... and it sounded vaguely familiar. If you altered Steve Job's quote a bit to and replace "show it to them" with "provide them with a prototype to react to" then you very quickly have a development philosophy that aids in achieving a better end product.
I don't know how many prototypes, wire frames and mock ups we scratched during my time in web services at mfpow. But I do know this, that is was our goal to develop prototypes that our collaborative development teams and customers would tear apart, for it was the only way to ensure that what we were developing would indeed be useful.
In order for customers to be engaged in your development process, you need to provide them with something to react to. Focus groups are good, but prototyping feedback sessions are better! :)
How timely this post is! Today I was talking in a workshop about how focus groups are simply too much, well, FOCUS. They tend to tell you what you want to hear. It can (and usually is) that simple). I want to know where the cracks are or what doesn't make sense or how a feature can work more smoothly. Tell me about what is blurry. Perhaps we could have "Blur Groups" instead of "Focus Groups?!"
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