What prevents you from talking with more users?

The need to speak with customers to better understand their requirements and situation is, I believe, widely acknowledged.

What are your primary obstacles to obtaining additional user feedback (via interviews, surveys, etc.)?

If you say you don’t have enough time, do you have access to the users you’d need to start communicating with if you had a few extra hours to devote just to this?


On certain occasions, it’s my boss or my boss’ boss. The justification behind this is that they are concerned that by discussing our ideas publicly, our rivals may learn about them and act more quickly to adopt them. It irritates me most of the time.

I certainly comprehend the need for caution given the two significant hazards. 1) competitors finding out about it; 2) consumers misinterpreting and believing we are making a promise when we are only researching.

But man, does it feel stupid when interviews I had scheduled are turned down and two months later we are lacking information to have a thoughtful discussion about a topic?


@GerardKolan, Why don’t you use an outside source for this? It seems like they could offer you that kind of protection.


I’m curious to know more about your suggestion—do you advocate hiring a third party to conduct the interviews? I’m not sure how it would handle the two hazards I outlined.


Using an outside source can provide you with an added layer of security and expertise that may not be available internally. They have the resources and knowledge to implement robust protection measures, ensuring the safety of your data and systems. Additionally, external sources often stay updated with the latest security trends, allowing them to offer specialized solutions tailored to your specific needs.


Yes, this is correct. The final user (or possible competitor) need not be made aware of the company that has commissioned the job if you are looking to uncover new prospects or test new concepts. It is possible to learn about your own product without concealing the original source. Working with external suppliers frequently has that advantage, plus any internal prejudices are eliminated.


You have practically unrestricted access to users, which is one underappreciated advantage of developing internal products. Since the project you’re working on will help the company save money, your requests will be given top priority. Additionally, since you’re creating better tools for people who often have to accept whatever the company offers them, these folks are always willing to communicate and share their issues and experiences.

Time, priorities, and having to really carry out everything are my only constraints.


Couldn’t agree less @Nathanendicott, but despite these constraints, the benefits of developing internal products far outweigh any drawbacks. The ability to have direct access to users not only allows for a better understanding of their needs, but also enables quick and efficient troubleshooting. Furthermore, this constant feedback loop fosters a collaborative environment where ideas are freely exchanged and improvements can be made in real-time. So, while the project may require careful time management, the potential for success and impact on the company’s operations make it a worthwhile endeavor.

  • Culture: Business and sales think they know the users and clients. However, it is important to recognize that culture plays a significant role in shaping the behavior and preferences of users and clients. Understanding cultural nuances and adapting strategies accordingly can greatly enhance business success in reaching and engaging with their target audience.
  • Politics: same business and sales people don’t want facilitate Product to get knowledge as they fear to be more challenged by political forces. However, being aware of the political landscape is crucial for businesses to navigate potential obstacles and seize opportunities. By staying informed and understanding the impact of political decisions on their industry, businesses can proactively adjust their strategies and mitigate any potential risks that may arise. Additionally, building relationships with key stakeholders and engaging in constructive dialogue can help businesses build a strong reputation and influence policy decisions in their favor.

Because of the red tape involved in speaking with clients, I recently left a job that was otherwise extremely nice. Of the 100 consumers I intended to talk with, I was only able to directly address five of them in almost a year. Compare that to my previous job when I visited dozens of locations, spoke with hundreds of people, and conducted surveys of tens of thousands of people. If you don’t speak with clients (or potential customers if you’re a startup), you can’t do the job successfully.


Although it’s been quite a while since I had been involved in user stories, I can certainly discuss common obstacles that organizations or individuals might face when attempting to gather user feedback:

  1. Time Constraints:
    Many businesses and individuals often struggle with time limitations. Balancing day-to-day tasks and setting aside dedicated time for user feedback activities can be challenging.

  2. Resource Limitations:
    Limited resources, including staff and budget, can impede efforts to conduct comprehensive user research or feedback gathering.

  3. Access to Users:
    Obtaining access to a diverse and representative sample of users can be difficult, especially for smaller organizations or products targeting niche markets.

  4. Difficulty in Engaging Users:
    Encouraging users to actively participate in providing feedback can be a hurdle. Some users may not be willing to take the time to provide feedback, or they might not be comfortable sharing their thoughts.

  5. Lack of Expertise:
    Conducting effective user interviews or surveys requires specific skills and knowledge. Some organizations may lack the expertise or experience needed to design and execute these activities optimally.

  6. Privacy and Legal Concerns:
    Compliance with privacy regulations and ensuring data security can be a significant concern when gathering user feedback, particularly in regions with stringent privacy laws.

  7. Language and Cultural Barriers:
    If the user base is diverse, language barriers or differences in cultural norms can complicate the process of collecting accurate and meaningful feedback.

  8. Feedback Analysis:
    Analyzing and making sense of the collected feedback can be challenging. Extracting valuable insights from raw data and transforming them into actionable improvements require analytical skills and time.

If given additional time, the primary focus would likely be on overcoming time constraints and ensuring access to a broader user base for meaningful communication and feedback gathering. This could involve setting aside dedicated time, leveraging existing communication channels, or reaching out to potential users to engage in feedback discussions.

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I would say that the problem is a lack of incentive for users to invest the effort, not a lack of time or any internal gatekeeping. The majority of users respond that their employers don’t pay them for providing comments. Additionally, the majority of the time when you speak to a responsible person, they don’t actually use the program. This lack of incentive can lead to a lack of engagement and motivation among users, as they may not see the value in actively participating or utilizing the program. Furthermore, this disconnect between users and responsible persons can hinder effective communication and hinder the program’s overall success.