In one section, Fine talks about "the listening deficit" that cripples most
organizations, positing that corporations and NPOs alike tend to continually
push their own agendas and hope their customers will simply remain quiet and
keep giving them money.
When they later realize this isn't working, for whatever reason, they hire
outsiders to figure out who their customers really are and what they need.
Instead of listening to their customers, donors, volunteers, employees,
fans, and so on in the first place, they pay *someone else* to do something
they could and should have done themselves.
After pondering this rant for a moment, I thought about the User Experience
Does the user research aspect of your work exist only because companies are
incapable of listening to and holding conversations with their own customers
in the first place, or does your reseach provide value beyond what internal
staff could have learned on their own had they been listening?
Is user research simply a band-aid for the listening deficit, or does it
bring something more powerful to the table?