What Questions Are you Answering?
I spent some hours yesterday critiquing the usability of a forthcoming expensive website and did so largely on the basis that the designers had not asked what journey they expected their users to be taking. So, it was particularly apposite to see Ben pointing out the excellence of Google's print dialogue box as reproduced above. A dialogue box that is designed with the user's journey/questions in mind.
Businesses provide answers for and to customers' questions. Marketing which starts with the design of your product/service should be similarly predicated on those questions. Putting yourself in the customers' shoes is what you have to do, but that does not mean asking yourself or pointless focus groups whether they would like a certain new feature.
Putting yourself in the customers' shoes is all about imagining the journey they want to take in using your product/service. It's about predicting the questions they are going to want answered and it's about making sure you answer all of them better than anyone else.