Eating your own dogfood

There is no more brave an act, in the world of e-commerce and design, than agreeing to try to use your own website. With the camera rolling.

And that’s just what Bruce MacNaughton agreed to do on Tuesday morning: to, as they say, eat his own dogfood, and walk me through the process of placing an order on the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company website (spoiler alert: it didn’t all exactly work as planned).

While usability testing by regular everyday people is a useful part of every web project, trying to use your own website is also a useful exercise, and something that we all forget about much too often.

We went through this exercise not to rip the website apart, but rather to see how it looked like from “the other side” and to try to develop a set of eyes that would allow future developments to incorporate that view.

Bruce deserves a lot of credit for agreeing to go through this, and for not blanching at the prospect of publishing the experience for the world to see.

Note to future video producers: make sure your subject doesn’t leave his credit card on camera (hence the “redacted” smudge over the video for a few minutes midway through).