If you’re building a new business application, the obvious temptation is to ask the prospective end users what they need it to do and how they want it to work. But that approach, no matter how well-meaning, is built on a very shaky premise: that those users have any idea what they actually require.
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Gartner analyst Bard Papegaaij pointed out the problem with this approach during the opening keynote at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo this morning:
Don’t ask people for requirements. Everybody amongst your colleagues has trouble formulating those, let alone consumers.
The solution to that dilemma? “Don’t ask what they want, observe what they do,” Papegaaij suggested. As well as providing evidence of their actual behaviour, you’re likely to get more data that way, since you’re not relying on someone else filling out a form.
Throughout this week, Lifehacker is covering Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014 live from the Gold Coast, bringing you practical tips and advice for running business IT more effectively.
Check out all our stories from the event.