Originally published on The Pastry Box September 16, 2014.
Here is the wrong way to respond to someone who says something on your website isn’t working:
“I’m not having that problem. It works for me.”
Here is the right way:
“It works for me but….”
“… That doesn’t mean it works for you. Let’s take a look.”
“… I hadn’t anticipated that we’d need video transcripts. Let me see what we can do”
“… I didn’t test that scenario thoroughly. What did you discover?”
“… Let me do it for you.”
“… I know who you can talk to that can help.”
“… [FILL IN USEFUL ACTION HERE]”
The first response indicates you have validated your website matches your expectations.
The second response indicates you have validated your user’s experience.
Your code does not pay you. Your user does.
As your user, I do not care that it works for you. I did not dream that your website failed. I did not make it up. I do not have the time to waste reporting things that never happened.
I do not caaaaare that it works for you. I am trying to use this process to get something done, and my time’s important. I’m trying to meet my needs, not yours. Either meet my needs or tell me you can’t, so I can give my time/money to someone else.
I do not caaaaaaaaare that it works for you. It’s the web. It should work everywhere, and by everywhere, I mean on my device. I already bought this [computer | tablet | phone | watch] and I am not going to return it just to make your stupid website work. I’ll use someone else’s product.
I do not caaaaaaaaaaaaaare that it works for you. I am so glad that you and your perfect ears can hear the damned video, but I cannot, and when you tell me you plan to take no action because your perfect ears are just fine, I wish to box them.
Even if it works for you, it works for all your co-workers, management, foreign countries, and the Easter Bunny, I do not care to hear about it.
Validate my experience even when it is different than yours. Help me reach my goals. Or get me to someone who can and get the heck out of my way.