When you're designing and building a user interface things get missed, some corners are cut. Often this is unintentional, and then when you ship you receive all these fairly obvious feedback tickets. Of course we should do that, you declare – how did we even miss that?
I think when you're building something it's often very hard to step back and think about what a user has to do. Even if you write the steps down, often you miss the I just click here and then here to load the editor steps, it manifests itself as simply open the editor or some such.
Well, I have a solution! Record a screen cast.
When we shipped A/B Testing, we experimented with launching it with a screen cast, not an extensive marketing page. Recording that screen cast took forever because we had to keep making changes to the user interface, small subtle changes: all to remove these tiny steps, which you regularly didn't notice yourself making, but when you're playing back yourself, suddenly you spot them all.
very enlightening to record a screencast of yourself using software you built to identify actions a user has to take that could be removed.— plc (@plc) July 9, 2013