Focus on the End User

A while back I asked the question: For who we build software?. I concluded that in many cases the end user isn't the target audience. Today I run into a AMR Research paper that one third of the CRM implementations fails. The main reason mentioned was lack of end user involvement.

Both points indicate that forgetting the end user is something that comes naturally. Unfortunately this conflicts with high customer satisfaction and reference customer success stories...

This leads to a paradox, sales and implementation focus on decision makers and implementation teams and forget the end user, while the end user is important for reference stories and customer satisfaction that are needed during the sales and implementation.

1 comments

Aad,

Just some thoughts on your posting. Was Karl Marx right after all?

In the 18th century he argued that power should belong at the people. They should decide on what gets produced and consumed.

Your remarks are especially interesting re-thinking my attendance to DUX2007 this week. Almost every speaker talking about "designing for a good user experience" stressed the importance of involving customers/users, talking to them, getting involved in and uderstanding their community. Companies like Yahoo, Google, SAP, Fidg't all gave convincing testimonies on how they involved these users and how these same users decided on the outcome of their offering up to a great extent. Just check http://teachers.yahoo.com as 1 example of a product almost fully designed after a 7 day workshop with 75 public school teachers.

In a way, isn't second life doing the same? They don't provide any content or decide how their site looks like.

So are we designing for the decision makers or are (should?) the users decide what we build? Not just referring to software by the way. I heard another nice example of GE who is working on a new kitchen for elderly people and bases the design fully upon input by that very same group.

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