Understanding user experience
Products or services that a business delivers are developed with a view of interesting their users, whether those users are businesses or individual consumers. Understanding the user experience is important for designing and delivering products or services that people will like. In part this is a role for product designers themselves, but it is also a role for those who are given prototypes to test with potential users. This is an area where I worked in before founding Coevolve IT. Several approaches were used: workshops with volunteers who might be customers in the future, examining their reactions; formulation of questionnaires sent to potential customers investigating their reactions to prototypes without needing to be observed; and gathering numerical data about the use of prototypes from volunteers who had given consent that it could be used in this way. Using these techniques prototypes could be modified in order to make them more likely to be successful as products in the future; and comparison could be carried out between prototypes and existing products or services already on sale.