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Content last updated 1998
user & customer participation
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User participation during the development process helps to build a better product. Why?
If you are building products or applications for a defined customer base with whom you have an established relationship, then getting your users to participate in the development process is a primary means to ensure that the product or application you are building actually meets their requirements, and that those requirements have not changed since you first asked them what they wanted.

It is also a very good way of building relationships with your customers, it can and should be part of the marketing effort. Customers who have helped design the product are more likely to buy it.

Cement customer relationshipsspacer
Alternatively, if you are building products for a wider customer base such as a consumer market,   then getting some current or potential customers involved allows you to confirm the guesses that your marketing department may have made as to needs, preferences and wants.   Gut feel and guesswork is not enough.

Standard techniques such as Focus groups can be used with consumer software products. But you do need people who understand the technology and how consumers use software to run the Focus Group effectively.

Confirm consumer needs and wants
The techniques you can apply depend on where you are in the development cycle. There are things you can do at the start such as Prototyping, and things that must wait until the product is ready for release, such as Benchmarking. Techniques throughout the development cycle
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Copyright Khodes Consulting. Content as created 1998, site only 'maintained' in memory of David Singleton.