The Role of User Research in the Product Development Process

I was not able to stay for this entire panel but I wanted to be there for as long as possible because of two of the panelists: Jenny Gove and Robin Jeffries. Both are interesting women and very capable professionals who were my coworkers and hallmates at Sun Microsystems before they went to Google. Even though some of the panel’s presentations were superficial, it is always interesting to hear from user experience engineers. This is one of the few computer science disciplines in which women and men seem to participate in roughly equal numbers.

Of particular interest on this panel were some of the comments of Kaaren Hanson of Intuit. Her description of how the success of Quick Books in serving small businesses was ignored for several years was funny and I liked her conclusion that a company needs to be prepared to take advantage of surprises. If I remember her numbers correctly, Quick Books now brings in more than a quarter of Intuit’s revenue.

Blog with regard to a panel presented at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2006

25 October 2013 – links and text updated

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Filed under Hopper - Anita Borg Institute

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