Innovation Through Design Research

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How can innovation be driven by research? This presentation examines the role of ethnographic research in grounding successful innovation in observed user needs.
Presented at the AIMIA Customer Experience Forum

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • Examples: For example, speaker Pam Rogers, who is corporate director of global customer excellence and innovation, explained how the inspiration for a pedestal/storage unit for its Duet front-loading washers and dryers came from observing a woman who had placed her Whirlpool dryer upon cinderblocks, to make it easier to load and unload it without having to bend over. ” Microsoft, Motorola and Intel have trained anthropologists and social scientists on staff. At Motorola, ethnographers found that Chinese businessmen working in rural areas with no telephone service had developed an elaborate system of using pagers to send coded messages. This discovery led Motorola to develop a two-way pager for the Chinese market. For example, an award-winning snow shovel was redesigned when the design team went out to watch how their product was being used, found that women instead of men were shoveling, and so they made the handle smaller.
  • Innovation Through Design Research

    1. 1. Innovation through Design Research Christopher Khalil Director of User Experience 1
    2. 2. “In today’s competitive and global market, companies are finding it necessary to deeply understand their customer and build their product accordingly” Tracey Lovejoy (Microsoft Ethnographer)
    3. 3. ... necessary to deeply understand their customer • A great customer experience starts with understanding your customers’: – Needs – Behaviours – Motivations
    4. 4. design research helps you do this A few common methods • Focus Groups • Interviews • Contextual Inquiry • Surveys
    5. 5. ...and ethnographic research • Ethnographic Research gives insight based on observing customers • What people say and what people do are often very different – Example 1: iPod Colour – Example 2: McDonalds • Sometimes people don’t know what they want
    6. 6. ok, so innovation? • The term innovation means a new way of doing something. It may refer to incremental, radical, and revolutionary changes in thinking, products ...
    7. 7. ...changes in thinking or products • Design Research helps show where unarticulated opportunities exist • Observe customers and see where current system breaks down • Look for the gaps waiting to be filled
    8. 8. innovation from observation • When turned into a solution you see innovation • Innovation is not always cool & flashy • Sometimes solving simple problems in new ways
    9. 9. for example Whirlpool: • Pedestal/storage unit for its Duet front-loading washers • Came from observing a woman who had placed her Whirlpool dryer upon cinderblocks • Made it easier to load and unload it without having to bend over.
    10. 10. ... and Snow Shovel: • an award-winning snow shovel • was redesigned when observation found that women instead of men were shovelling • and so they made the handle smaller.
    11. 11. ... and Bank of America – Keep the Change: • Round up = quicker, easier • Need to save In year 700,000 new checking accounts and 1 million new savings accounts were opened.
    12. 12. Conclusion • Successful innovation fulfils an unmet human need • Design Research helps identify these needs • Design Research is about observing and understanding your customers • It’s the foundation for innovation
    13. 13. Thanks Christopher Khalil News Digital Media chris.khalil@newsdigitalmedia.com.au www.chriskhalil.com Twitter: chris_khalil

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