What do Your Customers Think?

Here is a lovely little video.  You should watch it.  All 4 minutes and 18 seconds.


He gets to the point doesn’t he?

And what is his point?

I doesn’t matter how clever you are:

If your customer doesn’t understand you, then you are wasting your time.

A little usability testing goes an awfully long way.

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  1. What a coincidence – we did the same test in our office on Friday. Rather than an elderly person, we used a top software engineer, but one who hadn’t yet seen Windows 8.

    After a few tests that mirrored the results in the video we asked him to work out how to shut down the computer. It took over a minute.

    The worst part is – I’m pretty sure Microsoft would have done usability testing. So I’m left wondering what else went wrong that allowed the customer feedback to be collected but ignored? Whatever it was, it doesn’t seem to be confined to Microsoft.

    • James Lawther says:

      Now I hadn’t thought of that Guy, they must have tested and then completely ignore the results.

      How bad is that?

  2. James,

    That’s too funny… that’s pretty much my experience with Windows 8. I hate it… it is dreadful. One of the things that really bugs me about it (among the many things that bug me about it) is the fact that any time I go too far right on my screen with my cursor, the damn side-bar menu (whatever they call it) pops up and stops me in my tracks. The flip-side to that is that I do need that menu in order to shut down, and when I intentionally mouse way over to get it to pop up, it doesn’t! I’ve resorted to CTRL-ALT-DEL to get to an option to shut down. What was wrong with the previous way of shutting down? Or doing things period? Ugh… they clearly didn’t test this OS with their customers.


    • James Lawther says:

      I haven’t actually tried it Annette, but watching the video and reading your comment and Guy’s isn’t exactly enthralling me with the prospect.

      Maybe I should do as the man says and switch to Mac?

  3. Hello James

    Love it.

    Many years ago as a undergraduate at Brunel University I was working for a software firm developing a computer program. I thought it was obvious what it did, how it worked, how to use it. Then a 40+ year old chap turned up to test the software and write the user manual. What can I say? It was an instructive moment!

    Nothing is obvious. And when you change from one ingrained way of doing stuff to a very different way of doing stuff it is a real challenge. We are not great at wholesale change. We are great at incremental change. We can take incremental change – making one change at a time. And it occurs to me that is the way of organisms in nature.

    thanks for sharing the video.


  4. Hi James,
    What a great video! And, I am sure not an experience that is confined to Microsoft or Windows 8. I have some similar issues with the BBC Sport app on my iphone….nice in principle but rubbish in practice.

    Making things and making assumptions about how people will use things is a dangerous and expensive game.

    Personally, I am insulated from all of this as I went Mac a few years ago (he says trying not to sound smug!)


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