Working on recent products has highlighted to me again the importance of testing usability with actual end users. This step can sometimes be overlooked when product teams are deep in stakeholder requirements and writing user stories.
Getting prototypes infront of actual users in the early discovery phase of a project can save a lot of time, money and effort. End users have a real world perspective on how the new product or system will help them perform their tasks or not as the case may be.
They may have no knowledge of your product or system and will compare it to what they have used or are currently using. They may also give some guidance on what features would be good to see on an industry level which had not previously been considered.
Prototypes can be quickly changed as they only need design team resource with no development resource involved. So the importance of early and regular user testing shouldn’t be overlooked as it’s a valuable step in modern digital product conception and production.