Experience Inspired Innovation: The Fourth Wave of User Centered Design (Bill Gribbons)


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Every major producer of products or services fears disruptive forces in the marketplace. No industry is immune from these forces including healthcare, telecommunications, financial services, education and retail. Equally vulnerable are company leaders such as Facebook and EBay -- need I mention Blockbuster or Blackberry? Why is disruption inevitable? Can it be predicted? Can it be avoided?

This presentation examines the predictable path traveled by disruptive products or services. I will examine the characteristics of the disruption (compared to the dominant product or service) and the economic conditions allowing it to gain a foothold in non-mainstream markets. Participants will follow the lifecycle of the disruption as it slowly migrates upstream from the fringe to the primary market where it eventually challenges the dominant technology or service. I will then present a clear case of how a strategy of continuous innovation in the mature organization can actually pre-empt the disruptive event.

What does all of this mean for user experience organizations? Traditionally, we have devoted all of our efforts to optimizing today’s products, with little attention directed to tomorrow’s offerings. We leave this work to others in the organization. Who said that innovation is the exclusive domain of MBAs, engineers, and marketers? I will build a strong case for UX professionals having a seat at the “innovation table.” Quite simply, who is better positioned to deeply understand the unmet needs, values, limitations and abilities of our users? Similarly, who is better positioned to transform those insights into design innovation?

Naturally, innovation requires changes in the way we think and work. This presentation will conclude by outlining necessary accommodations in our research methods and encouraging the use of “design-thinking” practices to creatively explore the innovation landscape.

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Experience Inspired Innovation: The Fourth Wave of User Centered Design (Bill Gribbons)

  1. 1. Experience Inspired Innovation: The Forth Wave of User Centered Design Bill Gribbons, Director UX Programs Founder, User Experience Center and Bentley User Experience Studio wgribbons@bentley.edu Bentley University June 2014 © 2014, WM Gribbons
  2. 2. Why Innovation? © 2014, WM Gribbons
  3. 3. Three Quick Stories or “learning the hard way” • Video conferencing • Job search • Retail check-out © 2014, WM Gribbons
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  9. 9. The Innovator’s Dilemma • Innovation advantage is shorter and shorter • Resistance to change in the marketplace • The art of managing this tension Innovation Future Market Conditions Resistance To Change those that hold you back today will leave you tomorrow © 2014, WM Gribbons Costumers resist innovation until the day they want it
  10. 10. Disruptive technology The Art of Managing Innovation Incremental Next Big Thing Product or Service Maturity Life-Cycle Optimizing processes Maximizing revenue Lower profit requirements Initially different markets Eventually move up-market Traditional UX role © 2014, WM Gribbons
  11. 11. © 2014, WM Gribbons Disruption or Innovation? Actively pursue the value trail and identify unmet need…. Could newspapers have anticipated Craig’s List? Could Blockbuster have anticipated Netflix? Should Blackberry have anticipated the smartphone? Could the music industry have anticipated i-Tunes? Should Apple have anticipated the popularity of streaming music? Should higher education be anticipating what is coming next? … and recognize that the trail is constantly shifting
  12. 12. © 2014, WM Gribbons The Role of UX: Can you look to the user? “If I asked people what they would have wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Henry Ford “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them….” Steve Jobs
  13. 13. Traditional product design thinking….. • Breed a faster horse • Design an improved nutrition program for horses • Develop an enhanced exercise routine for horses © 2014, WM Gribbons “If I asked people what they would have wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Henry Ford
  14. 14. Innovative thinking… reframe the problem It’s not a faster horse people were looking for --- It’s…. Faster © 2014, WM Gribbons
  15. 15. © 2014, WM Gribbons Re-framing the Problem • Listen different • See different • Think different
  16. 16. Inspiration the adjacent possible…. “What can Big Med learn from the Cheese Cake Factory?” Atul Gawande, New Yorker, 2012 © 2014, WM Gribbons
  17. 17. © 2014, WM Gribbons Did this observation inspire this innovation?
  18. 18. © 2014, WM Gribbons Legos Scotts Discovery Channel Disney Lexus Dealership McDonalds Moving “outside the box”
  19. 19. © 2014, WM Gribbons Maintain a reflection tablet – idea book • Leonardo’s Codices • 16th-17thc Commonplace book • Evernote and the like Where do I begin…….
  20. 20. Intersection of UX and Innovation Deep Understanding Of Human BehaviorUnderstanding Enabling Technologies (e.g.. Social and gamification Re-defining Problem Space UX in Product Management Ideation & Design Thinking Field Research And Ethnography Lean Start-up Movement Distribution of Resources We must move some of our resources to UX R&D independent of current product development © 2014, WM Gribbons