Surrogate Users

There is a great post over on riagenic; Fear the surrogate user. It makes a great point about people who are providing opinions on behalf of some one else, in this case UI users.

I have been in projects where the key business user was actually a BA on behalf of said users, whose opinions (to put it mildly) didn’t reflect the end user needs or wants. He was also one of the primary people we demoed iterations to.

Getting to real user opinions is often a difficult task for developers and hence we rely on surrogate users. This is why short iterations are key at getting real feedback and why you need to insist on real users being in demos, not surrogates.

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