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Your customers don't have to say so

I have never met a client who would not be too happy to tell me what they want, and usually in great detail. The problem is that customers do not always tell you the whole truth. As a rule, they do not lie, but they speak the language of the client, not the developer. They use their terms and contexts. They miss important details. They make the assumption that you have been in their company for 20 years, like themselves. This is compounded by the fact that many customers do not really know what they want! Some of them may have an idea of ​​the overall picture, but rarely one of them is able to effectively describe the details of his vision. So how can you execute a project for those who do not tell the whole truth about what they want? It is not difficult. Just talk more with them.

Survey your customers early and do it often. Do not repeat what they said to you in their own words. Remember: they did not mean since they said. I often replace words in conversation with them, and look at their reaction. You will not believe how many times the term customer meant something completely different than the term customer . Nevertheless, the guy tells you what he wants in his project using the terms interchangeably, and expects you to understand what he is talking about. You will be confused, and your software will suffer.

Discuss topics many times with your customers before you decide that you understand what they need. Talk to them about things that happen immediately before or immediately after what you are talking about. If possible, have several people tell you about the same thing in separate conversations. They will almost always tell you different stories that will reveal different but related facts to you. Two people telling you about the same topic will often contradict each other. And you'd better clarify the differences before proceeding with ultra-complex development.
Use visual aids during conversation. This is no more difficult than using a board in a meeting, as simple as creating a visual layout at an early design stage, or as complicated as building functional prototypes. It is well known that the use of visual aids in conversation helps to extend concentration and increases the speed of assimilation of information. Take advantage of this fact.

In the past, I was a “multimedia programmer” in a team creating bright projects. Our client described in great detail how he sees the project. During the discussion of the overall color scheme, we agreed on a black background. We thought it was approved. Graphic design teams have begun the production of hundreds of graphic files. A lot of time was spent on getting the final product. A striking discovery was made the next day, when we showed the client the fruits of our labor. When she saw the product, her exact words about the background color were "when I said black, I meant white." So you see, it is never as clear as black and white.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/104468/

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