What’s the Problem With Proxy Users? – Mind the Product
In this era of product management, I think we all agree that user research and feedback is important. We also know that sourcing users for this research can be difficult. So we often turn to proxy users in our research. Proxy users are people who are not actually your users, but are close enough that they know what your users would want… up to a point.
Common proxy customers are people like your sales team, the manager of your users, consultants who work with your users, people who used to fit the persona of your users but don’t any more. These people can be very valuable sources of information when used properly, but there is a very big danger in using them as your only source of research.
Why is it bad to use proxies? Well, the main reason is obvious: They’re not actually your users! The purpose of talking to users is to understand their needs, understand their behaviors, see how they interact with your product. And you can’t truly get at that by talking to a proxy.
You Only get the Highlights
Proxies are viewing the actual users from their own angle and through their own biases. I once worked on rebuilding an internal product for a client’s support team. The first person they gave us to interview was the manager of the team – a proxy. She had been managing the team for many years and had even done the job at one point. However, it turned out her views of the ideal workflow and the views of her team were different. In a product that was already very information-dense, she insisted her team could not do their job without additional data presented on the screen. But when we spoke with the actual team and shadowed them on their job, they didn’t look at this additional data at all.
Proxies also lose the nuance. They are the human equivalent of a revision guide – they can give you the highlights, but if you try to dig a level deeper, there is nothing there.
It turns out that this manager wished her team would check this data, but doing so wasn’t important to completing their tasks and actually slowed them down when their main goal was number of orders closed per day. If we had built to the manager’s specifications, we’d have built a product that was less usable, and with a potentially negative impact on its users. By speaking to the actual users, we were able to build a clean, simple workflow that allowed the team to process more orders than before.
Proxies also lose the nuance. They are the human equivalent of a revision guide – they can give you the highlights, but if you try to dig a level deeper, there is nothing there. Your users are very complex people with a lot of different motivations and feelings on a given day. Often, they aren’t even aware of small subtle things they may say or do that can drastically alter what we build. When we interview users, we often hear an answer, and immediately ask “can you tell me more about that? ” or have the opportunity to get clarity on answers that could be interpreted multiple ways. If you’re only talking to proxies, you are going to miss out on the wealth of information that is sitting just below the surface.
How can Product Managers fix the Proxy Problem?
So why do we use proxies? Because, frankly, it’s easy. Particularly in enterprise organizations, there can be a lot of political churn and concern about talking to actual users. You will run into roadblock after roadblock trying to get to an end user, and everyone else in your organization will try to convince you that the proxy is really all you need to talk to. But if you fall into that trap, you can end up building product on very incomplete data. We need to be the ones to push our companies to think bigger and not get hung up on the things we think we know and the fear of what might happen. We need just to get out there and actually talk to our users. Our users want to tell us what they think. They want to be a part of shaping our products. We mustn’t diminish their voice by relying on proxies.
Emily brings nearly 15 years of product management experience to her role as Managing Director for Mind the Product. While she has worked across a variety of industries, she will always have a soft spot for the travel industry where she spent most of her early career building software for airlines and developing a leading consumer travel app, TripCase. Emily is passionate about the craft of product management and loves talking about new ways to make products people love.
How To Check the Proxy Server Settings on Your Computer
If you feel your Internet connection is slower than what it should be or you notice that certain websites get blocked while browsing, it could be because all your Internet traffic is going through a proxy server.
A proxy server is basically just another computer that sits between you and your ISP. It’s usually configured in corporate environments to filter web traffic going to and from employee computers. In this article, I’ll show you how you can check your proxy settings to see if your computer is indeed using a proxy server or not.
In most cases, you won’t actually be able to turn off the proxy server, since it is controlled by an administrator. However, there are times when personal computers accidentally or maliciously get set to use a proxy server.
Check Proxy Settings in Windows
In Windows, most browsers will use the proxy settings that are set on the computer. Each browser has a settings page to adjust proxy settings, but they normally just link to the settings dialog in Windows itself.
In Windows 10, there are two ways to go about changing the settings: via the Settings app or via the traditional Control Panel. I’ll mention both methods here because the Control Panel method is what you’ll need to use for Windows 7, 8 or Windows Vista.
Windows 10 Settings App
Click on Start and then click on the gear icon (Settings) at the far left. In Settings, click on Network & Internet.
In the left-hand pane, click on Proxy at the very bottom.
Here you have all the settings that are related to setting up a proxy in Windows. It’s basically split into two configurations: either Automatic or Manual proxy setup. In 99% of the cases, everything should be set to Off. If anything is turned on, your web traffic could be going through a proxy.
If you’re using an older version of Windows or if you just like the old way, you can edit the same settings via the Control Panel. Note that whichever way you choose to edit the settings, there are only one set of proxy settings in Windows.
Once you open Control Panel, just click on Internet Options.
In the Internet Options dialog, go ahead and click on the Connections tab and then click on LAN settings at the bottom.
Here you will see all the same settings as in the Settings app shown above. Anything you configure here will show up there and vice versa.
Check Proxy Settings in Mac OS X
If you are using a Mac with OS X, then the procedure is similar. You have to change the proxy settings in System Preferences as this is where most browsers check automatically.
Open System Preferences and click on Network. On the left-hand side, make sure to select the connected or active network connection. You can have different proxy settings for each type of network connection.
At the bottom, click on the Advanced button. Click on the Proxies tab and you’ll see a bunch of different protocols you can configure.
For example, if you click on Web Proxy (HTTP), you’ll be able to enter the proxy server IP address, port number, username and password.
Check Proxy Settings in Linux
In Linux, it really depends on what distribution you are running. Mostly, though, it’s going to be some version of KDE or GNOME. For example, in Linux Mint Cinnamon, which is based heavily on GNOME, you would click on the button and then click on System Settings.
Next, you would scroll down to Hardware and then click on Networking.
Finally, if you click on Network Proxy, you can choose from Automatic or Manual.
This is pretty much the same procedure for Ubuntu also, which uses Unity and GNOME. It’ll be different if you are using a different desktop environment. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!
Creating and using proxy users – Oracle Database 12c Security …
In this recipe, you’ll learn about proxy complete this recipe, you’ll need an existing (for example, OS-authenticated) user who has a DBA role and another existing user (for example, mike). Connect to the database as a user who has a DBA role:$ sqlplus /
Create a proxy user named appserver:SQL> create user appserver identified by oracle_1;
Grant create session to the user appserver:SQL> grant create session to appserver;
Alter the user to connect through the proxy user:SQL> alter user mike grant connect through appserver;
Connect to the database through proxy user:SQL> connect appserver[mike]
Enter a password for the appserver user (for example, oracle_1):Enter password:…
Frequently Asked Questions about what is a proxy user
How do I find my proxy username and password?
Click on the Proxies tab and you’ll see a bunch of different protocols you can configure. For example, if you click on Web Proxy (HTTP), you’ll be able to enter the proxy server IP address, port number, username and password.Oct 2, 2017
How do I create a proxy user?
Creating and using proxy usersConnect to the database as a user who has a DBA role: $ sqlplus /Create a proxy user named appserver : SQL> create user appserver identified by oracle_1;Grant create session to the user appserver : SQL> grant create session to appserver;More items…
What is an Oracle proxy account?
a proxy user is a user that is allowed to “connect on behalf of another user” say you have a middle tier application. You want to use a connection pool. You need to use a single user for that. Say that user is “midtier”