It is an open door to point out the importance of the end user in the design process. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons detailed below, this rarely happens.
Even if the majority of our interlocutors agree that this is an ideal approach, the reality of means and schedules takes precedence over these virtuous intentions. This sweet dream of agile co-design, few companies live it: the availability of end-users is limited (especially in B2B), methods are lacking, iterations slow down the time to market, so many reasons to make it a resolution for a future project.
However, having experienced it, one can try it with controlled means. In the absence of complete tests, it is possible to organise a few workshops with users, which are often rich in lessons learned before the project begins. Remote interviews with screen sharing can also be productive if they are well structured and guided. And contrary to what one might think, the relevance of test feedback is not directly related to the number of testers. Put five customers together and you can identify almost 90% of the irritants that hinder the smoothness of your customer journey. Extensive research into the subject by one of the pioneers of the discipline, Jakob Nielsen, has established this correlation between the volume of testers and the detection of usability problems.
My point here is not to propose shortened formulas to avoid real testing phases. But rather to encourage, for want of a better word, moments of exchange with the clients, your end users, during the different stages of the project. Keep it simple, but do it, with your team or with someone else. Integrate the approach, it will only get better with time and you will benefit from it.
And we have found that customers really feel valued at the idea of collaborating in the enrichment of a solution that they use regularly.
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