Don’t Underestimate The Importance Of User Evaluations
I have recently carried out a Task Based User Evaluation on a Smartphone application prototype I created, and I was surprised by the results. Concepts that seemed intuitive and made complete sense to me completely baffled the majority of my user base. Don’t misinterpret this, I am by no means suggesting that they were ‘dumb users’. This was a real eye opener as to how when developing a concept, your ideas are always going to seem intuitive to you. They’re bound to if you think about it, you had them. This is where so many systems go wrong, be them software based or not, what seems intuitive to the developers is not always that intuitive to the users. In the case of my prototype, I had used a number of metaphors to represent various functions. I had come up with these metaphors and so they made logical sense to me, but all my users disliked one metaphor in particular. Each user separately suggested the use of a common metaphor, they all knew what they wanted, and they all wanted the same thing!
Remember, dumb users don’t exist, there are just poorly designed systems!!!