How do successful innovations come about?
What is the secret to successful innovation? How are innovative product or service solutions created? Successful innovation requires user-centred design skills. Innovation experiments stall very easily if the core objectives of the user of the product are not taken under the magnifying glass at an early stage of the product development process.
The changing world is reflected in our core needs
Product design must start by listening to the users of the product or service: what is their ultimate goal, what do they really need, and how could this need be met in the best possible way? Profitable innovations are built around these very things.
Megatrends are reflected in people’s needs with different emphasis. In the past, the core need of a person travelling by vehicle was to get from point A to point B. The safety of travel must also have been appreciated. Today, the thoughts of travellers often also reflect their concerns about global warming and the impact of their carbon footprint on the environment. The world changes and trends evolve, which is inevitably reflected in people’s thoughts and hopes about the products and services they buy. Successful product and service design is continuous work that involves listening to customers in-depth, following trends and studying the future.
Successful design is human-centred
We all have core needs that we try to meet with the products and services we purchase. For example, when you are hanging a picture on a wall, your core need is not a power drill but making a small hole in the wall. In addition to the concrete outcome, you may have many other thoughts running through your mind: How to achieve the hole safely? Is a power drill really the best way to make the hole, or are there other solutions to this need?
A user-oriented approach enables innovative design and meeting core needs in new ways. Instead of starting to build innovation around a solution that has already been invented, the entire implementation should be considered from the user’s perspective. The most important thing would be to stop and determine the core needs that the user wants to meet. The means and instruments are, in fact, irrelevant as long as the end result is as desired. Building an innovation, for example, on existing technologies, is short-sighted because it limits the introduction of new types of solutions. Technologies should support innovation, not the other way around.
Product development must take into account the entire consumption chain
The most dangerous thing is to assume that you know what the user wants from the product or service. Market research, customer satisfaction surveys and in-depth interviews addressing users’ core needs provide a good basis for user-centred product development. In addition to being comfortable to use, a product, service or operating environment must also support production, installation and serviceability. In addition to all this, the product should also look nice!
User orientation in product development means understanding the customer’s needs for the entire consumption chain. In-depth interviews should aim to achieve the widest possible understanding of the requirements that the product should meet. So, listen carefully to the customer responsible for the decision to purchase your product or service, the person using your product, the service technician, the cleaner and the person handling the disassembly and recycling of your product. They all have their own valuable perspective on the usability of your product.
Those taking the market test should already be certain of the feasibility of their innovation and its potential to create viable business. Technologies to support implementation should already be selected by this stage. The market test is, in fact, only a final confirmation of product development, after which some final changes can still be made to the product.
ED Design takes your innovation to the finish line
ED Design develops innovative and feasible solutions for its customers with a user-centred approach. We start by observing the core needs of the users and shape them into radical business opportunities. We do not leave design at the level of an idea but take your innovation through the whole product development project to implementation.