RE: Value of / requirement for user testing

Subject: RE: Value of / requirement for user testing
From: KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 14:53:48 -0400


Well, *yours* does... :-)

Ours, as I tried to make apparent, comes down to
the relative power in our relationships with some
of the industry's 800 pound gorillas. I was trying
to highlight the difference between a company/product
that depends on thousands/millions of public customers
(i.e., faces plenty of aggregate pressure to release),
and one that faces pressure/power concentrated in the
hands of one or two purchasing honchos at "Big Customer
Company, Inc."

A million individual clients have a lot of power, but
they are not organized to effectively demand that
you move your release schedule ahead by X months. That's
my take on the games company situation.
A company producing a video suite, that sells to perhaps
hundreds, or at most, thousands of companies worldwide
is going to feel some pressure again, but there's no
enormous player that will make or break the supplying
company's fiscal year.
A huge company that has a big release of their own
product coming, and who will either integrate your
product with theirs -- and with their hundred-million
dollar marketing effort -- or who will otherwise wait
until next year to even consider ordering from you...
has a LOT of pull. Trust me on this.

We do sometimes wag the dog (in which case, I get a
fairly reasonable documentation schedule that actually
includes real product), but as often as not, it's
definitely the dog wagging us.

/kevin

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sean Hower [mailto:hokumhome -at- freehomepage -dot- com]
> Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 11:33 AM
> To: TECHWR-L
> Subject: re: Value of / requirement for user testing

[...]
> The software we had
> wasn't the most recent (there was some reason for that at the
> time, but I don't remember...), we didn't have any decks
> (VCRs), we didn't have any live input devices at all (like
> cameras), we didn't even have all of the hardware that went
> with the product. Many of the product's features changed
> depending on what you had hooked up to it......so up until
> the night of printing the docs, we were still finding
> features that we didn't know about, that all of our "SMEs"
> seemed to not notice were missing, but "just had to be in
> manual." <sigh />
>
> I think it comes down to a lack of organization.... :-(

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