People (like myself) who practice user-centered design spend an inordinate amount of time preaching to and pleading with various gatekeepers in companies to bring customers into the design process. There's always a dozen excuses why it can't be done: "too expensive," "the customers can't design," "they don't want to be bothered," etc. etc. etc. Sometimes I think the gatekeepers just don't want to know how unappealing/unusable/unwanted the company's products are.
So it's a pleasure to read stories where some young gun has put the advice into practice and is rewarded appropriately. This is so easy to do and so rewarding, yet so few companies do it well.