Jon Udell on InfoWorld - Capturing user experience closes the feedback loop:
"For developers who rarely get to see people using their software, any opportunity to observe users is likely to provide valuable insight. Arguably such observation can, and should, occur throughout the software life cycle. A software team will often nominate one member to advocate for the user. Equipped with low-cost and easy-to-use recording tools, that team member can capture users' experiences with alpha, beta, or production software. Ideally the material will be edited down to highlights, but even raw footage can be helpful.
It's still hard for developers to watch this stuff. We have had a tendency to spare them the pain -- and to sacrifice the gain -- because connecting developers to users in this way has not often been practical. This new generation of tools aims to close that critical feedback loop, thereby helping developers figure out what ease-of-use really means to users."