It often surprises me just how powerful a pair of “fresh eyes” can be. One prime example of this is a question one of our users asked me today during an IM conversation. Notice in the comments below (if there are any) that users can add in their profile information for Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm, LinkedIn, and MySpace. Users can add this to their profile information at IntenseDebate.com. His question was this: why not include the start of the url for each of the services since that will be the same for every user?
Seems simple enough, right? Fairly obvious? Yet the truth is my team and I might never have thought of this helpful (though small) change that can simplify this process for all of our future users. Granted this won’t be a life changing moment for anyone, but this is just one example of a greater underlying principle.
The point is this: never underestimate the power of fresh eyes. Always be sure you’re taking feedback and asking for advice from someone new to the product/service. Their perspective will be completely different and will often have simple suggestions that make all the difference in usability.