As a user experience (UX) evangelist I typically sermon to people how they should involve the users in the product creation: study their needs, do light prototypes and test the prototypes with users to improve and iterate before implementing further.
So when I created my own “product” – this website – what did I do? I did think about my target groups, but instead of studying their needs I merely imagined them. I did do some prototyping (mainly drafted the site structure on paper) but instead of testing it with users I rushed in implementing it. I have been iterating and improving, but instead of basing the improvements on user feedback, I was using my own opinions.
Oh the shame, what kind of UX expert was I?!?
Before the quilt became unbearable I started to gather user feedback. As a job-seeker one of my main target user groups is potential employers and recruiters. Fortunately I happened to meet some of them in job-interviews every now and then.
So I took a habit of asking the recruiter couple of questions after the official interview: Had they visited my site? How had they come there? What kind of info were they looking for? Did they find it? Were they missing something? What kind of impression did they get?
Based on the responses I was able to tweak the site even further, and this time to the direction that factually serves the users. That’s the beauty of user-centered approach.
As for me – I can now proudly say that the shoemaker’s children finally got their shoes! :-)