Who is My Customer?

Joe Ludwig wrote a great post title “Who is my Customer?”.  At the time I read it I thought it was great and it helped clarify a number of things design-wise.  However, I wasn’t struck with a tremendous “action item”, as it were, that I could employ right now in design ideation.  Then, after re-reading Damion Schubert’s powerpoint slides of his talk at GDC 2007, it hit me, specifically by slide number 12:

As a designer writing design documents my immediate “customer” is the programmer.  I need to write directly for them.  Nobody else.  The programmer’s “customer”, in turn, is the artists and designers (not the ones writing the design docs of course).  Their “customer” is more the end user, though this is where it becomes iterative and circular.  The designer doing design docs may have to adjust the design docs based on what the designers and artists encounter.

Hmmm… that’s not quite as profound-sounding when I read it.  We’ll just chalk it up as a mid-level profundity then.  I like it anyways.