design innovation

Once a product is approved to be developed, designers and engineers are faced with the challenge of implementing a smooth design innovation process. This means that they must ensure the product is effectively designed for shipping, installation, setup, use, storage, transport, maintenance, upgrading, disposal, and replacement. Good design innovation is the key to, well, innovating. It will drive a company’s value, give it a competitive edge and ensure long-term success.

Some tips for implementing a good design innovation process

There is no set design innovation process as it really depends on the company. However, here are some principles companies should use to practice design innovation.

Listen to the voice of the customer
With consumer tastes changing more rapidly than ever, companies no longer own the conversation about their brands. According to Dr. Howard Crabb, president and CEO of consulting firm Interactive Computer Engineering, “In a globally competitive environment where one lost opportunity can sound the death knell for an entire company, getting customer-focused, innovative designs to market fast is becoming an overriding determinant of whether a company thrives, survives, or dies.”

Cultivate an innovation culture in organizations
Innovation practice is a collaborative activity. People with competency in various fields need to come together to make the process thorough, inclusive, and valuable. Technologists, engineers, designers, ethnographers, managers, strategy planners, marketing experts, financial planners, and others all need to be brought to a common shared mental space for creating innovations to ensure success. Most recently, end users and communities are also brought into the innovation process. The shared space that builds innovations is thus becoming more ‘‘open.’’ (Vijay Kumar, Associate Professor, Institute of Design – Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago)

Adopt rigorous design processes and structured methods
According to Kumar, companies need disciplined processes supported by structured methods, frameworks, and tools that can help multidisciplinary teams and multiple specialty areas work together.

OneDesk helps structure the design innovation process
OneDesk allows businesses listen to customers via an interactive customer feedback application, and through the social web. By using OneDesk’s collaboration tools, they can create a structured design innovation process by engaging with customers, employees and partners; this helps foster an innovation culture, and aids in promoting a customer-centric development process. To learn more, read the related blog posts and tutorials listed below.

We want to know: What design innovation principles does your company abide by?

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