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Peopleware Papers: Notes on the Human Side of Software, The by Larry L. Constantine

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Chapter 36. Going to the Source

What do users want, anyway? And how do you find out? Software developers are being told to produce the systems their clients and customers want, to become more user-oriented. Companies in every field are trying to be more competitive by listening to “the voice of the customer” and becoming “customer-driven.” It is not enough anymore to have software with the right features. The software needs to have a good user interface: to be easy to learn and easy to use. But how do you know what users want in a user interface, anyway? Many companies turn to market research, to telephone and written surveys that ask users or potential users what they want.

Sometimes it appears they don't even know themselves, and often it seems ...

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