I wrote an answer on Quora for a similar question “How do I get developers to think more like users?” so I can add 3 more exercises:
- Keynotes: I usually discuss with my team & show them summaries of famous keynotes for big developer conferences like: Microsoft Build, Google I/O & Apple WWDC. This enhances the way they think of products and customers from how “demos” in keynotes are structured.
- Mobile Apps: If there is a buzz about any new app, I make sure that my team knows about it and sometimes I let them use it on my device and discuss their opinions about “the user experience & the user scenario”. This increases number of times they think “as users”.
- Video Ads: When I spot a good video ad. (like the one below) about a software/hardware/non-tech product, I prefer to share it with my team and again discuss their opinions from a marketing/artistic point of view. This pushes them to think beyond “for loops and syntax errors”.