The law of the Developer’s «blind spot»

Author: Ury Smirnov. Category: Smart things. Date:01.03.2010, 22:39.

Not once I met the operation of a certain «law» of developer’s «blind spot». It can be formulated as such: «If a programmer or engineer interacts with his product only as his tester, and not as an ordinary consumer than the users of any versions of this product will always lose a part of necessary functions and the most convenient access to those existing. The «blind spot» effect is supported by the fact that it is difficult for ordinary users to be aware of their unrealized needs and/or formulate them in the language of professionals».

Every time when there are no functions enough for you or something is annoying in a computer program, gadget, consumer electronics device, be sure that the developer himself does not use this function. He only «tests» it.

I’ll add to the above mentioned that the developers who dare to become real users for a moment probably will not have time for «expert testing». So they would be dismissed before they have time to make the beneficial and irreversible product changes.

Hence the recommendation is deduced to companies that would like to create «ideal» consumer products, without having Steve Jobs as a CEO. At least once a month (and better – weekly) send your developers «in the field» (anywhere, only away from the office). And let them to solve their personal problems with the help of the product developed.

As for the practical examples of the Law effects, I had once mentioned the disturbing disadvantages of «professional dictophones». And soon I’m going to share my proposals to the developers of electronic bookreaders for professionals.

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