Smugmug, dogfooding

“Hire customers as employees”- found this gem of a quote on a podcast by Scoble about Smugmug. This was given as the best decision taken by Don MacAskill, CEO of Smugmug.

I’d like to mull through that statement a little. Of course the specific industry you work for, or the service you sell might not allow your customers to become employees but the idea of employees consuming the service you produce is a sound one. Familiarity with the product, not just with a section of them performing the quality function is always a key element in ensuring success of any product.

You see it in the concept of dogfooding, at say Microsoft. Or in the Total Quality efforts at Toyota. Regardless of what it is called the principle is to get every employee intimately perceiving the service from the customer’s standpoint.

Watch the demo, I especially like the fact that the Smugmug photosharing application is designed to account for large displays. And it looks gorgeous I should confess!

I have been looking for application UI design guidlines for large displays but am yet to come across anything concrete. Do drop a comment if you know of any.

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