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Content last updated 1998
issues and problems with user involvement
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There are a number of issues and problems which can be traps for the unwary. They include:  
It takes time to recruit participants

Recruiting customers for a Focus Group or Usability Testing takes time. Getting names of people to contact from sales and calling them to get them to come to the focus group can require an elapsed time of 4 weeks. Sales groups are often initially nervous about providing names of potential subjects, but will become enthusiastic when they understand how much customers enjoy participating.

Lack of Timespacer
The moderator needs both people and technology skills

The person who facilitates a Focus Group, Usability Test or JAD session (known as a moderator) needs to be good at listening to customers or users, and at drawing out their opinions. Developers involved in the implementation are often ill suited to facilitation because they have strong opinions of their own.

On the other hand, if your moderator does not understand the technology, he or she is ill suited to getting useful feedback from your customers of users.

The right moderator
User participation requires time away from their normal job

For projects or products where more than occasional user involvement is planned, there needs to be a commitment from managers to free up staff resources. Some companies have now downsized to such a level that the remaining staff are under continuous time pressure. The users whom you need to participate cannot therefore be made available. RAD will not work in these circumstances

Management commitment
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Copyright Khodes Consulting. Content as created 1998, site only 'maintained' in memory of David Singleton.