Clark Nelson is Neoteric Design’s summer 2014 design intern, exploring topics in product design, graphic design, and front end development.
Constant feedback in the development cycle from users and clients is very important to creating a successful final product. Especially the users, who will often offer much more useful insights than other developers or stakeholders.
Working on the same thing day after day starts to warp your view of the project. You miss functionality that is essential because you know your app better than anyone else. Reviewing with people who have seen it once or twice before will not be as great a critique as by someone seeing it with fresh eyes.
One thing Nick said after my first user interview is that people love to give their opinions. All you have to do is ask the right questions, listen emphatically, and they will be more than willing to tell you what to fix.
The key to a successful interview is knowing how to listen. Let the user talk until they cant talk anymore. A little bit of silence might be awkward at first, but they’re probably just thinking of the next thing to say. Most of all never explain an interface to the user. If they dont understand instantly how to use your app, then you still have work to do. Take notes about what is confusing the user and then move on.
Finally ask some big picture questions at the end. Ask about what they like/dislike about your app vs the competition. Another great question to ask is “What challenges will we face?” because you might be in denial about some major roadblocks ahead. Preparing early to meet these challenges is always a smart move.