuff you built wasn't what they wanted. Or more often: you're somewhat right but missed something really important.

I get amazed watching developers standing having long discussions on a functionality, using terms like "well, they want it this way" without involving an actual user. Well, if they are really far away or cannot be reached, this is of course acceptable. But when they are not further than the next room, it is showing disrespect. You're just coding stuff: they are the ones that have to live with it. So, if you're having this kind of discussion and it takes more than ten minutes, go grab yourself a real user. And not the type that don't use the product but just talks about it in a conference room.



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