May 20, 2008

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Satisfying Your Users Is Like Satisfying Your Lover

Trying to satisfy our users is often like trying to satisfy a sexual partner.

Heed the words of Swiss Tony

It can get complicated, y'know. We poke and we prod, and caress and cajole, all the while desperately looking for signs that what we're doing is having some positive effect. A little moan here, or a deeper sigh there, and we do whatever we're doing harder or faster or more thingummyjiggly, because how else are we to know that it's working?

And we may think that that thing we're doing should be sending them to the heights of ecstasy, but you only need to be a tiny, tiny fraction off for the effect to be a total let-down.

You see, short of crawling inside our users' minds, we have to poke and prod in the dark, relying on clumsy 2nd or 3rd-person feedback to tell us whether what we're delivering is "ringing their bell" or actually a total turn-off.

And, sometimes, when users tell us that they're absolutely delighted with the system, they're really faking it. After all, they wouldn't want to hurt our feelings. Developers can be very sensitive about that sort of thing.

Typically, the first we hear that our users are not satisfied is when we catch them playing around with someone else's software.

Of course, some of us don't hang around long enough afterwards to find out either way.

Posted 10 years, 2 months ago on May 20, 2008