Why do a large part of the design thinking projects in the corporate world never pass through the prototype phase? In recent years I’ve been involved with many design thinking initiatives. Many of them related to the development of new products inside large companies in industries such as finance, health, education and consumer goods.
Using personas in your design thinking framework is important, but are the results satisfying and clear? In this article, Product Innovation Manager Alex Igor Sanghikian discusses the Adjacent Possibilities framework for product management. By exclusively focusing on your persona’s one main need and trying hard to fulfill that need with your product, you can build the next feature with a more focused vision.
Consider the world’s most ingeniously designed products. Whether it’s your smartphone, your favorite racing bike or a nifty robotic lawn mower – they all have a one thing in common: rather than being conceived overnight, they were shaped by a series of consecutive, systematic innovations. But how does such a structured product innovation approach look? This CREAX project illustrates the ins and outs.
In a time when innovation and new product development are vital to remain competitive, large organizations are looking for ways to generate and execute new product ideas while mitigating risk. Increasingly, these companies seek to create a startup culture as a means to generate innovation.
Things have definitely gotten out of hand. Executives in suits are rummaging around in the LEGO box, a tall man is putting on a wig and speaking in a high-pitched voice, and a group has hijacked all the furniture to build what looks suspiciously like a fortress. Not a scene from an asylum, but the Prototyping phase of THNK’s Innovation Flow. It’s time to turn new ideas and visions into something tangible, a product that can be used and tested, broken up and rebuilt a dozen times. For innovation leadership, this is a crucial step in the creative process.
In the disciplined and structured process of innovation we search for unmet needs and unfulfilled desires, and when we think we find them we have to construct a sort of a mental map that defines why our proposed solution will be better than whatever currently exists. We may use the business model map to show how we’re using this innovation to move up and to the right, or we may use the customer value ladder to show how this innovation provides differentiated value. And once we’re convinced that our idea is a really good one, the next step is often prototyping.
Developing and testing prototypes is a fundamental aspect of a design process. It seems easy at first glance – make a low-fi version of your concept, and test whether it works. But it can be surprisingly hard. To increase your odds of creating an effective prototype, this author recommends following several tips and rules.
Design empowered innovation combines the best of right and left brain thinking. It has the capacity to deliver better ideas, with more relevance, realized earlier. By focusing on individuals, moments and journeys in ethnography, insights become deeper. By embracing chaos and play in brainstorms, creative teams can explore further. By iterating and early prototyping, ideas become real and develop more rapidly.
Design thinking should be a way of life for senior managers. Melba Kurman spoke to Sara Beckman, design and innovation expert at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, about how to apply design thinking to the innovation process.