Companies can sometimes become inwardly focused and, to some degree, they can forget about the customer. An unbalanced focus is sometimes exemplified in excuses for poor design. Such excuses can reveal a lot about a corporate culture and a person's own beliefs.
The seven deadly excuses
The ZDNet article discusses the excuses in depth:
- We have to be first to market.
Translation: We don’t have time to make sure the product meets our customer’s needs.
- Our budget doesn’t allow for design specialists.
Translation: We can’t invest what’s needed to maximize long-term company revenue.
- The requirements make it clear what has to be done.
Translation: Simply including certain features is more important than how those features are implemented.
- Well, it makes sense to me.
Translation: I’m a representative sample of our customer base.
- It will be so cool if we do it this way.
Translation: My personal target audience is my co-worker (or resumé) rather than the customer.
- Customers will get used to it.
Translation: Customers will keep using the product long enough to lose touch with how difficult it is.
- That’s what the help desk is for.
Translation: The design issues will soon be someone else’s problem.
The article discusses three ideas for starting to shift focus toward the customer:
- Install champions of the customer experience.
- Follow a user-centered process.
- Reward IT for meeting externally-focused criteria.