We developers need input from our users!
This became very clear to me once again last week when I received an unexpected request from a user to add a simple lookup function to a field in their order entry program which has been in use (…and regularly enhanced) for over 5 years. When I first received the request I was shocked to discover that such an obviously beneficial function would be missing. In fact, my first thought was something like “How could [the user] miss it? Of course there is a lookup there!” Then, upon further investigation and review going back numerous iterations and versions I discovered much to my surprise that it NEVER was there — an obvious omission.
All of this led me to recognize once again the value of having a close relationship with my user community. Working with the small & medium size companies that I do, it is generally commonplace. This incident also pointed out to me that user and software developer/designer alike can easily miss obvious functionality enhancements.
P.S. The program now has the desired lookup!