One of the more difficult parts of running a Web site is being able to gauge how a user will want to navigate your site. I’ve tackled this problem by showing my site and its many features to as many people as possible. Since the DormItem site is designed for college students, I’ve found it particularly helpful to pitch the idea to students in order to form a solid concept of how to approach user navigation. I will, for example, sit down with students and simply tell them "use DormItem." I don’t give them any instructions, I simply wait and see what they do. This helps me resolve simple issues that often can be overlooked when developing behind closed doors. It also helps me model my site around users’ behavior, rather than defining their behavior by my own expectation of how I think they should use the site.
Daniel Scudder Founder DormItem Wellesley, Mass.