Stop listening to your users

Here is a way you might build a IT system: The users tell you what they want, and you build what they asked for. Sometimes you get it right, especially if you have good communication with end users and an iterative approach. Sometimes you get it wrong, especially if you have no communication with end users and a year-long waterfall project.

Here’s another way to build an IT system: You observe the users and figure out what they need.

Steve Jobs had it right when he famously said “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” For those of us without Steve’s almost infallible intuition about what people want, actually watching users will provide much more information and give you a much higher chance of building something that actually helps real users.