"It's Not Your Fault"

I was shopping today, taking advantage of the summer sales. One of my favorite retailers offers petite sizes online, but almost nothing in the store. I go to the store to try the clothes on and then decide what to order online.

I had a number of blice (blouses to those of you who are not aware of alternative plurals 🙂 to order, and the nice salesperson who was trying to type my information into the form got frustrated, “I keep putting the wrong data in the wrong boxes.”

“It’s not your fault,” I explained. “The developers should have sat with someone in a store to see what it’s like to input the data when you’re interrupted and holding onto clothes, and all the things that happen when you’re on the floor and not in a back room.” She then explained that the form was the same whether you were online or in the store. But the problem is the data available online is different from the data available in the store.

I don’t know if the developers were lazy, or pressured, or if it just didn’t occur to them to test the system with a real user. But a salesperson should never have to apologize to me about the lack of user interface keeping me at the store longer than it should have. It wasn’t her fault.

User experience design and implementation is difficult. But why make it more difficult by not getting feedback from the users? I’ll never understand.

2 Replies to “"It's Not Your Fault"”

  1. I’m amazed you found blice (cute!) worth buying. I never can to the extent I’ve been thinking (for several years) that I should start manufacturing some. Also, I find the defintion of blouses has blurred. The way I learned it, a blouse is dressy, it doesn’t have buttons running down the front; the latter being a shirt (sportswear casual).

  2. I was recently in a Scrum training class where we had a discussion about the agile manifesto principals and, specifically, which one we thought would be toughest to make work in our organizations. About 90% of us said “Customer collaboration” would be toughest to implement. Now, to be clear, most of us in the training develop custom software.

    Custom software and the biggest challenge for us in moving to agile will be to collaborate with the customer. All I could think was, “My God, how has it become acceptable for us to develop custom applications for customers without collaborating with them?!”

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