In software development, having a deep understanding of users is a priority.
The users may have opinions about how a product should work, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. These opinions may differ from those of your development team. But it’s often difficult for new developers to understand what their users want, since they rarely get to interact with them directly.
Sure, project management techniques like Agile/Scrum make it easier for development teams to update the software as user demands change throughout the development cycle, but it can be challenging for developers who are still learning the ropes to balance the needs of the user with the lack of access to them.
Ultimately, the people who will use your product will be the end users.
However, users might know what task they want the product to accomplish, but not the features. It’s your job to figure that out. As Henry Ford once famously said, “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
- Talk to the people who have direct access to the users: (No, not the project managers.) If you really want to know what your users expect, go to the user experience experts or designers. They are required to approach each product with a human-centered design approach and are given direct access to the people who will actually be using the end product. Their insight will give direction to your code.
- Test your product: If you really want to know what your users think about your product, test it. Successful companies like Apple often release beta versions of their products to see how users will react to them before they are officially launched. This helps them fix any bugs and any issues users might point out.