CHAPTER 1 Typhoon: A Fable

Sometimes it takes a long time for something to be obvious: a shortcut in the neighborhood that you’ve known all of your life, a connection between two friends, the fact that your parents aren’t so bad. It can take a while for the unthinkable to seem clearly natural in retrospect.

So it is with Web sites and user research. For a long time in the short history of Web development, the concept of putting an unfinished product in front of customers was considered an unthinkable luxury or pointless redundancy. The concerns in Web design circles were about branding (“make sure the logo has a blue arc!”) or positioning (“we’re the amazon.com of bathroom cleaning products!”) or being first to market. Investigating and analyzing ...

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