Thursday, February 4, 2010

IDEO's Diego Rodriguez Speaks on the Importance of Design in Innovation

In this article in BusinessWeek, IDEO partner Diego Rodriguez mentions how a good design doesn't necessarily equal a good business outcome whereas a well-structured design process for the most part will account to a good business outcome. Here are some of his recommendations in creating a more holistic and all-inclusive design structure for a business.

1. Stop Treating Design as a Noun
Good design nowadays have come as what is aesthetically pleasing to the eye instead of creating long-lasting value in today's society. We should treat the term design as a verb, "a process, a way of approaching challenges which designers and nondesigners alike can learn to use to create positive change in the world." Only then will we see monumental achievements.

2. Rethink the Relationship between Design and Market Success
The marketplace consists of different variables far beyond the limited scope of design, and so teams should keep this in mind. Diego gives an example of how the iPod, although designed, also succeeded because teams discovered how to manufacture, deliver, sell, support, and retire them in ways that met people's needs. So it is not all up to good design.

3. Use Business Constraints as Inspiration
With design thinking, potential market value creating should be part of the design process, instead of pointing fingers and asking how much value did design create. Teams should be running quick experiments to generate any evidence before embarking on a rebranding or redesign initiative.

Here's a great quote to end this post with from Diego:

"When we use design thinking to balance desirability, feasibility, and viability, we unlock the measures of value creation so desperately sought after by the world of good design. Impact in the world becomes the focus of designing."

Remember, we'll be dedicating a whole track to design thinking at FEI Europe so don't miss out! Hope to see you all next week in Amsterdam.

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