People and design driven

research and implementations processes

Based on a multidisciplinary and iterative process we deliver a creative and professional set of services at every stage on the process from dream to market. As a business strategy partner I work to define appropriate and innovative experiences and products.

Starting with in-situ user studies and desktop research on context and markets we visualize the attitudinal and market landscapes to find inspiring trends and patterns as well as to define relevant personas based real people. Focusing on the jobs or objectives these users are trying to achieve we can focus on the most appropriate and compelling opportunities.

These opportunities are then conceptually explored and visualized through a design ideation to facilitate the next steps in dialog with the organization. The goal is by making tangible and visual representations to lead the way for business strategy creation and operational product innovation processes, so efforts can be focused on solutions that will be most appreciated, and are currently under served, in the market and are therefore the strongest business opportunities.

By leveraging and extend our clients internal processes and capabilities we aim to help foster strategies and create solutions that will substantiate brand promises, resonate with and excite customers.

Integral to this phased multidisciplinary process is the involvement of lead users and users from the targeted segments as well as decision makers at key milestones. Our process aligns flexibly and closely with business milestones and processes, but focus on users and value creation, to deliver compelling, unique and appropriate qualities.

To increase the success rate and minimize risks it is critical to validate assumptions, choices and directions made during the process, by developing physical representations and software prototypes to engage lead users from different regional markets in dialog around opportunities for improvements as early on as possible.

We therefore recommend extensive use of high quality as well as sketch models or mock-ups at every stage to be able to glean as many insights and as much emotional response as possible.

Tool set

A tool set have been developed to support the iterative, multidisciplinary and inclusive design process where we innovate and build visions from the users’ needs, dreams and aspirations.

A small subset of the most used tools are:

Depending on the character of the project a range of other more specialized tools are naturally available to deal with specific key issues around f.ex software, user interaction, service and experience creation. These are part of the added value we bring to the table along with the long experience in using the above tools internationally in user centered innovation and design projects.

People research

Making sense of the vast amounts of data generated through socio-cultural and ethnographic people research by defining relevant and actionable innovations and concepts takes a special set of design skills, methods and experience. This is probably why so much this kind of business data is often left unused and never processed into real information, knowledge, understanding, insights, opportunities and finally solutions.

Often the cause lies in the traditional handover where the researchers and fron-end innovation teams deliver a detailed, numeric and academically well founded report to the development team who with their goal driven mindset and reward system more often than not have to simply shrug, set it aside and get on with doing things the way the usually do it, as they struggle to make operational sense of the content.

To bridge this a gap a number of tools and processes have been created, ranging from the creation of multidisciplinary communication tools such Personas, Scenarios and Business Concept Visualizations to directly integrating designers and engineers in the research processes as well as researchers in the implementations phases. A combination of these two approaches ensure a multidisciplinary team ownership and understanding as well as common language and mental models that can pull the rest of the organization along and easily integrate new team members as the team grows.

This is important when developing new solutions, but crucial when building new business and product strategies. At a point when the desirable path is laid out towards the most probable future a shared comprehendable and compelling vision, fortified with Personas and Scenarios, is one of the few things that can make everyone work towards the chosen opportunities.

This is also why people centered design and innovation can help guide technology R&D investments by pointing the way to ownable and compelling future platforms and technologies. Communicating what qualities and benefits people are going to be looking for and find desirable in the 3-5 year as well as the 5-10 year timespan is a valuable competitive advantage with a high ROI.

By integrating and aligning ethnographic people research with global attitudinal insights and segmentation an additional layer of depth and richness can be added to the Personas and strategies proposed. At the same time this enables an alignment to world and sector trends and makes the translation into advertising and communication much more smooth.

One of the challenges when using people centered design and innovation processes is the alignment with the brand, its values and promises, but by basing these on relevant people needs and aspirations and not static elements or expressions, experience shows that the brand and it’s instantiations can stay fresh, relevant and dynamic, as it can be seen in brands like Nike or BMW.

A last challenge to achieving the most from from people centered processes is the corporate reward system that rarely look at long term value-creation, brand or environmental and people centered considerations, but – for good reasons – traditionally have focused on short term issues such as budget, time line and volume. These are still paramount to any business, but must be amended by adding the mentioned big picture issues, so that everyone may gain an ownership of and desire to pursue these.

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