Understand the core value
of your products
Learn as much as possible about what’s happening now and the scope of the current system. That means understanding not only the technical scope, but also what problem the product is trying to solve, and who your core users are.
It’s easy to get stuck in step one, to become so absorbed in the world of your organization or product that you can’t properly understand it in context. The critical step for design innovation is to maintain perspective, to look outside of your own context to see the broader changes, technologies, behaviors, and expectations in the world around you.
Develop information habits that routinely expose you to new developments not only in your industry but in unrelated fields as well. The best innovations often come from applying an approach from one context in a new environment.
Tease out opportunities
Getting to know the people, the system, the landscape, and the gaps and opportunities will expose areas that seem ripe for innovation. Extract those opportunities through structured explorations of the internal and external trends you’re identifying.
Articulate a vision
From there, the vision of how to best innovate and take advantage of those opportunities will emerge. Now is the time to get everyone aligned on not only the goals and vision, but how we get there.
We must have the freedom to experiment and try out new, unproven ideas in order to be successful. At the same time, experimentation should be done with a clear hypothesis and set of rubrics for how we will learn from the experiment. This way we know when to pursue an experiment and when to move on.
Innovation! = iteration
It’s not enough to simply iterate and improve on existing products. Every organization needs to keep a finger on the pulse of the world around it, identify emerging opportunities, and innovate to take advantage of them. This work isn’t about innovation for the sake of novelty, but about understanding how our users, the creative tools, and the ecosystem around us is evolving.
Good design is
By focusing on a specific set of users, understanding their needs, and solving their problems, good design creates value in a marketplace. We strive to tangibly connect design solutions to the value they create for the business.