user experience vs buyer experience

Wise words from 37 signals. Please read the following paragraph but replace “enterprise software” with “integrated library systems” or “databases”

The people who buy enterprise software aren’t the people who use enterprise software. That’s where the disconnect begins. And it pulls and pulls and pulls until the user experience is split from the buying experience so severely that the software vendors are building for the buyers, not the users.

What would it be like to invite community members into the ILS or database buying/renting process? This idea might scare most decision makers and for good reason. I bet citizens/students would ask some great questions like “What’s with all of those boxes?”

Of course the situation with library software is complicated by the fact that it is meant for use by librarians *and* normal people. Too bad that one interface for both groups leads more often to the worst of both worlds rather than the best. I’d like to see two separate interfaces on many of these products. Which would we librarians end up using more often?

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