It’s not what you think it is – no, we promise it really isn’t. The term Dogfooding actually has nothing to do with dogs or food, but instead refers to a practice in website development of using your own products for Beta Testing.
What Is Dogfooding?
Dogfooding or “eating your own dog food” means using the products or services you offer internally, allowing you to test products in real-world usage scenarios before releasing them to the world. This acts as a quality control procedure as it allows you to pick up on any issues and resolve these before releasing them to your customers.
Benefits of Dogfooding
As we mentioned, Dogfooding is a quality control method and is great at capturing bugs and resolving them. In addition to this, it allows you to see your offerings from the perspective of your customers, ensuring your user experience is exactly as you want it to be. This helps you to drive improvement and innovation internally.
Of course, it also means that you’ll be able to speak even more knowledgeably about your products too, since you are an active user yourself!
Ballyhoo & Dogfooding
Earlier this year we released our brand new website, and with it embraced Dogfooding in all of its glory. We have used all of the technologies and techniques that we have been recommending to our clients for years, which in turn gives us more insight into the daily operations of our customers and demonstrates our confidence in the tools we build.
Organisations That Use Dogfooding
The very premise of Dogfooding was founded by Microsoft back in 1988, when it was first used to challenge employees to use the company’s products. To this day, Microsoft still uses this process as it is embedded deeply into the business culture.
It’s no surprise that Google uses Dogfooding too – they regularly develop products that their team can use both internally and externally, experimenting with making their teams trial consumer apps.
HP has a dedicated project called Project Alpo, which allows internal employees to test its own products and improve processes.
The Last Word
We think Dogfooding is a great process (once you get past the thought of dog food everywhere), and we’ve certainly found it helpful for our own internal projects. How you incorporate Dogfooding in your company will depend on a lot of factors, but it’s worth investing the time and effort into doing so.
Interested in having a new website built, or a refresh of your existing website? Contact us now to get your website project rolling.