testing customers vs. internal... people...

18 Oct 2006 - 11:07am
7 years ago
1 reply
538 reads
tdellaringa
2006

Hi there,

I work for a fortune 500 company that owns many brands. For this one
particular one, we are building a consumer portal that will allow them to
pay for their services online and see their next scheduled service time. At
first release they can't do much more than that. Getting any usability
testing done here is like pulling teeth - nobody ever wants to pay a dime
for it and deadlines never are allowed to have much time for it. This in
spite of the fact it has been show to be worthwhile in the past (which is
why they continue to allow it in its compressed form).

Anyway, we're setting up a simple one day session to test potential and
actual (probably 3 and 3) customers. This makes perfect sense of course and
should give us some good data. However, the internal client is also
basically forcing us to go a local branch and test it on the people there.
So think branch manager, couple sales guys, maybe a couple techs. These
people will never log on or see the system we are building. They will not be
users of the system in any way.

We've initially tried to say no to this, since our deadlines are already
unrealistic and we saw little value in doing it. However they have been
adamant in us doing this. So I suppose my question is how can I at least
take advantage of this to improve the product? Or, do you think it's even
possible? Is there a more effective way to talk these people out of this
than just saying we don't think they really fit the bill since they are not
users? Or am I missing something of value here?

Keep in mind that this particular company is very much out of step with
their customers and their needs and they see everything from a
company-centric point of view, even when they claim to be concerned about
the customer.

Any comments are appreciated.

Thanks

Tom

--
--------------------------------------------------
Pure Geek
43 % Nerd, 60% Geek, 17% Dork

Comments

18 Oct 2006 - 1:01pm
DrWex
2006

If you're testing on people who are not your users then you have some
latitude. One possible goal could be to explore what other features
would be added to make the system useful to this group of people.
Another possibility is to use it as a self-advertisement - "here's who
we are, here's what we're working on, and this is an example of how
usability testing is done."

On 10/18/06, Tom Dell'Aringa <pixelmech at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Hi there,
>
> I work for a fortune 500 company that owns many brands. For this one
> particular one, we are building a consumer portal that will allow them to
> pay for their services online and see their next scheduled service time. At
> first release they can't do much more than that. Getting any usability
> testing done here is like pulling teeth - nobody ever wants to pay a dime
> for it and deadlines never are allowed to have much time for it. This in
> spite of the fact it has been show to be worthwhile in the past (which is
> why they continue to allow it in its compressed form).
>
> Anyway, we're setting up a simple one day session to test potential and
> actual (probably 3 and 3) customers. This makes perfect sense of course and
> should give us some good data. However, the internal client is also
> basically forcing us to go a local branch and test it on the people there.
> So think branch manager, couple sales guys, maybe a couple techs. These
> people will never log on or see the system we are building. They will not be
> users of the system in any way.
>
> We've initially tried to say no to this, since our deadlines are already
> unrealistic and we saw little value in doing it. However they have been
> adamant in us doing this. So I suppose my question is how can I at least
> take advantage of this to improve the product? Or, do you think it's even
> possible? Is there a more effective way to talk these people out of this
> than just saying we don't think they really fit the bill since they are not
> users? Or am I missing something of value here?
>
> Keep in mind that this particular company is very much out of step with
> their customers and their needs and they see everything from a
> company-centric point of view, even when they claim to be concerned about
> the customer.
>
> Any comments are appreciated.
>
> Thanks
>
> Tom
>
> --
> --------------------------------------------------
> Pure Geek
> 43 % Nerd, 60% Geek, 17% Dork
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--
--Alan Wexelblat

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