Studies in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), User Centered Design (UCD) and User Experience Design (UED) have found that accurate and frequent customer input is essential for a successful software product. Knowing who your customers are, what their environment is like, and what their needs are gives you the information required to plan and design a product.
But to be successful, you cannot stop there. It is necessary to frequently contact your customers while making your plans and designs a reality. This article by Lynn Miller describes one company’s efforts to merge these processes by creating interconnected parallel design and development tracks. The benefits of this approach are demonstrated by showing how, when and why customer input was incorporated during the release of a successful software product.