I think in UX design, sometimes you have to think about the end-users as being the person who we are ultimately solving the problem for. So if you deliver a product that the company likes but their customer doesn't like, then the company is going to think that you didn't design the right product. It is important to understand where the usability issues lie, especially in a more complex interaction network.

I am wondering if it is standard practice to incorporate the primary users as well as the secondary (the company's customers/clients) or even tertiary relationships that exist, which might also provide some critical insight into how the product/service should be designed. It this common practice to include these details in things like personas or other UX assets/deliverables?

The question is, do we need to consider what the clients' clients (and their clients) in the design, or do we assume that they also know what's best for their client? Consider the situation of designing a software interface for a call centre. The client is the call centre and they also have their own clients.

  • 2
    I think you are asking if we should consider the end-user when designing? (The answer is yes, obviously, which makes me think that's perhaps not the question you are asking...)
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 0:26
  • Don't assume anything. Just test it.
    – Hasanga
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 6:36

3 Answers 3


Ultimately, everything revolves around ROI on your client's product, so you should always factor the product's UX into your research.

  • If said product falls within the scope of the project, by all means, suggest alteration of the product.
  • If the product is out of scope, it's your job to find alternative ways to deal with a solution.

For example, while working for Apple's iTunes you might not be able to get artists to submit a wider gammut of music genres (out of scope) but you can divide the current genres into sub-genres to make it look like there's more to be had.

This doesn't really answer the question in the heading of your post, but I think it covers the question you had in the body of it.


I think this part of the work is usually included in the personas, where each persona is an archetype of your customers and on which you can add some specific traits, goals, motivations, etc.

At the end of the day, I don't think a company can blame solely the UX designer for not building the right product. Feature sets, product launch and releases are complex processes which go way outside the scope of UX.

  • I know that we include customer/end-user details in the personas, but do you also include your customers' customers in the persona as well?
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 0:33
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    @MichaelLai that is who the personas are. Both you and your client are the ones that will create the personas--which will be your client's customers.
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 0:36
  • @MichaelLai I see. I don't think you should include your customers' customers in the original personas. I don't know which industry you're targeting, maybe it is worth creating another set? Keep in mind that your site/app will be used by your customers and not by your customers' customers. I hope that make sense.
    – SuperFluxx
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 3:35
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    A persona should be built around the person that is using the product you are designing. Perhaps that't the clearest way to say it without using these confusing 'customer' terms that we all seem to be confusing in this conversations. ;)
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 2:31

I work with ISV's where I do UX for products ISVs build. My first step is to find who are the real end users of the product and create persons for those end user groups. Then I can take it from there.

Aligning goals of ISV's with what end users prefer to see is really where creativity comes in. What you need to make sure is that creativity is driven by research data you collect in user researches.

What makes a product success in terms of UX is if you can deliver great experience to it's end users. Not to people who want to build the product. So what's impotent is to find out who are the real end users. It could be your direct customer or a client of your customer. You should be able to identify these different user groups and create a persona for each group.

Having said that you can't totally neglect ideas of people who want to build the product, because they know about their target market more than you do.

Best option which has worked for me is to talk to ISV's with numbers you collected via user research. Then your design is based on a logical reasoning, not just wild creativity ;)

  • +1 "find who are the real end users of the product and create persons for those"
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 2:32
  • Well said Hasanga! quick edit - "what's impoRtant" not "what's impotent" in the third paragraph. Also in addition to user research you should spend a lot of time doig user personas and scenarios. These could be a great wayt of think of all the different levels or types of users while designing your product. Commented May 30, 2014 at 16:50

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